A new report from the National Association of Realtors sheds light on what technology real estate brokerages consider the most important to equip their agents with to win clients and provide them with the best service.
NAR’s survey-based 2014 Profile of Real Estate Firms found that most brokerages provide or encourage agents to use apps and software that lets them produce comparative market analyses for clients, fill out and sign contracts paperlessly, and manage their contacts.
But less than half are providing, or pushing agents to use, transaction management tools, social media or video.
Firm provides or encourages agent/broker use of specific software:
After property listings, the features firms were most likely to put on their websites were agent or staff profiles, mortgage or other financial calculators, information about the homebuying and selling process, and community information or demographics. Just under half of brokerages were publishing reports on local schools and customer reviews of their agents.
Features on firm’s website
Last year’s report revealed stark differences in technology use by firm size. This year, a comparison was more difficult to make because some of the data included in last year’s survey was not included in the 2014 report.
The 2014 report did not track which websites brokerages use to market their listings to consumers, for example — a sensitive subject with NAR’s official consumer search portal, realtor.com, attracting fewer consumers than Zillow and Trulia — or the typical amount spent on technology.
A NAR spokeswoman said about 40 questions mostly pertaining to technology, websites and education were removed from this year’s survey in order to streamline the report. She said those topics were covered in other NAR surveys, including its annual member profile and the Center for Realtor Technology’s technology survey. Those surveys do not track these issues at the brokerage-level, however.
Last year’s report found that 90 percent of the largest brokerages marketed their listings on realtor.com, but that only 78 percent of the smallest firms did. The 2013 report also found that more large firms (79 percent) used third-party aggregators like Zillow and Trulia websites to advertise than smaller companies (59 percent).