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RISMEDIA, October 13, 2009—Forty-six percent of California Realtors® surveyed report they use some type of social networking website to stay on top of trends in their business, according to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) annual “Use of Technology Survey,” recently released. The most popular social networking site among Realtors surveyed was LinkedIn (34%), followed by YouTube (13%) and MySpace (12%). 

The results of the survey were presented by C.A.R.’s Executive Vice President Joel Singer at the Opening Session for Tech Tuesday. Tech Tuesday provides a full day of comprehensive technology training and empowers Realtors to use technology effectively and efficiently to meet clients’ demands and thrive in today’s techno-driven marketplace. 

Realtors also are enhancing their personal websites and the options made available to their clients. More than eight in 10 Realtors with a personal website include an e-mail “contact me” option (85%) or phone number/text feature (84%) on their websites. Seventy-eight percent include an IDX feed to display listings, while approximately half include features such as virtual tours (54%), links to individual listings (53%), and “Reasons to Use Me” (49%). 

“In a time when clients demand both information and expertise from their real estate professionals, Realtors have responded to these demands by utilizing and integrating technology into their real estate business and the real estate transaction,” said C.A.R. President James Liptak. “With the top technology challenges in recent years for Realtors stemming from either keeping up with or reducing the amount of e-mail, many have managed to tackle those challenges head-on by integrating the tools necessary to be able to respond quicker and while out in the field.” 

“At the same time, almost half of all Realtors surveyed said that their use of technology gives them a competitive edge over other agents (49%) or helps them respond quicker to clients (49%),” Liptak added.

From high-tech instruments such as handheld Internet devices used to respond to clients’ needs, to using social networking websites to communicate with their clients, Realtors are integrating enhanced communication into their business plans to better handle those challenges as well. 

Additional highlights from C.A.R.’s 2009 “Use of Technology Survey” include:
-55% of respondents said “I’m Always Connected” to the Internet for their real estate business.
-45% use a laptop or tablet computer in the field, up from 33% last year. Almost six in 10 of those who use their laptop in the field said the main reasons for doing so were to access e-mail (59%), or to conduct listing presentations (56%).
-39 percent own a handheld wireless Internet device for their real estate business, up from 22% a year ago. When asked how they use this device for their business, 90% said they use it for e-mail and 76% said they use it to respond more quickly to clients.
-In the last few years a growing number of Realtors turned to sites such as (72%, up from 68% in 2008), (46%, up from 32% in 2008), and Yahoo! Real Estate (55%, up from 26% in 2008), to get information about real estate.
-Seven in 10 Realtors (70%) promote their listings on search engines and classified websites. The top websites used to promote listings include: Yahoo! Real Estate, 51%; newspaper websites, 37%;, 29%; and, 26%.
-55 percent of Realtors’ business on average originated from the Internet in 2009, compared with 48% in 2008, and 24% five years ago. 

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