Has Technology Reduced the Need for Brokerage Services?February 25, 2015 / Buying, Real Estate Trends, Selling
The real estate industry has seen some exciting advancements in technology over the past five years, especially in mobile applications. Housing data has become more sophisticated while at the same time becoming increasingly easier to access and digest. This has resulted in many real estate purchasers and sellers taking on a lot of the legwork themselves before engaging the aid of a brokerage.
Google Maps and other map based software have allowed consumers to get a more realistic depiction of a neighborhood without ever having to physically occupy the space. It has enabled customers to broaden their home searches to areas that were previously too far away to consider. The aerial views allow the user to see the location in relation to shops, schools and other attractions while the street level view allows the user a first person perspective of the neighborhood streets.
Specific housing data has never been easier to access with tools such as Zillow.com and Realtor.com providing the most up to date housing data. With the addition of more refined mobile applications, the customer has constant access to this information.
Technology has benefitted brokers as well by allowing them more means of communicating their services and listing information. Listing information can not only be conveyed through the broker’s company website but also through real estate blogs, Zillow.com, etc. to reach a much broader audience. Being able to market our listings in areas such as Florida and Canada is critical for us given how the New England Seacoast attracts buyers from a variety of locations.
Accessible, in-depth data has resulted in more knowledgeable customers, who often come to a broker after they have narrowed their search down to a few houses or even one house in particular. The customers are relying less on the broker in the searching process. This has been an unfortunate side effect of the technological advancements in this sector. Brokers have an acute understanding of the surrounding area that can be an extremely important tool to utilize. The broker’s local knowledge can become all that more critical when the buyers are not completely familiar with the area they are looking to purchase a home in. Google maps may give you a visual representation of a certain area, but it only tells part of the story. A home’s ultimate appeal is often dictated by the neighborhood’s character, traffic and other variables that are known and better understood by a local broker or sales agent.
Ironically, engaging a broker from the start can often save more time. The broker can help identify and fine tune home searches that more accurately fit the buyer’s criteria. This can prevent wasting time searching in undesirable areas. It is also essential to have a qualified broker to lean on when you need answers to important questions about the home itself.
Brokers are as invaluable as ever and are ready to help in any way possible. Let us take that load off of your shoulders and get to work!