Real Estate & TV: Life vs. Art?

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Holly Schwartz (@hollyschwartzoc) is the Marketing Director for Torelli Realty, (@torellirealty) a boutique real estate company in Orange County, CA. She enjoys dishing up a daily blog about 365 Things To Do In Costa Mesa (“Like” the page on Facebook!) Prior to working at Torelli Realty she worked as a TV producer for the HGTV shows House Hunters and House Hunters International.

Once upon a time (earlier this year) I was a producer for HGTV, most recently serving as one of the directors of House Hunters. Some of you may be familiar with that program. One of the things I think is so telling is that in the time the show has been on the air (over 10 years) you can see the relationship between life and art. Many of the House Hunters reruns that air portray the home buying process as one where the buyers depend entirely upon the real estate agent. They trust the agent to find listings for them from the “MLS” and look forward to the printouts that the agent provides. The process of house hunting used to be very dependent upon what the agent could deliver. (See the video at the end for a little more insight on technology on TV real estate shows and in real life!)

Fast forward to the age of the tech-savvy client. So much of real estate listing information is on the Internet that almost anybody can find homes. The “MLS” is no longer an exclusive club that only special agents have access to. In fact at my real estate office we get calls daily from people who have found a home online and want more information.

When I watch old episodes of the show, home buyers were scavenging the real estate sections of the newspaper. In the recent episodes they’re searching online websites and newspapers. In the past buyers said they met their agent at an open house or by visiting the real estate office. Now you’ll hear buyers explain that they met their agent online and they established a relationship through email long before ever meeting in person.

One of the greatest things I got to experience was being at a shoot in Europe. An Irish family was looking for a vacation home in Italy and did all of their research online to find a real estate agent. I got to witness the agent and buyers meet for the first time in person during filming. Technology brought them together! That’s proof of the amazing things that technology is doing for REALTORS if I ever saw it.

I am so thrilled to see how technology is really bringing people together and enhancing the real estate industry more than ever before. Even watching real estate unfold on television is another great example of how technology, media, and real estate are all merging together.

In what ways do you think technology is enhancing the real estate industry?