Today Lipman and other Realtors across the region travel lighter. He just takes his iPad to meetings with clients, who appreciate the convenience of seeing every home for sale or being able to place their home in the Multiple Listing Service with a touch of the screen.
“We are as wired as we know how to be and want to stay on the cutting edge,” said Lipman, whose company, The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty, has its own iPad and smart phone app. When home shoppers click on a property, they can see information about surrounding schools, restaurants, grocery stores, government buildings, gas stations, child care, workout facilities and more. The app also allows shoppers to see properties around the world.
The company’s yard signs display QR codes. With a swipe of a smart phone, buyers are linked to information about the house on the Internet and can text an agent, he said.
|Selling homes through Google Earth? (Photo credit: matteopenzo)|
“The days of carrying around a Rolodex and a book are over,” said Village Real Estate Services Realtor Brian Copeland.
Village recently was named the nation’s most innovative brokerage by Inman News, a provider of information to the industry, in part because of its user-friendly and information-rich website.
Younger consumers expect their Realtor to use technology to speed up the home buying and selling process, said Copeland.
“Gen Y and gen X are very tech savvy. They’ve been using it since grade school,” he said.
Technology provides more than convenience. It also ensures that consumers have up-to-date information. Some buyers, for example, might believe the market hasn’t recovered from the recession and homes are available at bargain prices everywhere.
With a touch of his smart phone’s screen, Copeland dispels that notion. Today’s average price in the 37212 zip code, which includes the hot Hillsboro Village area, is $467,000, about 7 percent higher than at the market’s pre-recession peak in 2007. In some neighborhoods, prices have been climbing for a couple of years.
“The overall stereotype is it’s a buyer’s market, but in 37212, prices reached their all-time height in 2011,” said Copeland.
“It’s accurate data, like an X-ray,” he said.
Sharing documents electronically is also greener than printing them and driving them across town for someone’s signature. Environmental responsibility is a major initiative at Village.
“It helps lower our carbon footprint” and vehicle emissions, said Copeland.
Paperless transactions and digital signatures allow deals to take place even when the buyers or sellers are out of the country, said Fridrich & Clark Realtor Lucy Smith.
“I had clients who were on vacation in the Caribbean and were able to sign on their laptop,” she said.
Buyers and sellers aren’t the only ones whom remote transactions can benefit.
“I can’t remember the last time I sat in front of someone and had them sign something,” said Realtor Mike Nichols with Zeitlin & Co. Realtors. “Other than being somewhere to open a door, I can be anywhere in the world and do real estate in Nashville.”
The company offers its own app for Apple and Android devices. It includes a lasso feature that allows shoppers to draw a circle around a neighborhood on their touch screen’s map and get information about every house for sale. It also displays a Google Street View video of the neighborhood and shows the location of nearby restaurants, banks, places of worship and shops.
Bob Parks Realty offers its own app, which runs on iPads, iPhones and Android mobile devices. If home shoppers are driving through a neighborhood, the app uses their GPS to see where they are and show nearby homes for sale along with their price, square footage and number of bedrooms.
Clients expect the convenience of being able to use the latest technology, says Realtor Wendy Monday with Bob Parks Realty’s Green Hills office.
“The first time you experience a piece of technology that makes something so easy, you think it should always be that way,” she said.
Buyers in the Nashville region seem to be especially comfortable with using technology to buy and sell houses, said Christie Bradley, a Realtor with the Wilson Group.
“These days, they are so tech savvy,” said Bradley. “Buyers and sellers want what works with their lifestyle.”
Taken from: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120826/LIFE04/308260018/Tech-savvy-buyers-sellers-stay-cutting-edge-real-estate-market