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NAR: Drones, Cybersecurity Are Real Estate’s Top Emerging Technologies

The 2021 Technology Survey listed drones (37%) and cybersecurity (34%) as top trends, with 5G connections (31%) and virtual reality (30%) close behind. Top current tech tools include eSignature (78%), MLS apps (54%), social media (53%), lockboxes (48%) and video conferencing (39%).

WASHINGTON – Realtors® see drones and cybersecurity as the most impactful emerging technologies to their business, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

NAR’s 2021 Technology Survey examined NAR members’ current tech usage and thoughts on future real estate technology. In the look ahead over the next 24 months, drones (37%) and cyber security (34%) top the list of expectations, followed closely by 5G fast internet connections (31%) and virtual reality (30%).

“The pandemic has confirmed to all of us in the industry that technology will continue to transform real estate,” says NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.

The survey also examined Realtors’ current use of technology. It found that the top tools over the past 12 months were:

  • eSignature (78%)
  • Local MLS apps/technology (54%)
  • Social media (53%)
  • Lockboxes (48%)
  • Video conferencing (39%)

Many brokerages provide these technologies to their agents: 37% of respondents said their brokerage provides them with all the technology tools they need to be successful, and 27% strongly agreed.

The top tools provided by brokerages included:

  • eSignature (57%)
  • Personal websites (54%)
  • Customer relationship management (54%)
  • Transaction management (50%)

Roughly one out of three Realtors (36%) said their broker doesn’t charge any technology fees, and 50% said the price their broker charged was reasonable.

Even if brokers don’t supply the technology, Realtors are willing to pay for it, according to the report:

  • 36% of Realtors spend on average between $50-$250 per month on technology to use in their business
  • 18% spend between $251-$500
  • 23% – nearly one out of four – spend more than $500 each month on technology

When asked about desired technology tools not currently provided by their broker, cybersecurity topped the list:

  • 19% said cybersecurity
  • 16%: lead generation (16%)
  • eNotary (11%)
  • Customer Relationship Management, or CRM (10%)
  • Personal websites (10%)

Social media

According to the survey, Realtors use social media now more than ever. The top social networks used in their business is:

  • Facebook, used by 90% of Realtors
  • Instagram (52%)
  • LinkedIn (48%)
  • YouTube (24%)
  • Twitter (19%)

Video has also played an ever-increasing role in the marketing of properties on social media: 35% use video in their marketing and 35% don’t use video but hope to in the near future.

“There is no denying that social media has become an integral tool to promote a listing,” Goldberg says. “The pandemic has caused more of our members to use social media and video to creatively market themselves and their properties.”

The top reasons cited for using social media include:

  • They’re expected to have a presence on social media (54%)
  • It helps build and maintain relations with existing clients (49%)
  • To promote listings (49%).
  • To find new prospects (36%)
  • To help them network with other real estate pros (33%)

Social media also topped the list when it comes to lead generation. The top three tech tools that produced the highest number of quality leads in the last 12 months were:

  • Social media (52%)
  • CRM (31%)
  • Their MLS site (28%)

Current and future real estate tech topics are the focus of NAR’s iOi Summit, taking place August 17-18 in Dallas, Texas.

“iOi is all about innovation,” Goldberg says. “This event brings together proptech leaders and thinkers whose products, services and solutions will help shape the real estate industry and drive it forward.”

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

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