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Technology is Changing the Role of the Real Estate Agent

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It may be hard to conceptualize, especially for first-time home buyers or those yet to embark on buying their first home, but 15 years ago, the real estate market was a different beast, information wise. When records used to be buried in file folders, it put buyers in a much different place than they are today, able to access detailed property records on their smartphones within minutes.

“Before, you spent a lot of time doing information gathering, and collecting, and response,” says Jeremy Wacksman, Chief Marketing Officer at Zillow. “The internet really opened the doors. Agents are freed up to help get the deals done. But now they have to be agent, negotiator, price setter, and a community resource.”

Wacksman sees technology shifting the role of real estate agent from an information arbiter to a local market expert and service provider (“It’s not about the data; everyone has the data now”), while brokers need to better leverage technology to help their team become responsive, active experts for their clients. While there’s always been some frustration over the work of certain agents, demands have only become more pronounced when ever-present technology lets everyone do their own research. Many in the industry feel success is about reacting to evolving client expectations, and adapting as technology changes the buyer-agent relationship.

“Clients today are much more knowledgeable,” says Tamir Poleg, CEO and founder of Real, an app that allows agents to ditch the conventional brokerage model. “They do online research, know what they’re looking for, and know the neighborhood. I understand the frustration people have working with agents who can’t provide the services they expect, then collect a hefty check. They key is for agents to be more responsive, understand better what the client wants, and justify the money that they’re getting.”

The availability of data, an established market norm for years, requires agents to be on their best games, says Michael McGrew, treasurer at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and CEO/Chairman of McGrew Real Estate on Lawrence Kansas. Consumer’s ability to educate themselves is a net positive, he says, but there’s still an important role for agents, especially when it’s time for financing.

“It’s one thing to go online and get curious,” he says. “It’s another thing to look at financing options. People realize they can learn the alphabet and language, but they aren’t necessarily fluent.”

87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001

While technology is disrupting numerous industries the idea of making a massive, infrequent, and consequential purchase such as buying a home without the help of a trained agent still scares many buyers, according to Wacksman. If recent stats showing the dearth of for sale by owners transactions is any indication—according to NAR stats, 87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001—it’ll be a long time before the human element is taken out of real estate. But that doesn’t mean tech isn’t changing how that relationship works.

McGrew feels technological automation and standardization aren’t necessarily right for the real estate industry, when every property is unique, but feels there’s a lot of room to integrate new technology into the buying and selling process (“all of us in this business have to be committed to making it work better.”) The National Association of Realtors is a big investor in Second Century Ventures, a company that funds startups in the real estate industry.

Wacksman believes new technologies, such as video and VR tours, as well as programs such as DotLoop (an e-signing service Zillow acquired for $105 million last year that takes much of the paperwork of real estate transactions online), will streamline the process even further.

Poleg believes the as tech takes away barriers to information, the real issue is responsiveness and service. Technology will continue to provide more access to information, and agents and brokers need to continually be more responsive with clients. He envisions a time when bots become a tool to constantly respond to buyer request for updates and information.

“It you look at 2000 compared to today, the percentage of people using real estate agents is increasing,” says Poleg. “If someone said a robot could do your surgery, would you do it? Technology can replace a lot of things in a lot of industries, but real estate agent isn’t necessarily one of them.”

Source : Curbed

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Smit

    November 22, 2016 at 8:00 am

    What a resourceful article!!! Awsome !!!

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Appoint Housecraft App For Your Interior Designing Job

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Do you have a knack for interior designing? Did you always dream about being an interior designer but could never really get a head start at it? Is your home in a dire state for a revamp? Do you like to change your interiors often?

If your answer is yes then we have the perfect solution for you. The answer to your prayers is the refreshing Housecraft App. The app is available only on iPhone App Store for free.

It is a fairly easy app that can be used to design any interior living space with the choice of several pre-fed furniture and décor items. You can use your phone’s camera and watch the power of augmented reality to place fully rendered 3D models anywhere in your world.

For example if you want to redo your living room. All you have to do is open your phone camera and scan the room. You would be surprised at how accurately it takes measurements. It then lets you drop all the furniture you can think of. You can resize each object so you can customize it according to your room. Plus, you can admire objects from any angle, in any light! Once you achieve a set-up that you like, you can save it for later reference.

The app is a break through at many levels. To start with you design your own home and test it on the app so you can actually see the outcome of your design. For people who like to mix and match and change décor items on a regular basis can use this app for better visualization of their ideas. It is easy to save room configurations and try them out anywhere. Thus great help in apartment hunts, reorganizing a room, testing how new furniture will look, and more. With their video recording feature you can share your creations with your friends or family.

Also Read: 5 Real Estate Tech Startups in India You Can’t Ignore

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5 Real Estate Tech Startups in India You Can’t Ignore

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5 Tech Startups in India You Can’t Ignore

The real estate sector is one of the biggest contributors to the country’s economy. It is no wonder that the sector is booming with newest technologies that are changing the age-old industry norms and raising industry standards. Here are five tech start ups that you need to take note of:

NESTAWAY

5 Tech Startups in India You Can’t Ignore

If you have ever faced a rental problem and most of us have, this is the thing that you need. NestAway is India’s home rental network for singles that offers rental solutions via latest technology and best design.

Founded in January 2015, NestAway is an app that lets you find, book, pay, move-in and out of a rental home anywhere in India. They basically manage both parties in a rental situation and turn unfurnished houses in to furnished homes and offer them at affordable prices on sharing basis. Deepak Dhar, one of NestAway’s four cofounders, says “It’s a new concept for owners and a solution for tenants. Plus we’re solving the youth housing crisis of upwardly mobile urban migrants in cities.” It began in Bengaluru and today is spread in 9 metro cities of India.

Website: nestaway.com

NoBroker

5 Tech Startups in India You Can’t Ignore

A Bangalore based real estate search portal, NoBroker eliminates broker and directly connects flat owners and tenants. Founded in 2014, NoBroker claims to work on the basis of technology that identifies and abolishes brokers. Started as a rental platform, they have now forayed into brokerage free buy/sell property as well. They verify each listing to make sure they are owners and no middlemen. They offer maximum information in the most accessible format, thus saving you time, money and energy to actually go physically hunting for house.

Website: nobroker.in

SmartOwner

5 Tech Startups in India You Can’t Ignore

Find the biggest market for investors here; all the opportunities that you won’t find on general market. SmartOwner brings forward some of the carefully curated investment opportunities from the fastest growing cities in India. Projects are vetted by law firm after meticulous checks. It verifies all the listing to make sure the pricing and specifications are in line with the market trends. Thus it offers well calculated risk and returns. People benefit from the curated high-return opportunities.

Website: smartowner.com

Approach

5 Tech Startups in India You Can’t Ignore

Approach helps you to conveniently and accurately manage scientific data which enables you to grow your business strategically instead of hit and miss methods. Real estate is a growing sector and it needs such solutions where management can take accurate decision based on solid data. Approach lets you manage your inventory from any location. Cloud telephony lets you track all your campaigns and calls from anywhere. Automated SMS and Email Marketing allow you to connect with your audience and also offer in-depth analytics of click-rate and subscriber activity. You can now even calculate the returns on investment from all your media spending and campaigns.

Website: approach.one

GrabHouse

5 Tech Startups in India You Can’t Ignore

Established in 2013, Grabhouse is a no broker website that helps people find flats, flat mates and tenants quickly and without much effort. It is the first venture that is a 100 percent broker free house renting platform. It is able to achieve this by using powerful technologies that allow stakeholders to enhance their business. Their target group lies between 18-28 years; they are mostly students or young professionals who are looking for decent places to stay while saving a buck. Even on-ground assistance is provided after lead generation for a nominal fee.

Website: grabhouse.com

 

Also Read: Technology And Real Estate: Reaching New Heights

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Alibaba Now Enters Housing Rental Market In China

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Alibaba Now Enters Housing Rental Market In China

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, signed an agreement with Zhejiang province to use the company’s technology in order to build an online system for house rentals. As per the agreement, this system will include all the apartments that are put up for rent by an individual, government, developers as well as agents.

The Xinhua news agency reported that the Hangzhou City in Zhejiang province will be able to use this application to seek houses on rent. The website by Alibaba will help people at every stage of the procedure, right from searching for a home to apartment contract signing and later payments.    

Han Junqing, director of Hangzhou Real Estate Registration Center, said, “Information on apartments, user reviews, and credit ratings of owners, renters, and agents will all be shared.”

The system is called the Smart House Renting System and will be supported by Alibaba’s technology, data, and commerce credit system. The government sources have revealed that it can prevent fraudulent deals.

At present, the housing rental market in China is dominated by real estate agents, and fraud and disputes are not uncommon in all the major cities. There are big real estate players with their own apps however that information is not shared with others.

People seeking homes for rents often have to refer to different apps and compare their offers as these companies lack the Zhima Credit from Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial’s which is a much more mature credit system.

The government of China is prioritising the rental market’s development to rein in runaway home prices in the country’s big cities. The Central government chose Hangzhou among the first 12 cities to take bold reforms to boost the rental market.

Also Read: Technological Solutions That Are Helping The Commercial Real Estate Industry

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