The Internet has revolutionized the way the majority of Inman News readers conduct their real estate business, according to the results of an online survey.

Mary Warren, a Realtor in Las Vegas, said the majority of her business today comes from Internet leads.

“I found and sold to several different buyers, and also did a couple of referrals long before 10 years ago by visiting chat boards, etc., and keeping my eyes open for someone interested in buying and selling…The Internet has been my lifeline since the early ’90s,” she said.

Cary Garnet of Harmon Homes noted the changing role of the real estate agent due to the Internet. Garnet believes agents soon will become “online marketing specialists.”

“The way things are going, the entire real estate transaction will be done online,” Garnet said.

Finding homes online and applying for a mortgage are already common. Not far in the future, buyers will be able to buy mortgage and homeowners insurance online, set up an escrow account, work with a title company and schedule an appraisal or inspection on the Internet.

Bill Dean of Mark D. Olejniczak Realty in Green Bay, Wis., has five Web sites and owns 18 URLs. His first Web site was launched more than seven years ago.

“I would assume that there will be huge changes again in the future, similar to the ones we have already had in the last 10 years…I think the speed of change could surprise the real estate industry,” Dean said.

Some agents have taken advantage of the time savings the Internet affords them.

Jim Lee, an agent with e-Pro Realty Executives Associates in Knoxville, Tenn., conducts virtual open houses via his Web site each day instead of in person. This cuts down on travel time. Lee no longer advertises in print media and is optimistic about the future impact the Web will have on his business.

“The very near future will bring more amazing changes and opportunities for both real estate and everyday life,” he said.

Prospective home sellers can interview Margaret Rome on her Web site before they sign any contracts. Rome is an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Baltimore. She’s also set up a separate page on her site for home buyers.


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