Older models of real estate don’t work as well in the digital age, and to stay relevant, companies need to leverage the tools and advantages technology affords. Otherwise, they risk becoming obsolete and losing business. By employing an effective technology strategy, real estate agents and apartment locators can better serve their well-informed clients and increase their future business.

If you find yourself asking, “How can I stay relevant and knowledgeable in real estate?” The answer these days usually involves digital resources. Check out our list of emerging trends in real estate technology below.

RELATED: How to successfully change careers in real estate

Why Has the Real Estate Industry Been Slow to Adopt Technology?

During the early years of its 114 year history, the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, now named the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), established the framework for the real estate industry. For decades, before technology arrived, only brokers had access to the information their clients needed, including multiple listing services (MLS). This became the standard way of doing business, a more hands-on approach where the real estate agent navigated the entire transaction and personally guided the client to their next home.

For a long time, the industry remained stuck in its old ways, unwilling to keep pace with the world advancing around it. However, a lot has changed since the NAR’s founding in 1908, and eventually the rise of Silicon Valley’s tech giants in the early 2000s jolted real estate into action, resulting in new companies like Zillow and Redfin.

Changes in the Real Estate Industry

Technology gives the homebuyer expanded access to information, meaning more people can look for and buy homes using their computers or mobile devices. According to the JLL data from 2021, property technology has grown by 300% with close to 8,000 companies joining the industry.

With that explosion of tech resources in mind, we broke down the most commonly used real estate tools into categories that every industry professional should take advantage of in order to increase their business’s success.   

Emerging Trends in Reals Estate

A Business (in any industry) Can’t Survive without a Great Website

In order to stand out among the 400 million active websites on the internet, making a great website is essential. According to the 2021 NAR member profile, 70% of brokers/broker associates and 69% of sales agents have websites. In NAR’s profile of homebuyers, they found 95% use online tools, with 41% of recent buyers starting their search by looking for properties online.

SiteBuilderReport.com found the best real estate websites come across as professional, helpful, and educational. They give homebuyers the ability to search for listings without requiring their email address, or they feature the best photographs for buyers who want to tour properties online. 

Online Marketing Tools

To build a successful online presence, real estate businesses need to create a robust, multipronged marketing strategy that targets potential clients’ preferred online platforms. Producing a mix of short- and long-form content for a wide variety of online platforms, such as social media, blogs, and retargeting ads, will get your company’s name and brand out there. Consumers enjoy social media and blogs with consistent branding and engaging, authentic content as well as strong thought leadership. 

Pro Tip: You can improve the reach of your online content with search engine optimization (SEO). Read up on SEO best practices and implement at least a few core strategies. 

Other New Digital Tools Available

Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, such as the one developed by AptAmigo, gives agents the ability to track and quickly respond to leads, then manage clients throughout the sales process. 

Even though listing websites give users access to content found in the MLS, the MLS’ comprehensive database stores more information in one place than anyone else’s. According to the NAR, paying for MLS access, which still contains the largest database of verified and updated home listing information, is the best way for smaller brokerages to compete with larger ones. However, only agents can access those listings, so consumers will need to rely on the many public listing websites out there.

Reviews Websites

According to the 2022 Local Consumer Review Survey from brightlocal.com, 77% of consumers frequently read business reviews and 81% specifically go to Google for their information. When a real estate agent creates a business page on Google, it allows clients to review them. Oftentimes, buyers look for both high ratings and responses from businesses before deciding whether or not to contact a business.

Virtual Tours

Although video tours predate the pandemic, they became more popular when Covid prevented homebuyers from physically touring homes. Both drone technology and Google street views make it possible for potential homebuyers to visit backyards and neighborhoods without stepping away from their screen.

What Is a Real Estate Startup?

A real estate startup (also known as proptech) is a business that uses technology to solve real estate problems. This technology will streamline the process of, for instance, searching for properties, applying for mortgages, and signing documents to make buying real estate easier. But, this technology can also make home buying less personal as automation enables clients to become more self-reliant. In response, the entire industry is adapting its practices, requiring agents to integrate more technology into their business and clients to use online resources more often.

Why AptAmigo?

Until AptAmigo came onto the scene, traditional real estate models served buyers and sellers, not renters. Our founders’ poor experiences as apartment hunters inspired them to start AptAmigo. But in the form of a startup that would help bring the industry into the 21st century in a positive and helpful way (no fake listings or scams allowed). As a tech-centered real estate company, AptAmigo built a new model, carving out its own niche in the market that others would soon follow. 

Instead of buy-sell real estate, we focus on apartments (and sometimes condos) for no cost to the client. Our proprietary CRM implements new ways to automate tasks for efficiency, use specific search criteria to best serve a client’s individual needs, and track real estate trends each year. Accusations that real estate is a stale, outdated industry, don’t apply here. Our business model creates a whole new way to apartment hunt, tailored to the demands of the digital age.

Explore Careers at AptAmigo

If you want to take your real estate career to the next level, consider joining AptAmigo. At AptAmigo, you could make a six-figure income as an apartment locator and join a team that is supportive of your success. If you’re ready to explore your next opportunity, apply today!

AptAmigo is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and does not discriminate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, in connection with any aspect of employment at AptAmigo.

About the Author
Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer Schmidt is a freelance writer in Vancouver, Washington, who specializes in real estate topics.