The “ fundamental shift ” to digital in real estate is not going away

The `` fundamental shift '' to digital in real estate is not going away

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The coronavirus pandemic has in many ways transformed the way real estate transactions are done, and the successful agents will be the ones who participate in an increasingly digital transaction, according to Inman Connect panelists on Wednesday.

In a session titled “The Future of Broker and Agent Data,” Errol Samuelson, Director of Industry Development at Zillow, and Chris Heller, Director of Real Estate at OJO Labs, spoke with the moderator Sam DeBord, CEO of the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) on agent priorities as they think about the future.

Heller advised participants to focus on the tools they choose to use and those that will help them form new relationships.

“The key point is to focus,” Heller said. “There are so many different options that we have as agents and brokers. So many different platforms, so many different technologies, so many choices of marketing platform, CRM, brokerage, model, all of that. Officers should put on blinders as best they can and concentrate. We want to make sure that we do things on a daily basis to connect and build new relationships, ”like building a database and making personal connections.

Companies like Zillow and OJO can help introduce agents to new customers to build relationships, but agents should also strive to deepen relationships with consumers, according to Heller.

“[Consumers] more and more offers are presented on the means to be able to buy, sell, search, do whatever they want in real estate, ”he said. “It is the agent’s responsibility to ensure that they have a very deep relationship with this consumer so that they are part of this decision-making process, so that they are part of the future plans of these consumers.”

He added, “Whatever shiny object you are going to use and implement in your business, you want to make sure that you are, on a daily basis, aligning yourself with a business, platform, or product that is going to suit you. help meet more consumers and then have the tools – and most of them are tech-driven – to be able to deepen the relationships you have with those consumers. “

Samuelson said he believes most successful agents already have basic technology tools they use, such as a CRM, but he emphasized two areas that agents need to focus on.

“The first is this notion that post-pandemic things won’t go back to the way they were,” Samuelson said. “Consumers want things to happen virtually and remotely.”

For example, he said remote online notarization (RON) and consumers wanting a 3D tour of a home will not go away. Before the pandemic, less than half of consumers said they thought 3D home visits gave them a better impression of their home than regular photos, but now two-thirds of consumers say they want a 3D visit, did he declare.

“Our 3D tours have actually changed the way the market works,” Samuelson said. “We found that, on average, homes with 3D tours sell 10% faster than homes that only have photos.”

Agents should seriously think about what they can scan, according to Samuelson.

“There is, I think, a fundamental shift in the way consumers interact with real estate and it’s not going to go away,” he said.

“The second thing I would do would be think about how to remove the friction,” he continued. “There is still a lot of friction in real estate …

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