The Real Estate Technology Landscape For 2017: Where’s Is It All Headed?

We all know that tech is a major driving influence in real estate today, but where is it taking us?

What technology trends are controlling the direction of the market? What tech is separating the leading agents from the rest? What are the must-haves for the winners as we head into 2017?

Check out these seven real estate tech trends impacting the real estate industry…

1. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Real estate may still be about “location, location, location,” but real estate marketing is now definitely all about “mobile, mobile, mobile.

Stats to know:

If you want to be seen you’ve got to be on mobile devices. That’s why we recently launched the Arlene Rutenberg app on Google Play and the App Store allowing clients to search the MLS on their phones while staying in touch and up to date.

2. Fast, Clean, Beautiful Websites

While it’s been said for a while you MUST have a mobile real estate website. Google has made it clear about its preference for ranking mobile sites higher than others. We’re not just talking about sites that are ‘mobile friendly’ – they need to be designed for mobile-first. That means clean, simple, and fast. There has never been a more important time to upgrade the flow and aesthetics of your real estate website.

3. Instagram

Instagram has been soaring in popularity since it was decoupled from Facebook. If agents are going to do one social media platform well over the next 2 to 12 months they may want to hone in on improving their Instagram presence.

However, NAR data and an infographic from Contactually show that Instagram is the least used platform by other Realtors, with just 14% of them on it. The second least leveraged is blogging at 16%. That leaves a big void and opportunity for fast-moving agents to dominate.

4. Video

Over 80% of home shoppers have reported using video in their searches. Look at today’s youngest generations through millennials – the Xbox has been traded in for watching YouTube. There are still some limitations to video due to bandwidth and internet speeds.

So while it isn’t at saturation point yet, things are changing in this direction. Better phones and tech mean the video isn’t just for posting on YouTube, but for face-to-face meetings over the web, virtual showings, property videos on websites, and more. This is particularly valuable at the higher end of the luxury market and when serving investors.

5. Drones

There may be some issues with drones and licensees, but there is no question that they are here to stay. In particular drone photography for real estate can help give out of area buyers and luxury renters a better sense of a property, more confidence, and can speed up sales.

6. Smart Real Estate

We are on the way to a tipping point for smart homes to be seen as the standard. Everything else will soon be considered sub-par. New home builders like Lennar are integrating smart home technology even in lower-end models, with TV ads making these features highly sought after by buyers. Be prepared to answer prospects on what smart home features your listings have.

7. The Separation of Tech-Savvy Agents from the Pack

Realtors are not known for being the fastest early adopters to new technology, or for religiously putting it to good use. The Realtor Field Guide reports that “27% of agents and 21% of brokers spent between $501 - $2,000 on technology in the last 12 months.”

That’s barely a smartphone and a Bluetooth earbud set. Yet, there is no question that the tech-savvy will continue to gain more market share and attention, as they drown out those that aren’t adapting. Instead of the 80/20 rule, we could well see the top 1% to 10% being responsible for 90% of the business done out there.

The questions buyers and sellers should be asking their agent is this: what does your online marketing strategy look like and how do you utilize technology to reach more people?


Arlene is committed to the highest standards of excellence, integrity, and service to faithfully serve her clients. Arlene Rutenberg is a premier luxury real estate broker in Southern California with vast experience in the Los Angeles Westside real estate market and an extensive international network of clients, real estate agents, and partners.

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