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How Technology Has Changed Real Estate

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Tom Gongola, Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, REALTORS®

Today’s real estate marketplace is different from that which existed just five years ago. Technology has changed how people shop for properties and how Real Estate Agents market properties.

Buyers have an entire host of new online tools and applications helping in their efforts. Gone are the days where you jumped into your realtor’s car to tour a select number of homes in a community that they felt best met your needs. Today, thanks in large part to the Internet, homebuyers using a variety of websites and apps can now conduct an exhaustive search of any area that best meets their individual criteria in just a matter of minutes. From the comfort of their home, they research areas, find houses with the specific features they want, and pick which properties they want to see. The buyers pick, not the Real Estate Agent. They are informed through technology.

Has this made it easier or harder for sellers to sell? What it has done is made fierce but fair competition between properties for sale. The buyers know of competing houses for sale, and with a simple click, they compare the square footage, the lake view, or pictures of the master bedroom. Properties that show well online get shown more. It’s as simple as that. When I say “show well online,” I mean they stand out from the competition. They have fabulous pictures, a virtual tour, and video. The information is complete and factual. The listing is available everywhere. You may not like the Zillow Zestimate, but you should still be on Zillow with an awesome listing. It’s not enough to rely on just the MLS anymore. Technology has changed all of that.

But those online listings, awesome photos, virtual tours, text message instant info, mobile websites, and email feeds don’t come easy, or cheap, or sometimes at all. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of technology. Realtors who are embracing technology are truly separating themselves from the pack. I have an arsenal of technologies that I use to do my job. Technology has transformed every part of my business. The MLS has become incredibly powerful. Of course marketing includes the MLS, but it now also includes social media, YouTube channel, Facebook, mobile websites, text message info systems, and Zillow, Trulia, and every other website, especially if they have a mobile navigation app.

I use my smartphone to communicate with other real estate professionals, clients, and even to open the lock box. I get email notifications the instant every new property gets listed in Tellico Village. My buyer clients do, too. Showings are set up with a service that confirms the showing agent is licensed, and feedback after the showing is electronic. All documents needed for a transaction can be filled out electronically. The title, loan, inspections, home warranty – each and every document of the transaction is electronically stored in a database.

For marketing, my rule of thumb still holds true. Be EVERYWHERE, and NEVER let ANYTHING leave your hand that is not top quality. I use a professional photographer to make sure my photos are perfect. I have flyers professionally printed on thick gloss stock. Every property I list gets its own website, mobile website, virtual tour, video, and text message instant info number. If there is a magazine, my listings will be in it and in color. All my listings are on the Coldwell Banker YouTube channel and shared to all of the agents by Facebook and Instant Messenger. Every property gets direct mail postcards sent to the neighbors, because it’s a fact that neighbors bring buyers. It makes a difference. Top quality, every time.

If you’re thinking of selling or buying then call me today to discover the Coldwell Banker and Tom Gongola difference.

About Tom:

I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and went to work for General Motors as a Test Engineer at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan. Later I switched to the Aerospace field and worked for the US Air Force as a Rocket Test Engineer, where I spent many years on rocket launch pads and in the control room for rocket launches. In 2004, I received my Real Estate license, and in 2009, I received my Real Estate Broker’s license. Throughout the years I have represented clients in more than $20 million of transactions. I live and work as a full-time Real Estate Broker in Tellico Village and enjoy cars, poker, racquetball, RC Cars, hiking, stocks, technology, fishing, travel, and home improvement projects. As a technology guy, I love being part of the evolving real estate field. I embrace the changes and push for new and better ways to do whatever I do.

Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, REALTORS® is a powerhouse in technology and has a dominating position in the Knoxville area. In 2013, they closed about 25% of all sales in the Knoxville MLS. Five offices in the area draw people from all across Knoxville to Tellico Village. Having a national Relocation Department draws people from all across the country to come to retire in beautiful Tellico Village.

Tom Gongola
Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, REALTORS®
(865) 203-8800

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East Tennessee's Mountain Views

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