Technology Transforms Real Estate
Allan Hoffman, Monster Tech Jobs Expert
The Internet and mobile technologies are transforming the lives of real estate professionals by challenging long-held assumptions about the business. A new generation of agents is eager to find an advantage from their familiarity and comfort with MP3 players, online video and other staples of the digital age.
Today’s agents tote Treos and tablet PCs. They buy specialized software packages to build Web sites with video tours, audio clips and even video podcasts. And if they haven’t yet ventured into the world of multimedia, they are probably feeling the pressure from upstart agents who make every effort to connect with today’s homebuyers and sellers looking to the Web for a growing list of information, goods and services.
“Homeowners and consumers are more and more tech-savvy, and they’re looking for agents who are capable of using technology,” says Rusty Lindquist, vice president of agent products at a la mode, a provider of real estate software. "It’s causing the more traditional agents to change.
The Portable Digital Real Estate Office
Consider Charles and Jennifer Turner, Realtors with Prudential Northwest Properties. Their technological arsenal includes:
- Individual tablet PCs for displaying and retrieving documents and other computing tasks. “The client’s signature directly on the screen is as good as a signature on paper,” says Turner.
- A portable printer.
- Treo 650 smartphones that display listings and photos.
- Internet-based fax numbers.
- Proprietary real estate software.
“We don’t have to carry files with us or get stuck not having the right paperwork with us,” says Charles Turner. "We have a desktop, but the vast majority of our work is done on the tablets.