Drones, 5g, and VR dot future of real estate tech

Cyber security, 5G, drones and virtual reality are the technological developments expected to have the biggest impact on real estate in the next two years, according to a National Association of Realtors survey.

The survey also found that 36% percent of agents spend $50-$250 per month on technology, while 23% spend more than $500.

The figures released Tuesday stem from 3,104 online responses to a June survey of NAR members. About 1.4 million real estate agents – the vast majority of U.S. home sale professionals – are dues-paying members of the Chicago-headquartered NAR.

Thirty-one percent of agents surveyed believe 5G will have the biggest impact in the next 24 months. Meanwhile, 30% named virtual reality as the most likely to impact real estate on a day-to-day basis.

The survey also examined the current use of technology by agents, finding that the most valuable tools used in the past 12 months were eSignature, local MLS apps/technology, social media, lockboxes, and video conferencing.

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Indeed, agents are on social media more than Charli d’Amelio. Ninety percent of agents use Facebook in their day-to-day operations, followed by Instagram (52%), LinkedIn (48%), YouTube (24%) and Twitter (19%).

Less clear is whether real estate agents are big believers in social media or just feel they have to be on. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they use social media, because, well, “They are expected to have a presence on social media.”

That said, social media does top the list of where real estate agents generate leads, with 52% of respondents saying they get their tips from one of the aforementioned websites and apps. The agent’s customer relationship management system was the second best tech source for leads, responsible for 31%. The salesperson’s affiliated Multiple Listings Services site contributed to 28% of where the next deal may land.

The survey includes a statement from NAR President Bob Goldberg that, “The pandemic has caused more of our members to use social media and video to creatively market themselves and their properties.”

However, the majority of agents do not use video in marketing. Of those surveyed, 37% said they used it, while 29% said they don’t, with the remainder stating they don’t deploy video but they plan to do so going forward.

One intriguing question is whether real estate brokerages are providing agents with the technology they need. Basically every single brokerage today bills its value proposition as providing talented agents with the tools they need to maximize their productivity.

And, according to the survey, brokerages are largely delivering. Sixty-four percent of agents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that their brokerage “provides technology tools needed to be successful.” Only 13% disagreed or strongly disagreed with 23% stating they neither agree or disagree.

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