The spring housing market is just around the corner. While uncertainties related to the ongoing pandemic and inventory levels remain, there are some things agents can do to compete in today’s digital real estate marketplace.
1. Keep it simple.
Life is stressful enough, particularly given the events of the past year. Today’s home buyers and sellers want simplicity, transparency, and control. Agents who can deliver on these expectations set themselves apart from the competition.
At realtor.com®, we’re bringing agents, brokers, lenders, and title providers into an open marketplace that helps real estate professionals streamline the home buying and selling process for their clients with digital solutions and applied technologies.
Agents in our ReadyConnect Concierge℠ network use an app that helps them collaborate and communicate with their clients throughout the process. People can share home listings and schedule tours directly with their assigned agents, and agents get insights into their clients’ needs and wants. They can also collaborate with lenders to help their clients secure the financing they need.
As part of our new relationship with Qualia, agents in the network will soon be able to open title orders directly through their realtor.com® network app and work with title providers who use Qualia’s digital closing platform to manage and review documents, get automatic status updates, and track progress toward closing. That integration is coming later this year.
2. Think outside the (financing) box.
Saving for a down payment and applying for a mortgage are some of the most difficult tasks in the buying process, especially among younger Millennials and members of Gen Z. Agents who can offer these buyers alternative financing options can help build a bridge to homeownership for their clients.
Seller’s Marketplace on realtor.com® includes providers who offer financing solutions for buyers and sellers who are working with agents, helping those agents deliver more value to their clients.
For example, EasyKnock allows homeowners to sell their homes, then rent it back to stay, so they can leverage the proceeds to plan for their next move. And Knock’s Home Swap™ makes it easy for people to buy a new home before selling their old one, skipping the hassles of living through repairs and showings, paying only one mortgage at a time, and having home prep covered upfront so their old house sells for the highest possible price.
3. Tell a story.
97% of today’s home buyers search online, according to the 2020 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. While quality listing photos are still very important, listing agents who include videos, 3D content, and livestream open house options can help attract and engage more buyers for their clients.
Realtor.com® uses AI to group listing photos by room, and recommend a “hero image” as the first photo buyers see in online search—listing agents can always override this recommendation.
With the addition of 3D virtual tour vendors Asteroom and CloudPano to our existing partnership with Matterport, agents now have three ways to add virtual experiences to their realtor.com® listings, which we know helps lead to more views and better engagement.
Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 20 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps is a trusted source for the information, tools and professional expertise that help people move confidently through every step of their home journey.