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Real Estate Returning to Normal with New Tech

May 27 2020

futureAs we roll into June, much of the country is opening back up from the COVID-19 pandemic and the real estate industry is trying to figure out the future. I believe the best plan might be a short-term plan consisting of a few months and a long-term plan that will start when we return to some kind of normal. But either way, the real estate industry will change forever.

Most of us have lived through events that have changed our lives, like post-9/11 and flying, to just name one major change. I do believe COVID-19 will change the real estate industry for a long time or even forever. One silver lining might be that all of us, whether real estate professionals or the public, will discover new ways not only to work, but to live—and please know that many of the ways we've changed, I don't like...but no choice!

Many of you have seen on social media about The Jetsons, remember them? More than likely right now you are humming the theme song. The program aired in 1962 and 1963, and was created to reflect life in 2062, a century into the future. If you are too young to remember the show, it's worthwhile to watch a few episodes to understand where I am going with this, as it's still being streamed.

So back to the post on social media. The cartoon with the Jetsons has four blocks showing different ways life could be in the future. Telemedicine was one, Elroy saying ahhh, Jane his wife sitting using a wireless vacuum cleaner, and daughter Judy doing exercises by teleconference, and, of course, Mr. Spacely firing George over video call. Didn't take until 2062 (back to the point of my article)!

Consumer habits have been changing for years, but thanks to the pandemic, we suddenly have changed to a new era in life. Over 300 million people used Zoom during the pandemic, and virtual tour companies have been coming on board almost daily and discussing a 300% increase in engagement. Not long ago, we used 2D pictures; now 3D and virtual tours dominate the market as more and more people are buying homes without setting foot into the home—it's here to stay!

Many of the social networking sites, telecom companies and industry tech giants are introducing more ways to use the technology that real estate consumers are embracing. I have heard many agents say how they have managed to gain inventory and move inventory of property in the past few months without meeting the buyers or sellers or stepping into the home.

It is not going back to just smartphones and email—and before that, flip phones and PDAs or legal pads. When I started my career in 2000, I found a survey of consumers involved in real estate transactions and one of the questions was, "Do you feel you have more technology or less technology than a real estate agent?" The answer: 70% believed they were more advanced with technology than real estate agents.

Now is the time to brush up on the latest technology, embrace and prepare yourself for the changes we face today! Let RE Technology be your resource for keeping you ahead of the technology curve!

Dick Betts is a REALTOR® in The Villages, Fla. and a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at