The real estate market has capitulated to modern technology. One of the most conservative sectors of business has dived headlong into the internet and, contrary to the forecasts of skeptics, plunges deeper into it every year.
Zillow, Realtor.com, FSBO.com, HomesUSA.com and other similar resources have brought a technological revolution in the understanding of the work of brokers and realtors in the US market – a recognized trendsetter in real estate. The achievements of businesspeople who made a timely assessment of the potential of working on the internet are amazing.
A typical example is Ben Caballero and his HomesUSA.com. With a platform tailored to work with developers, he sold 43,265 homes from 2004 to 2020, totaling $15.188 billion. In 2020 alone, he sold 6,438 homes worth a total of $2.46 billion. The result is all the more impressive because Caballero began his path to the American dream almost from scratch – having only $500 in capital.
According to a study by the National Association of Realtors in the United States, 95% of buyers used online tools to some extent when searching for a home in 2021. For 41% of buyers, searching for a home online was the first step. Interestingly, the average buyer looked at eight houses before making a decision, of which three were only viewed on the internet.
The advantages of working with real estate on the internet are obvious, especially in large markets where the workforce is actively moving from region to region and from city to city. Choosing real estate ‘with your feet’ even within the same neighborhood is a laborious and very time-consuming process. What can we say about the situation where you need to move to the other end of the country? Making a choice (at least a preliminary one) sitting comfortably behind a computer screen or, say, armed with a tablet is much more convenient.
Of course, the lack of the opportunity to ‘feel the goods’ has to be somehow compensated for. Digital housing presentations are becoming brighter and more interesting every year. Rich collections of professional photos, detailed video demonstrations and video tours from the first person, original commercials, 3D visualizations and even real promotional films with professional actors – each trying to attract the attention of the buyer in their own way.
In addition, thanks to modern technology, it has become easier for brokers to communicate with clients. Talking to a client in a video chat, holding a remote presentation for them and “warming them up” to the point where they remotely transfer the deposit is a normal workflow today.
But most importantly, the internet brings the process of “catching” a client to a fundamentally new level. The classic work of a broker is akin to sitting with a fishing rod on the shore. Throw out fishing lines with advertising bait and wait. You can sometimes twitch the line, trying to attract fish. But the broker-fisherman has no idea when and what kind of advertising bait the client is interested in. The internet is a completely different matter. Even the simplest and most familiar: “Are you interested? Leave your information and we will contact you” has already become a major step forward compared to passive advertising. But time does not stand still.
Today, products have already appeared on the market that allow the broker to track the client’s interest in a particular property’s advertising and communicate with them exactly when the client is viewing the presentation. Perhaps the most complete implementation of this idea is the Roi4Presenter service, launched in 2022. Its central ‘know-how’ is that when the client watches the presentation that has been created in it, the author of the presentation receives a message alerting them and can offer the client immediately (before their interest weakens) to answer all questions. Of course, communication can also begin at the initiative of the client, who can call the presenter by clicking on a special button. You must agree, this kind of opportunity is very different from waiting for a call to the number indicated on the ad.
First of all, such a tool should be of interest to brokers specializing in the sale of real estate at the construction stage. With such transactions, the client, by and large, has nothing to see with their own eyes, and the seller has only computer graphics and 3D presentations at their disposal.
In theory, brokers working with high-end real estate should also evaluate the possibilities of promoting their goods digitally using Roi4Presenter. First of all, this is advantageous because they have to look for clients all over the world. Here is how American business superstar Josh Altman (he sold $1.2 billion in real estate in 2021) assesses the situation: “The most important thing when you work in a market like Beverly Hills is global marketing. We must work not only with local buyers. According to my estimates, in 2021 we sold real estate to foreign clients for 250 million dollars.”
Obviously, the seller’s immediate reaction to the client’s interest in premium real estate is a serious advantage. There are many businesspeople among the buyers of luxury real estate, whose time is very expensive, and they will definitely appreciate the broker’s desire to save their time.
But, if you look at the issue more broadly, we can assume that tools like Roi4Presenter are the future in all segments of the real estate market. It is only a matter of time before brokers get used to using these resources in the same way as social networks and online ad sites. And, given the speed of new product integration into modern business, it will be sooner rather than later.