Realtors Rely on New Technologies for Better Consumer Interaction

Realtors Rely on New Technologies for Better Consumer Interaction-Image via CrunchBase

A dynamic mix of economic conditions and new technologies are transforming the way REALTORS® work with buyers, sellers and investors in today’s real estate market. Realtor® Mike Aubrey, host of HGTV’s Real Estate Intervention, shared his insights into “What’s Changing in Real Estate” today at the 2010 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

Distressed sales and underwater home owners were top-of-mind for many REALTORS® attending the session. “We are going to see an amazing impact in terms of pricing with regard to short sales,” said Aubrey. When you talk about places where every second or third property is a short sale, that’s going to affect market prices.”

In the context of today’s real estate market challenges, REALTORS® reinforce the values of home ownership in giving people a place to live in, raise a family, and establish community ties. Many REALTORS® at the session agreed that educating consumers and promoting responsible home ownership was a priority, through practices such as advising clients on ways to improve their credit ratings and encouraging buyers to put as much money down as possible to establish upfront equity.

The effect of the growth of new technologies and the explosion of real estate information on today’s real estate practices was also explored. “The impact of the Internet and technology has just been phenomenal. If you don’t have a presence on the Internet, you’re nowhere right now,” said Aubrey.

According to the 2010 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released yesterday here during the conference, 36 percent of recent home buyers started their search by looking for properties online, and 89 percent of all recent buyers used the Internet at some point in their home search.

The NAR profile also found that, while most buyers used multiple listing service websites and REALTOR.com (59 percent and 45 percent, respectively), only 2 percent used social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, and only 1 percent visited video hosting websites like YouTube.

According to Aubrey, there are 675,000 real estate blogs on the Internet. “If you’re going to blog, you need to interpret information for consumers, and you need to devote the time to do it,” said Aubrey.

At the same time, Aubrey argued that these new technologies help REALTORS® create more informed consumers by educating home buyers, sellers and investors about their local real estate market and helping buyers evaluate their options well in advance of going to see houses offline.

“For example, 15 years ago, no one knew what staging was,” said Aubrey. “The impact of the explosion of real estate information channels has created a greater level of awareness.”

The National Association of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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