Technology and Internet have led to a paradigm shift in all the industries including Real Estate. In our own experience as Realtors, we have seen how our sector has evolved with these changing trends and how the attitude of the customers has also changed. From a task as simple as paying a telephone bill to a task as complex like buying/selling a house; Internet empowers the customer with efficient solutions and supportive information that helps them in moving one step ahead towards making the final decision. As per the researches done, today more than 90% of the customers initiate their home buying process through their mobile devices. The good part is that though technology increases the knowledge of the customer when it comes to Real Estate, but it cannot replace the human touch and that is why every customer will need a Real Estate Consultant to help them make their final decision. Internet has brought in a shift in the role of Real Estate Consultant from being the keeper of the listing to a guide and a negotiator for their client.
Real Estate has evolved from being a traditional local brokers business. Gone are those days when the customers used to completely rely only on Real Estate brokers and agents for all the information required for their home search. The property portals now provide sufficient and the right amount of information in just a few clicks so that customer knows what he/she want and what fits in their budget. The role of an agent has now shifted from the first point of contact to a Consultant whom the buyer finally contacts for an expert opinion, guidance on financial planning and a quicker closure. Even with so much of information and facilities available online, in the end you would still need a Property Consultant to guide you through the process as the information available online is not sufficient to crack a transaction. You would always need proper expertise from the time of the booking till the last piece of documentation is complete.
Internet is now the first point of contact when it comes to research and it has a huge influence on the final decision. With so many opportunities available sitting in your comfort zone and without doing the leg work, online Real Estate helps the buyer to search for properties in a city where he/she doesn’t reside. Online resources provide us with all the requisite information to do their preliminary home research without actually visiting the project site. With maximum amount of information provided about a particular property with reference to the property details, prices, locations, 360 degree view, nearby amenities, contact details of the Consultant, price and feature comparisons with other similar projects etc; the trend of researching online is the technique followed by most of the home buyers now days. Also, seeing the success rates and the increased number of individuals using these platforms, the online portals have started incorporating processes to verify the listings and avoid any kind incorrect listing on their portal. The Real Estate consultants are trying to hold the pulse of the industry and are launching user-friendly websites and mobile applications to ensure a strong web presence.
Moreover the age bracket of people buying or investing in property has drastically gone down and a lot of young people who are tech savvy prefer to go online before anything that they purchase, be it a phone or the most expensive investment of their lifetime i.e. their home. They look for listings through mobile apps and websites for searching the house they want and then consult a Real Estate professional who could show them the properties they have shortlisted. With Internet having so much influence on the final buying decision of today’s consumer, most of the retailers like Snapdeal, Amazon, Flipkart etc are working heavily on their app based shopping platforms as they are getting majority of traffic from the mobiles. Moreover, a lot of “angel investors” have been investing in these start –ups to capitalize on this booming market.
Online presence also enables the delivery of more consistent and effective customer services. Through the availability of information online, not only will the end-user have a faster access and retrieval of the information but the customers can also look up to availability of timely, accurate and transparent information; especially in the cases that involves compliance and regulatory information. Our sector demands transparency in processes and the information that is shared with the buyers and we feel that having all the information online will introduce structure and transparency to our sector. The shift from the paper records to digital records management and maintenance is capable of providing more authentic and reliable information.
Today’s consumer goes online for the maximum portion of information that they are looking for to support their buying decision. They love to watch the videos, virtual home tours and read reviews about specific brands and their offerings and then consult a Real Estate professional to bridge this gap between their Internet research and actual home visit. There was a time when there was no Internet and the Brokers and the Real Estate agents only had the control over all the information related to buying and selling of the properties. Internet has led to reinvention of the role of a Broker Owner/ Agent and they now have to add more value to what a buyer has already seen online. Every passing day will add more and more information and facilities online, but at the same time every buyer would need a professional Real Estate Consultant to guide that buyer in making the best use of one of the costliest investment that he/ she is going to make.
Today’s customer need a Real Estate Consultant, who can provide a perfect blend of FIT (Fulfillment, Inventory and Technology) in their hunt to buy their dream homes with least hassles. With customers using their mobile phones to search the properties and other Real Estate information, the concept of property portals tying up with Real Estate Consultants to offer last mile services and a one-stop shop to all the customers is the need of the hour. The digital world has connected the property owners, property buyers and investors and companies are making huge financial investments in tools and technologies to support their associates with their online marketing efforts. We would like to conclude by the saying, “To affect the real world, you have to be in the real world” and with the kind of field experience that Real Estate Consultants have, every home buyer/seller will still prefer consulting them to finalize and purchase their dream home.