Whether you have been in the business for a month or for several decades, you have probably learned that it is ever-evolving.
NAR polled Realtors® across the country to see what piece of technology has been most utilized in their businesses over the past year for their 2022 Technology Survey. Overwhelmingly, agents chose e-signatures (79%) , followed by lockboxes (67%) and local MLS apps and technology (also 67%) as the most impactful on their business. Looking ahead as more technology develops, Realtors® expect that cybersecurity will have the most impact on their business at 31%, followed by 5G at 30% and drones at 27%.
“The best technology for agents is a tricky thing to answer. The MLS is the only piece of technology that every agent uses every day and is by far the most important, even though it came in tied for second in the survey. Like so many crucial things, it sometimes gets taken for granted, even though it is critical in providing buyers and sellers access to the most efficient marketplace for real estate. Any member of PAR knows that a deep library of well-thought-out standard forms is crucial, as is the ability to e-sign them,” said PAR Treasurer Bill Lublin. He is also CEO of SMMI, a social media education provider and was the lead author two rewrites of e-Pro, NAR’s technology certification.
With cybersecurity on many agents’ minds as they look to the future, 61% reported they currently use antivirus software, 36% use a firewall, 32% use a password manager and 31% use multi-factor authorization. More than half of respondents said that their brokerage needs to provide the technology to help make them successful in the business. The highest-rated brokerage tools that can be offered are e-signatures, lockboxes and showing technology and transaction management.
“Cybersecurity is more of a concern than a technology. We all have to be very vigilant because most hackers rely on social engineering, getting us to react to social cues or relying on old habits, to make their efforts effective. Regarding future technology, I think AI and predictive analytics have tremendous potential to enable agents to target their marketing, improve relationships with past clients and potential clients and improve their businesses over time,” added Lublin.
Most Realtors® (54%) are spending $250 or less on technology per month, while 49% are spending $250 or less per month on lead generation, based on the past year. Lead generation most commonly is coming from social media (46%), followed by the local MLS (30%) and customer relationship management (26%). Nearly 90% of Realtors® use Facebook for business, followed by 59% who use Instagram and 53% who use LinkedIn. Sixty-two percent said they use social media to promote listings, while 59% said they believe it is expected they have social media and 57% use it to create and maintain relationships with clients.