Over the years, REALTORS®have spent countless time and millions of dollars advancing real estate technologies and keeping up with the latest high-tech tools. The 2013-2014 Realtor® TechnologySurvey, conducted by NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology, found that REALTORS® continued to invest in new technology for their businesses in 2013 and spent more than they did in previous years.
According to the survey, brokers spent a median of $1,410 on technology for their real estate business, up from $1,122 in 2012, while agents spent a median of $848, up slightly from $822 in 2012. Technology that allows work to be done while on the move appears to generate the most interest among REALTORS®, who are highly mobile professionals. Smartphones and tablets – iPads, Androids, Surfaces or Kindles – are the tools REALTORS® are most intent on purchasing; 29 percent of participants said they plan on procuring one of these tools in 2014.
“Technology has transformed the way REALTORS® do business, but in real estate, being high tech can never come at the expense of being highly accessible,” said Mark Lesswing, NAR senior vice president and chief technology officer. “Advances in Smartphones and social media have made it easier for REALTORS® to stay in touch with their customers, but maintaining a strong, personal relationship with clients is still at the heart of the business.”
According to the survey, the vast majority of REALTORS®, 94 percent, use mobile devices to communicate with clients. In fact, REALTORS® spend a median 44 percent of their time corresponding with or doing work for their clients on their mobile devices. Use of iPhones continues to increase among REALTORS®; 52 percent of respondents now use the devices. Thirty-six percent of respondents use Androids and 3 percent use Blackberry devices.
“REALTORS® tend to find the most value in technologies that allow them to conduct business quickly, conveniently and on the go,” said Lesswing. “Embracing new technologies and online resources is a vital part of how REALTORS®identify, market, and sell homes and guarantees that they are meeting their clients’ needs.”
The use of social media to generate leads and stay in contact with clients has also increased since 2012; 91 percent of surveyed REALTORS® use social media. Seventy percent of said that they use social media to build relationships and network, while 64 percent said they use the platforms for marketing and generating leads.
The most frequently used social platforms were Facebook, 77 percent of respondents said they use the site regularly, followed by LinkedIn, used by 75 percent.
The 2013-2014 Realtor® Technology Survey was based on data collected in January 2014. The survey was e-mailed the survey to NAR members, including Realtor® brokers, managers and agents, and generated 1,280 usable responses. The survey is available for free at crt.blogs.realtor.org.
For more information, visit www.realtor.org.