Realtors have jumped on the technology bandwagon in
increasing numbers, and those who are proficient in
using technology in real estate transactions have an
advantage when it comes to dealing with tech-savvy
A recent survey
tracking the current trends in technology use revealed
that on average, nearly one in four real estate
transactions is generated from the Internet. The survey,
released at Tech Tuesday at the California Realtor Expo
in Santa Clara last week, tracked behavioral changes in
Realtors' use of technology as well as adoption rates of
hardware, software and Internet connectivity.
continue to be more technologically savvy than their
counterparts in years past and have integrated numerous
technological tools into their day-to-day businesses as
well as in real estate transactions," said California
Association of Realtors President Ann Pettijohn. "Use of
the Internet and Internet marketing has increased, as
Realtors respond to meeting the needs of today's
tech-savvy home buyers and sellers."
Valley Association of Realtors, a 3,000-member trade
association representing Realtors from Menlo Park to Los
Gatos, technology is a key focus. In addition to
providing online forms to Realtors through the
association's subsidiary, Advanced Real Estate
Solutions, the group has added a growing number of tech
firms to its roster of affiliate members, which provide
services to the real estate industry. The association
also has an active technology committee chaired by Zita
Macy, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker.
of the technology committee is to help our Realtor
members become aware of the many options technology has
to offer. Because our members have different levels of
interest and style, there is a wide range of use and
demand for training," said Macy. "As we understand the
interest and how beneficial different technologies can
be, we try to offer training and/or direct our members
to appropriate resources."
For attorney and
broker/owner Christina Allen
of Signature Realty
in Cupertino, the efficiencies technology provides to
benefit the client make a definite difference in the
level of service provided.
the most benefit when their Realtors are proficient with
technology. By using basic tools like e-mail with
attachments, links to helpful websites, and
spreadsheets, a Realtor can better highlight a
property's strengths or limitations,"
buyers and sellers assume that technology replaces
believes experience cannot be replaced.
of experience without a proficiency in using today's
basic technology tools may limit a Realtor's ability to
highlight a property for a client. Today's buyers and
sellers are technology-dependent and appreciate Realtors
who have a good command of technology. Buyers and
sellers benefit most when their Realtors have good real
estate industry experience and are proficient with
One of the
technology efficiencies that
Allen appreciates most is the ability to
deliver detailed information from contracts in a timely
manner by having clients review them online.
written on computers mean that Realtors can quickly
access the contract or its related forms to make changes
and to quickly deliver them to the buyer, seller and the
other Realtor," Allen
said. "The forms can be used locally or uploaded online.
Clients can receive contracts by e-mail instead of by
fax. By sending the contract by e-mail, the buyers and
sellers have more privacy and can receive the contract
at work without sacrificing the private nature of their
Having forms and
contracts available on line saves time for all parties
involved, especially in a hot real estate market where
Realtors often need to act quickly.
"A few times
when I needed to modify material terms of the contract
and the buyers and sellers wanted things done
immediately, I was able to get online, modify the
contract and print it out on the spot instead of having
to drive to the Association or go back to the office or
car to get new forms. Everyone signed and the deal was
sealed," Allen said.
computerized contracts not only saves time because
Realtors don't have to write and rewrite recurring
information, but also, Allen
thinks, it reduces errors.
contracts can be used to avoid errors, such as
mathematical errors when agents enter prices as well as
down-payment and loan amounts, because the form does the
calculation. The most obvious benefit is that a
typewritten form means that everyone can read all the
terms of the contractand this eliminates the problem of
not knowing the terms of the contract because it is not
serve as facilitators to coordinate the entire
transaction, so Allen
believes the use of technology helps her do her
job more effectively.