The market here is seeing impressive demand, with Oregon becoming one of the fastest growing states. A steady and increasing influx of people have moved into the Portland area, with the population projected to reach over 3 million by 2035. I recently realized that the housing inventory in Portland has not been this low since 2005- and that’s already ten years ago! Reflecting on almost two decades of real estate experience, I noticed some huge changes that have transformed real estate since then.
So what has changed? Well, we’re all addicted to Candy Crush on our phone and selfie sticks are everywhere. But real estate has come a long way, and everything from the way I advertise properties to how people find homes to purchase is completely different.
Here are five ways real estate has changed since 2005:
1. You can experience your new home online in a variety of ways
The use of mobile apps and online posting services in real estate has really transformed real estate and how people buy and sell homes within the last ten years. Everything is listed online or on mobile nowadays. The syndicate services work great for buyers looking to get a feel of the market, and social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook also allow realtors to share their new listing photos instantly. And of course there’s an app for everything: agents can make virtual tours using special smartphone cameras; Trulia, Zillow and Win
2. I have much better insight to make more educated decisions, more quickly
As a listing agent, I now have much more data on how a listing is performing due to online tools that monitor with buyers and how it compares to what else is on the market. I have instant access to analytics that tells me how buyers are discovering homes, how they react to the online listing, how many times they view it, etc. In the past, I had to wait about 30 days before making an educated decision about recommending a price change. Today I can make smarter judgments on pricing, advertising, and placement of listings due to data aggregated from the digital channels.
3. Listings carry much higher expectations with online photos and high competition
I think that listings have become more competitive in the last ten years, because technology has allowed buyers to become savvier and have a better understanding of what's on the market. So before the house hits the market, I prep the home using professional stagers, going room to room to place furniture strategically and identifying any potential upgrades that helps improve the value. I also use professional photographers to get high quality pictures that are instantly internet-ready to showcase the house in the best light. In 2005 we weren't really using stagers and just our own digital cameras, but now I use actual interior designers and professional photography, and even create virtual tours of homes.
4. I can do an entire transaction without paper forms
One major change that is awesome is that I can now offer completely paperless transactions. I often use an online service called Docusign which allows digital signatures on real estate paperwork, meaning the business is much more green- very important in Portland!
5. Communication is much easier
The way that I interact with clients is much more efficient, and clients are able to reach me instantly in many ways. A variety of networking opportunities also provides me as an agent with more opportunities to help find the best house for each individual or couple I represent. For example, at Windermere Stellar, we use social media groups to network constantly with other real estate agents in the area, which allows me to find homes for buyers instantly and speed up the sales for sellers.
Even with all of these changes, my job remains the same: to represent my clients with honesty, enthusiasm and integrity. Today, this means using modern tools to provide the best services and resources for the individuals that I support through the home buying or selling process.
What changes have you seen in real estate? What tools do you use to help with your home search? Get in touch with any comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org.