The 2010 Real Estate Agent
There is currently a huge movement towards user generated content and consumer knowledge gained from the internet. Consumers, who are becoming increasingly tech savvy, will gravitate to the most efficient process. Agents must gather information, synthesize it, and disperse it to their customers. While you don't have to put 100% of your real estate listing information online, in my opinion, anything less than 80% is unacceptable. The remaining 20% should be less than 20 minutes away from the consumer upon request. To do this, we must carry URL links to this information that can be copied from a Blackberry to an email (for a title, inspection report, survey).
We no longer use carbonless "Press hard to get all 3 copies" forms, and an agent can no longer hide behind a pager. The customer wants emailed copies of their forms, that they can then easily forward to their banker, accountant, appraiser, home inspector, etc.
Consumers want their agent to provide meaningful value to the transaction. They also expect to get information in a timely and relevant manner. This means we must have efficient access to ALL of our files wherever we are (on the side of the highway, in the mall, at the hairstylist, etc.). If you are organized, the customer shouldn't have to wait.
Find other 'Power Agents' in your markets and swap ideas. If you have any great ideas you'd like to share, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.