Technology changes everything, and real estate is no exception. Realtors, however, have had a reputation for being reluctant to change. Older agents remember the days of PC-based programs to access the MLS and writing up an offer in triplicate rather fondly. For the new generation of agents, however,  web- and cloud-based systems accessed via smartphone are second nature. IDX became the norm in 2006, and realtors have never known anything else. Being tech-savvy is just part of the job for them.

1. Social Media: Using social media as a marketing tool for realtors is one way a new agent can stay ahead of the curve. Not only is it free to use (bonus!), but social media is also a tool that younger agents just inherently know how to use. Whether it is Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, they are able to quickly master the platform to capture as much market share as possible.  

2. Texting: Gone are the days of pagers and voicemail. Today's tech-savvy agents communicate with clients via text and DMs. It may have been the norm in the past to 'train' clients to page their agent and then wait. Those days are long gone. With the advent of smartphones, clients expect you to respond to emails, texts, and DMs quickly. This generation of real estate professionals needs to move fast.

3. Address Lookup: When an agent wants to market their services, they work an area called their 'farm,' which is a subdivision or group of subdivisions that they would like as clients. The old school way to develop a database of names and addresses in that subdivision was to use a series of muscle-inducing, heavy books, called Bresser books. You could manually look up anything you wanted in those books, but now, with modern technology, you can do a reverse address public search with PC-based software or even online. 

4. Drones: Today's tech-loving buyers want -- expect even -- to see a home from every angle. Not only do agents take multiple pictures with digital cameras, but they also use drones to capture the home from new heights. Literally. Aerial photos are great for real estate and other industries, but there is still pushback from both the FAA and local municipalities as to their legality.

5. Listing Presentations: Rather than gives clients stacks and stacks of paper, new agents are turning to their tablets and laptops and offering clients digital listing presentations. Tools like PowerPoint and Prezi drag once-boring listing presentations into the digital age in a way that really younger clients really connect with. 

6. Websites: Agents must have their own website. In the past, a subdomain on a franchise's website would have been more than sufficient. Not having a self-branded and self-hosted website is now viewed as subpar. Realtors need their own websites running IDX and continually updated with fresh, new content. 

7. Electronically Signed Documents: There is no longer a need to meet clients late at night or to overnight documents. Electronic signatures are now the norm in every business, including real estate. In fact, a real estate professional that doesn't offer such services may as well be living int he dark ages. 

8. Floor Plan and 3D Software: Listing agents can now create floor plan drawings as well as 3D sketches of homes. anything to help add visual content to a listing and to encourage buyers to schedule an in-person showing. Having access to state-of-the-art marketing tools can help sell a home, which is the end goal for everyone. 

As technology continues to improve and expand, smart agents will continue to keep up in order to offer their clients the best possible real estate experience.