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In what has been an unprecedented state of the industry, real estate agents are adopting digital platforms to conduct business virtually. While there is a learning curve, agents who have not already done so should embrace various digital platforms to improve their day-to-day operations. Consider the following reasons why virtual communications are here to stay in the real estate industry.

Buyers, sellers, and agents are adjusting to the change.

For many years, meeting face-to-face was the predominant way of conducting business in real estate. However, this has not been the case in 2020. Even the most experienced agents today are realizing that newer video communications tools can be successfully paired with traditional real estate practices to communicate with clients. Platforms like Zoom and Skype have been well-received overall from buyers, sellers, and agents. They are easy to use for people regardless of skill level.

Online platforms promote efficiency.

People are always looking for efficient and cost-effective alternatives or solutions. This year, virtual communications platforms have been a solution for real estate agents needing to communicate with clients in a time of social distancing. Even after the pandemic comes to an end, virtual communication will be seen as an effective alternative to in-person meetings.

Virtual communications enable connection from anywhere. 

While nothing can replace the experience of meeting in person, virtual communication platforms enable buyers, sellers, and agents to connect from anywhere at any time. Additionally, online communications allow agents to increase their availability for client support. With this added flexibility incorporated into the process, agents can remain open to additional opportunities.

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The ongoing pandemic has impacted almost every industry in 2020. The real estate sector is one of the best examples of this new reality. Although modern technology was already changing the way buyers research and purchase homes before this year, COVID-19 has further strengthened the need for tech advancements, altering the industry as a whole. Consider the following tips on how real estate professionals can successfully adapt to technological changes moving forward.

Understand industry tools and trends.

One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to pay close attention to what other professionals are doing in the real estate industry. After doing some research, you may realize that the local competition is now using a superior way for obtaining leads, interacting with clients, or automating stages of the home buying process.

Only utilize technology that fulfills your specific needs.

Do you have a niche when it comes to real estate? Are you a listing agent? If so, you want to invest in tools that are made for home listings before anything else. If you are an agent who primarily serves buyers, you may consider new digital tools that help buyers research homes.

Always calculate your return on investment.

If you are struggling to rationalize the cost of a new tech tool, understand that return on investment is a more important number to you. After crunching some numbers, you may find that a few new innovations may increase your overall income. It is easy to get caught up in the expenses associated with tech tools. However, it is necessary to have a long-term outlook when considering new technologies.

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One of the best ways for a person to build wealth is to invest in the future. Some of the most popular types of investment categories include retirement plans, mutual funds, stocks, and commodities. Another proven-effective way to invest your money is through purchasing real estate. Although the ongoing pandemic has made 2020 a financially challenging year for many Americans, historically low interests rates make it an attractive time to invest in real estate. With this in mind, read on and discover a few reasons why real estate remains a smart investment in 2020. 

Real estate provides owner tax reductions.

One frequently overlooked benefit of owning real estate is that it is tax deductible. This is because tax codes permit various deductions on the interest paid on the mortgage, home maintenance, improvements, and property upkeep. These deductions can reduce your overall taxes, saving you money every year.

Real estate investments will likely appreciate. 

Appreciation is one of the most compelling reasons to invest in real estate. When the National Association of Realtors started tracking real estate appreciation levels in 1968, they reported an average rate of about 6% a year. While there are no guarantees that a home will appreciate in value over time, history has shown us that real estate will continue to appreciate in value.

Equity is built over time. 

Most people require a mortgage in order to purchase real estate. Through debt financing from a lender, a lender can purchase a home by putting down a small percentage of the home. This is known as a downpayment. Over time, the reduction in the principle amount builds your equity in the home. 

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While real estate is often recognized as one of the most competitive industries, it is especially competitive in the present moment with many new challenges presented by current events. As such, real estate agents are now vying for more leads through various marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to stay ahead of high activity in the market. If you are in the process of shifting your approach to client needs for 2020, consider the following best practices for succeeding as a real estate agent today. 

Provide value to clients 

Why should a buyer or seller hire you? What do you bring to the table as an agent? The most successful agents are knowledgeable about housing markets, real estate trends, different neighborhoods in the local area, school systems, public transportation, home financing options, etc. Also, buyers and sellers today want to work with agents who have strong networks of people. If you already have contacts that you can refer your clients to regarding things like landscaping, plumbing, electrical, and inspectors, you will make their lives a lot easier.

Understand that every client has a different mindset

The most successful real estate agents are flexible with how they work with their clients. All too often, agents stick to one methodology for communicating with clients. Because everyone thinks and acts differently, an agent needs to be accommodating to serve their clients best. For example, millennial homebuyers are generally more tech-savvy than older individuals and prefer the usage of digital applications for communication purposes.

Build networks through relationship building

As is the case for many professions, real estate agents should continually strive to grow their network. Over time, a strong network will provide you with business through referrals/word of mouth. Also, it is important to create new contacts, but it is also necessary to maintain your existing ones. In other words, don’t forget/neglect to reach out to people you haven’t spoken with in a while.

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Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have negatively impacted virtually all U.S industries, with real estate being no exception. While low interest rates continue to bring many buyers to the market, many sellers remain hesitant to list their home during the pandemic.

As states progress through their roadmaps to recovery, businesses are slowly reopening, which is encouraging news for our country. According to the Washington Post, the economy gained 2.5 million jobs during May. This was excellent news because this is the first time jobs have been added since February. Much of this can be attributed to the opening of many states during the middle/end of May. 

Real estate agents who have taken a proactive approach during the pandemic should be in a primed position for an influx of buyers in the coming weeks. Agents who have not already invested in their website, online lead generation and other marketing campaigns will likely be at a disadvantage from their competition. However, it is important to remember it is never too late to invest in your real estate business. No matter the circumstances, there will always be people looking to buy and sell homes in the U.S. 

There are Americans who put their home search on hold because of job loss or because they didn’t believe now was a good time to purchase a home. As we progress into the summer, we should see real estate transaction totals continuing to climb as more restrictions are lifted. While we are nowhere near being out of the woods with COVID-19, there are positive signs that people should be optimistic about the residential real estate market.

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With the right precautionary measures taken, buyers and sellers can still safely carry out their real estate plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both processes require additional steps/precautions, we have the tools and resources to complete real estate transactions. Read on and discover a few practices for safely buying or selling a home during COVID-19.

Digital communications

We are heavily reliant on technology during COVID-19 to conduct business operations. Real estate agents are communicating through email, phone, text messaging, or video conferencing applications. Some of the most popular video conferencing applications for agents include Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype. Although there is a learning curve for some, these platforms are well received by most buyers and sellers today.

Virtual tours 

Many buyers are hesitant to attend in person showings. Although they already had a presence in the real estate industry, they spiked in popularity over the last several weeks. By integrating 3D tours and videos, one can generate more traffic to their online listings. 

E-Transactions 

Not only are e-transactions safer than in person closings, but they are far more efficient. With the help of e-signature technology, home transactions buyers and sellers do not need to sit together at a table and pass around pens. 

Routinely disinfect surfaces

In addition to wearing face masks and washing your hands, we must ensure that high-touch areas are routinely disinfected. This includes countertops, doorknobs, handrails, lockboxes, cabinets, and so forth.

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