Benefits Of Having A Digital Savvy Realtor Today [Video]
COVID-19 has changed the way we live. Most states have issued shelter in place orders to keep residents safe, only allowing essential businesses (including realtors) to continue operating because the need for people to buy and sell homes does not go away, even in the midst of a pandemic, families after all need a place to shelter if we are to ‘shelter in place’. As a result, there is a high amount of responsibility for real estate professionals to help fulfill client’s real estate needs, some of which could be urgent, while also keeping them safe.
Real estate agents who once relied on face to face meetings to help the public navigate the housing market are now using the internet to perform virtual real estate services.
This growing trend is necessary to ensure realtors and their clients are safe during each step of the home buying and home selling process, while also helping to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing.
Here are 5 reasons why having a digital savvy realtor using virtual real estate technologies benefits today’s demanding clients.
1) Better Access to a Licensed Realtor
Not all real estate agents are realtors and as your registered California realtor I have a fiduciary duty to care for all my clients best interest (not my own). I take this oath very seriously and that’s why I am also a Professional Fiduciary Association of California affiliate member (PFAC Silicon Valley). Buying real estate can seem complicated and intimidating, especially for first time home buyers and home sellers.
People need access to an experienced, trustworthy realtor who can answer their questions and help them find the right solutions. Virtual meetings through platforms such as Zoom or FaceTime allow home buyers and home sellers to meet with their realtor from the comfort of their own homes. Agents can get to know their clients and their needs, and clients have the opportunity to ask the agent questions to ensure the agent is the right fit. Since virtual meetings eliminate travel time for both parties and can be conducted anywhere with a good internet connection, agents will have an easier time scheduling meetings and will be able to work faster and more efficiently.
2) Online Research on Homes and the Housing Market
Buyers looking to buy a home need to do a lot of research before a decision can be made on the right one. Since real estate agents are limited to using the internet to facilitate as much two-way communication as possible, the best realtors provide help to their clients through screen sharing and video calling to help them find their dream home. They can also email their property findings to their clients for review to discuss their preferences rather than send random properties in a specific city. Try my personal search here: https://lynnemacfarlane.realscout.com/agent/search
When it comes to selling a home, knowing the right time to place the home on the market is a vital part of making a quick home sale. Providing in-depth research and analysis on the housing market for clients and reviewing findings through online chat or a video call, I also quickly keep clients up to date on market changes.
3) Safer and More Convenient Open Houses and Showings
COVID-19 turned traditional open houses and showings into a health risk. Realtors now use mobile devices and social media platforms to create virtual open houses and virtual showings for home buyers and sellers. Buyers can view properties from the comfort of their own homes without compromising their safety, and sellers are still able to show their homes without having to worry about potential illnesses being brought into their homes. Leveraging my master’s degree in digital media and marketing from the University of Washington I have been creating video open houses and providing private tours utilizing multiple technologies capturing immersive 360° content for Oculus or Google Cardboard Virtual open houses and showings allow both groups to conduct business in a safe, healthy and productive manner.
Virtual open house and virtual showings also provide convenience. Time does not need to be set aside for travel, and virtual tours can be viewed from anywhere. Most social media outlets that allow agents to create live virtual tours simultaneously record and save them. Agents can email recorded open houses and showings to their clients to view later and reference when they are making decisions.
As we slowly enter Post-COVID19/ Shelter-in-Place we are having to practice CDC guidelines and schedule all private tours and have all visitors and vendors visiting the property to sign a PEAD-V form. More on Open House procedures here.
4) Improved Data Security and Speed
Paper documents are tradition in real estate, especially when it comes to closing. However, agents are now going fully paperless to take full advantage of the improved data protection and privacy. Agents store paperless documents in cloud-based systems which can have bank-level data security to protect the valuable, private information enclosed. I use DocuSign and it is pretty easy to use, but any electronic signature will do.
Paperless documents also mean agents and their clients can use the speed of the internet to send vital documents instead of relying on snail mail or having to coordinate an in-person meeting to sign or deliver paperwork. This is vital to ensuring a speedy and efficient closing process. Paperless documents can be sent and filled out quickly, and confirmation can arrive within seconds.
5) Promotes Health and Safety
Now more than ever, essential businesses need to follow proper health and safety procedures to protect the public. Realtors who offer their clients digital real estate services eliminate the chances of virus exposure through the practice of social distancing. For instances where clients may want to meet with their realtor in-person, it’s recommended to follow the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing by remaining at least six feet apart while interacting. Virtual realtors understand no one can ever be too safe during these times. I take my clients health and my own health seriously; I have two science bachelors degrees, one in Biology from University of Colorado, Boulder and I graduated from a B.S. from University of Southern California as a Registered Dental Hygienist (both general and periodontal practices in Beverly Hills, Menlo Park and Palo Alto, CA).
Now more than ever, it is vital to choose a realtor with the right digital tools to succeed in today’s market and who can keep up with any other unforeseen changes.
Learn about our virtual home buying program today.
Lynne Watanabe MacFarlane, MCDM
(831) 346-2743 text/voice anytime