All real estate professionals, from an investor looking for foreclosed houses to an agent trying to sell to a family of four, need to have access to the best possible technology in order to succeed. Experience levels don't matter either, learning the tools and resources of the trade will be a big, cost-efficient boost that everyone wants.
However, there is a lot out there, and it is understandable if some of it is overwhelming. But, taking the plunge and figuring out which ones are worth the time can really pay off in the end, especially for the client. Many devices, websites and other tools can make the process go smoother, so everybody wins.
In order to get started, here are four pieces of technology that every real estate professional should have in their arsenal:
1. Mobile devices
This is perhaps the biggest - and most important - piece of technology out there. Nearly every consumer is on smartphone or tablet, and many more even browse real estate listings and begin the homebuying process from here. According to Placester, mobile devices are also becoming commonplace among real estate agents. This is the case because smartphones and tablets allow the user to access information from anywhere, such as email, the Internet and maps. On a similar note, agents with a website should make sure it is mobile-friendly, so clients can access it on the go.
2. The cloud
The cloud is another major technology trend in 2014, and it has widespread uses for the real estate industry, Placester noted. The cloud is an Internet-based storage system that allows users to upload data and retrieve it from any device, at any time. For example, an agent could upload listings to the cloud from his or her smartphone, and then go back at the office and make additional changes from the desktop computer. Websites such as Dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive are all fantastic options for the real estate industry.
Using the cloud can benefit from having access to an immense collection of mortgage records, property data and other relevant information. Thanks to Courthouse Retrieval System, all of that information is readily available.
In order to take advantage of the cloud and truly go paperless, real estate professionals need a scanner. According to RIS Media, this piece of technology can allow users to digitize their filing cabinet and desktop, while simultaneously eliminating a paper trail. With a scanner or a similar app, such as Genius Scan, professionals can turn any document into an image, and upload it to the cloud to be accessed later. This eliminates the need for printers and ink, saving a lot of money.
4. Mobile applications
RIS Media explained that there are numerous mobile apps out there for the real estate industry. These are so valuable because they are cheap, and new ones are created on a daily basis. For example, apps can help streamline open houses by removing sign-in sheets, turn an online listing interactive or make a smartphone into a professional camera.