Technological advancements have had a significant impact on the real estate industry for many years. Particularly in 2020, technology provided tools that helped keep real estate deals moving forward amid the social distancing requirements of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are some of the ways that technology keeps the wheels of deals in motion.
When shelter-in-place orders and voluntary quarantining keep agents from conducting home showings in person, virtual tours can fill the gap. Enabling prospective buyers to view properties remotely, virtual tours can be an effective, efficient way for clients to learn about properties and for agents to market listings. Today’s virtual capabilities include popular 3D tours where viewers can experience actual rooms and layouts. Virtual tours provide valuable listing and web content, and recorded tours can be shared on social media for added exposure. In addition to marketing homes, virtual tours can be useful for documentation purposes.
In addition to exterior-only and desktop appraisals, virtual appraisals can help home buyers complete the mortgage loan process. While desktop appraisals often include web property descriptions, photos, layouts, and comparables to produce an appraised value, virtual tours can add another dimension to the process. The listing agent can provide virtual or 3D walk-throughs, or live stream tours that can accommodate questions and answers.
When meeting in person to sign and execute documents isn’t possible or practical, digital paperwork can help get deals done. Today, offers, contracts, addendums, and mortgage closing paperwork can often be handled digitally with electronic signatures and even electronic notarization in some cases. In addition to being efficient, digital paperwork can be easier to track and archive than traditional documentation.
Online Warranty Network (OWN)
OWN is a convenient online portal that enables real estate professionals to access HSA Home Warranty account information anytime, 24/7. Created for busy agents to help them save time and be even more productive, OWN eliminates the need for phone calls and emails by helping agents:
- Enter new home warranty applications
- Add or edit closing information
- Review and update client information
- Change plans
- Place service requests
- Email confirmations and escrow information
- View listing summaries
- Pay with credit card or ACH
- Extend expiring orders
Agents can create an OWN account at own.onlinehsa.com, or contact their HSA representative.
Even with the benefit of technology, real estate remains a relationship-driven business. When you take advantage of technology with your clients, remember the importance of staying in contact and retaining a personal connection. While technology can help you and your clients save time and effort, it’s your expertise and advice that truly makes successful deals.