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7 Ways to Find More Time in Each Day

7 Ways to Find More Time in Each Day

There’s no doubt about it, real estate is a demanding career that requires a big-time investment to be successful. Keeping up with client requests, listings, showings, closings, generating leads and the myriad of other tasks you need to accomplish can leave you begging for more hours in each day. How can you manage your work days to be more efficient and productive? Here are some tips:

1. Track your day using a log or time sheet. Even if it’s just for a week or two, write down or electronically record your day’s activities in 15-minute increments from the time you get up until the time you go to bed. Then, look back and see where the biggest chunks of your time are spent and where there may be some minutes each day that you can shift activities to gain some spare time. Notice any patterns that emerge, such as activities that you tend to consistently do during certain times of the day.

2. Think about when you are typically the most productive. For some people, it’s early in the morning. Others may need a few hours to reach their peak energy, and for some the end of the day may be their most efficient time. Whatever yours is, try to schedule the most important or the most taxing activities during those hours.

3. Try to consolidate where you can. Group tasks and activities for maximum productivity. For example, try to return calls, texts, and emails together as much as possible so that you’re not constantly being interrupted throughout the day. Try to handle all appointments and errands in the same part of town to avoid wasted driving time.

4. Tap into your multi-tasking skills. Check listing activity while you wait for appointments. Listen to real estate related podcasts while you drive to stay abreast of industry trends. Return phone calls while you walk or exercise.

5. Take advantage of the technology around you. Set notifications for only the things you need to be alerted about immediately, such as texts and phone calls. Organize the apps on your phone and tablet so that you can access them quickly, and delete those that you don’t use.

6. Take a social media break, and avoid the social media rabbit hole. While social media platforms can help you with leads and building client relationships, they can also be a time drain. Designate a set period each day to post on your social media accounts and to comment on other posts. To keep you on track, consider setting an alarm on your phone to signal when it’s time to move on to other tasks.

7. Team up with professionals who can make your life easier. For example, an American Home Shield® Home Warranty can help transactions go more smoothly as well as help build lasting client relationships. When buyers have AHS® Home Warranty protection and a covered item breaks down, they’ll call AHS and not you about the problem, which can save you time and help you be productive. Your local AHS Account Executive can also help you with marketing tools and other ideas to help you be as efficient as possible.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.

What is a Real Estate Home Warranty?

What is a Real Estate Home Warranty?

As a real estate professional, you probably already know that home warranties can serve many valuable purposes in real estate transactions. Home warranties can help market properties, offer reassurance to prospective buyers, and help homeowners protect their budgets when many common household breakdowns occur on covered items. In addition to knowing the advantages, do you know how to explain home warranty coverage to your clients? Here’s a quick explanation to help.

  • A home warranty is a service agreement, often for one year, that covers the repair or replacement of many major home system components and appliances that break down over time due to normal wear and tear.
  • A home warranty is not the same as a homeowners insurance plan, which typically protects homes from potential events like fires, theft, or natural disasters. While a home warranty is a good complement to standard homeowners insurance, it’s not a substitute for it.

Depending on the plan, most home warranties require an annual or monthly fee as well as a service call fee that is due per contractor specialty to diagnose a covered problem or to perform service. Knowing these costs in advance can help homeowners budget for many of the inevitable household breakdowns that always seem to occur at the worst possible times. In some cases, there could be additional costs associated with covered repairs or replacements, so always advise your clients to thoroughly review their home warranty contract for details to avoid surprises.

In addition to helping protect homeowners’ budgets, home warranties can also offer homeowners a reliable resource for repair help when breakdowns occur on covered items. Home warranty customers are given a number or website to contact for repair requests, which can save homeowners valuable time when seeking a qualified contractor. Home warranty companies, such as American Home Shield®, go the extra mile to monitor and grade contractors on their performance through customer satisfaction surveys.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.

7 Tips on How to Prepare for the 2019 Real Estate Market

7 Tips on How to Prepare for the 2019 Real Estate Market

What’s ahead for the real estate market in 2019? While there’s plenty of speculation about new construction slowdowns, a low inventory of existing homes and rising housing prices and mortgage interest rates, nobody knows for sure yet exactly what the new year will bring. Even without a crystal ball to see into the future, there are some things real estate professionals can do to prepare for what’s in store for the coming year. Here are some tips:

1. Do Your Own Research

Read a wide variety of different forecasts and opinions from financial and real estate experts from different parts of the country. In addition to trade publications and online sources, listen to podcasts, radio programs, and watch financial news programs. Then, draw your own conclusions based on what you’ve seen and heard so that you can answer questions and give informed opinions when clients turn to you for expert advice about what’s ahead. Be sure to make copies of any articles that you find particularly interesting to share with clients and colleagues, or save the links to pass along.

2. Attend Industry Functions

This is an ideal time to network and to hear speakers address predictions and projections for 2019. Local and national industry and association meetings, conventions, and seminars can provide valuable market information as well as provide opportunities for question-and-answer sessions and the exchange of ideas. Make time to attend as many events as your calendar and schedule can accommodate.

3. Talk to Your Mortgage and Banking Contacts

Now is a good time to meet with your partners in the mortgage and banking sectors to find out what they see happening in the coming year. They may also be able to provide information about any changes to the mortgage application or approval process that could affect your clients and closing timeframes.

4. Survey Clients

Sending a brief, informal survey to your clients by mail or by email is a good way to gauge their real estate market outlook as well as whether they have plans to buy or sell a home in 2019. A survey also provides you with a touch point for helping to maintain client relationships. In addition, it gives clients the opportunity to ask you questions about the market in your area.

5. Update Technology

Whatever is in store for real estate market trends, one thing that is for certain in 2019 is that technology will continue to play an important role. Update your cell phone, computer, tablet, or any other outdated technology so that you can have the tools you need to succeed next year.

6. Revise Your Provider Network

Sometimes it takes a village to sell a home, and the relationships you have with provider partners can be crucial in closing transactions. Review your provider network and touch base with any partners you haven’t worked with in a while. In addition to a mortgage broker or lender, it’s a good idea to have established relationships with a home inspector, a home warranty provider, an appraiser, a pest control professional, a home stager, and movers. Clients may also ask you for other referrals, including roofers, pool inspectors, home stagers, movers, painters, and other services.

7. Add Value to Your Service

To be prepared for whatever the 2019 real estate market brings, look for ways to add value to the service you provide to your real estate clients. For example, adding an American Home Shield® Home Warranty to each transaction is a great way to reassure buyers and sellers, build client loyalty, and help deals close smoothly.  Make sure your clients know that while markets may fluctuate, the caliber of service you deliver never will. To learn more about an American Home Shield Home Warranty and how it can help protect your client’s budgets, contact your local Account Executive.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.

What Kind of Homebuyer Is a Millennial?

What Kind of Homebuyer Is a Millennial?

The Millennial generation is entering the real estate market in numbers way beyond than before. But when it comes to buying a home, how do they view the home buying process?

With a population of 83.1 million, the Millennial Generation now outnumbers Baby Boomers and represents more than one quarter of our nation, according to the United States Census Bureau. The Pew Research Center defines a millennial as anyone born between 1981 and 1996, or those age 22 to 37 as of 2018. Millennials are entering the workforce and the real estate market in greater numbers than ever before, bringing with them a new set of values and expectations. Here are some things to keep in mind when helping millennials with real estate transactions.

The may not be sure they want to buy a home. In fact, according to the Urban Institute, home ownership rates are down for millennials when compared to the two previous generations, Gen X and Baby Boomers, at the same age. Many millennials may prefer to continue renting, for a variety of reasons that include delayed marriage and job flexibility. Preferring to live in cities and urban environments with higher real estate prices is another often-cited reason by millennials for renting instead of purchasing a home.

They may be more frugal than you think. Millennials often carry significant student debt or they may be in underpaid jobs when compared to their education level. Another factor that could influence spending habits is that millennials likely remember the most recent recession and housing bubble, which could sway their real estate purchase decisions.

They embrace technology. Because they grew up with technology at their fingertips, they use it frequently and expect their real estate partners to do the same. Millennials are likely to employ technology to do their own home searches and associated research.  Because they communicate largely through technology, their perspective of a normal workday is outside of the traditional Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeframe.

They are influenced by social media.  More than just for socializing, millennials use social media for professional purposes as well as for consumer choices. They are active on channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and others, where they like to connect with business colleagues and service partners (like you) as well as with friends.

They care about energy efficiency. When looking at homes, millennials are likely to take the energy performance of systems, appliances, and the structure into consideration. They care about energy efficiency from an environmental as well as from a cost savings standpoint. Their comfort with technology extends to energy-saving devices and advancements for the home.

They’re relationship driven. For all their dependence on technology, millennials still value one-on-one time and personal relationships. When making important decisions, millennials tend to seek out expert advice as well as solid information and hard data. Building relationships with millennials can help win their trust as well as their future business.

They may not know much about home ownership. Particularly if they are first-time homebuyers, millennials may not be familiar with what it takes to run and maintain a home.  An American Home Shield® Home Warranty can provide valuable coverage for many of the most expensive home systems and appliances to repair or replace. An American Home Shield Home Warranty can also provide reassurance and be a resource for millennials to use when covered items break down due to normal wear and tear. Telling millennials about the many benefits of American Home Shield Home Warranty protection is a great way to answer some of their concerns and build lasting relationships in the process.

How Community Service Can Help Real Estate Professionals

How Community Service Can Help Real Estate Professionals

Real estate professionals play a unique role in the community and are in a great position to get more involved with charitable and community-based service organizations. Not only does it feel wonderful to work for a worthy cause, but it is also a great way to network with people who share a passion for the community where you live and work. Here’s how to make the most of it.

They say one of the best things you can do for yourself is to do something for someone else. That is especially true if you are a real estate professional doing a service project in your community. It feels good, it relieves stress and infuses you with positivity. As a real estate professional, you have a unique role in the community. You come in and out of the lives of so many residents. The more relationships you have, the broader your business becomes. The more your community pulls together, the stronger the community becomes. It’s a win all around. It is also good to associate your name with causes you believe in.

Network with people who share your passion for your community

Charitable projects are a great bonding experience for people who want to improve their community. Serving this cause speaks volumes about your belief in your community being a great place to live. Plus, it gives you something else to talk about other than business.

What you can do: Find creative ways to leverage your philanthropic role in the community.

Looking for your next charitable activity? In addition to volunteering for an established organization such as the local Rotary Club chapter, here are some ideas that have worked well for other real estate professionals.

1. The quality of the schools in any community is an important benefit to local families. Why not support the local schools and teachers by organizing a school supply donation drive? It’s a great way to attract people to your office.

2.  Do the furry citizens in your community have a place in your heart? Organize a donation drive for pet supplies for a local animal shelter or organize a donation drive for their medical needs.

3.  A great way to support or partner with local businesses-—organize a charitable gathering at a local restaurant with proceeds benefitting your charity of choice. Add a table of silent auction prizes donated by other local businesses. Come up with a catchy name, i.e. “Brunch for Books” supports a local library, “Happy Hour to Support Happy Kids” provides scholarships to a local Arts Camp or an After-School Program.

4. Sponsor a walk or run for a cause, such as for cancer awareness or a local children’s hospital. Be sure to include donation opportunities for people who don’t attend the race.

5. Tie into the home theme by serving on the board of a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen.

6. Tie with the moving theme by co-sponsoring a charitable garage sale or rummage sale. Sometimes these are organized by a local church or community center. You can mention it on your marketing materials and they can mention you on theirs.

7. Offer to donate a portion of your commission to your favorite local cause, whether that might be an animal shelter or a program for kids with disabilities. This is a great way to differentiate yourself and create awareness on social media. This is a successful technique for some realtors in creating buzz and helps encourage referrals.

8. Find a cause that benefits your business AND your community directly—historic preservation, walkable communities, affordable housing or sustainable economies.

What it can do for you: Supporting a deserving cause can also support your business.

While your main goal is likely to help a great cause, there are added benefits for your business to consider, too, including the following:

1. Networking with other people involved in the charitable effort helps build your sphere of influence. This is especially important for newer realtors just starting to build their customer base.

2.  Building awareness, especially on social media. Supporting a charitable cause helps your business brand and your personal brand stand for something.

3. Having the ability to support local causes reinforces your business success. People like to work with successful people.

4.  Having a philanthropic presence strengthens your community ties.

5.  More and more, younger people are involved in activism — and they are the next generation of homebuyers.

Choose the charitable option that suits you best and enjoy the good that comes of it.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.

The AHS Top 10: Best “Smart Home” Voice-Control Devices

The AHS Top 10: Best “Smart Home” Voice-Control Devices

Wondering what the thermostat is set on, but you really don’t want to get out of bed? Wishing the TV was on in the background while you cook, but you’re already elbow deep in the mixing bowl? Have no fear — voice-controlled home automation devices are here. The selection appears to grow every month; however, here’s our latest list of the top 10 “smart home” voice-controlled devices.

1. Vocca Light

Forget clapping; voice-controlled lights are where it’s at. And they’re easier to obtain than you may think. Vocca is a plug-and-play gadget that works straight from the box. In fact, it’s as easy to set up as it is to change a lightbulb. The best part? It can recognize your voice commands from up to 15 feet away.

2. Ivee Sleek

Speaking of 15 feet away, Ivee Sleek’s microphone can pick up commands from that distance, as well. And we’re not just talking about adjusting the thermostat. Want to create a new playlist? Schedule a ride with Uber? Ivee Sleek can handle it.

3. Jibo

The Jibo goes beyond connecting to your smart devices. Its built-in, high-resolution cameras (that recognize and track faces, might we add) can also capture pictures and enable video calling, too.

4. Athom Homey

Live in a multi-lingual household? You can take advantage of home voice control, too! The Athom Homey’s unique ability to understand commands in several languages makes it stand above the competition.

5. LG Vacuum Cleaner

No, we won’t judge you for talking to your vacuum cleaner. Especially if it’s one that can perform different cleaning patterns, such as spot cleaning those extra dirty areas, with a simple command.

6. Mycroft

Mycroft doesn’t simply lock the doors or switch on the lights. It can actually sync up with your streaming services, such as Netflix, and stream the content right on your Roku or Chromecast.

7. Samsung Smart TV

Tired of looking for the remote? Too lazy to get up and push buttons on the back of the TV? No problem. Samsung’s Smart TV allows you to control it — including apps like Netflix — without lifting a finger.

8. Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat With Voice Control

This device goes beyond the typical learning thermostat — it can actually expand its “command vocabulary” based on interactions with you.

9. Amazon Echo

Alexa is going to become your new best friend. We just know it. Can she play music? Sure. Answer questions and tell you the news and weather? Of course. Control your lights, thermostat, etc.? Easy.

10. Apple Homekit

Of course we couldn’t talk about home voice control without mentioning Siri. After all, she basically pioneered our voice-activated obsession, right? With Homekit, you can control all your smart devices at one time, ensuring a unified home environment. What’s more, you don’t even have to be home to have control. Just ask Siri to handle everything.

6 Ways to Go Outside Your Comfort Zone for Real Estate Success

6 Ways to Go Outside Your Comfort Zone for Real Estate Success

Many seasoned sales professionals suggest shaking things up now and then, and venturing outside of your comfort zone in order to go from a good sales person to a great sales person. It is an exercise that can help you break that sales plateau and expand into techniques you may not have thought of before. But there is an art to stepping outside of your safe zone effectively.

When it comes to professional growth, sometimes change can be a valuable ally. This can mean shifting your approach to gaining new business, reexamining your relationships with current clients, or possibly venturing into new real estate markets.

Yet despite the potential benefits of entering unknown or unfamiliar territory, it can be challenging to know how or where to start. Here are six ways to challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone.

1. Take a look at what you’re doing now

Many times, the best way to challenge yourself is to take a look at your current situation. What are your approaches to building your business? How about your strategies for developing your client relationships?  If you find that your professional path has become overly familiar, it may be a sign to explore new tactics.

2. Get inspired by new ideas

Do you have a colleague who seems to have a great plan for growing their business? Or a friend in another industry who is up-to-date on technology and other resources? Don’t hesitate to ask others for their insights and advice. Increasing your exposure to new ideas in books, podcasts, blogs and more, can also help prepare you to take on new challenges.

3. Make a plan

Instead of plunging immediately into unknown waters, take time to develop a plan. Creating an outline of what you want to achieve, what you’d like to change, and how you see yourself attaining the best end results, can help you stay on track.

4. Explore different markets

Perhaps you’ve reached your sweet spot with a certain real estate market or clientele. While it’s great to keep a good thing going, you may be missing out on opportunities to expand into areas with strong growth potential. Look into neighborhoods that you may have overlooked in the past, or try researching groups of buyers or sellers who may be new to you.

5. Take on unfamiliar situations

Is there a course or networking event you’ve been curious about but have avoided due to a lack of familiarity with the subject? Or maybe there’s a professional area that you’ve wanted to improve upon (such as giving presentations or hosting educational seminars). Despite the discomfort that can come with tackling potentially uncomfortable situations, taking them head-on can help boost your confidence, knowledge and skill set.

6. Don’t be afraid to experiment

It’s hard to get new plans off the ground without giving them a chance. And, sometimes this can mean experimenting with different approaches or ideas. Give yourself the time to try out something new then observe and record what happens. Sometimes the best results can come from the most unlikely situations or sources.

Another way to go outside of your professional comfort zone is to take a look at resources that you may not have considered before, like American Home Shield® Home Warranties. Consider advising your clients on the benefits of getting coverage from AHS. They have plans that help protect homebuyers and sellers’ budgets and over 21 appliances and home system components from the costs of unexpected breakdowns.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.

10 Reasons to Rekey Your Home

10 Reasons to Rekey Your Home

Whether you’re a new homeowner or have lived in your house for a while, your keys represent ownership of the property as well as security for your loved ones and your possessions. Being handed the keys to a new home is a big moment that signals the completion of your real estate transaction. Putting those keys into the lock and turning the knob for the first time as the owner is a great feeling. Or, at least it should be.

For many new and current homeowners, however, keys may be a source of unease, either because of valid reasons to rekey their home or questions about whether they should.

You might consider rekeying your home if:

  1. You’ve just purchased your home or are a current homeowner and aren’t sure how many key copies may be floating around (or who has them)
  2. You’ve lost track of how many key copies have been made and who’s in possession of them
  3. You’ve been the victim of a crime and had personal belongings taken, such as keys, your identification, your purse or wallet
  4. You’ve misplaced or lost your keys, wallet, purse, or backpack
  5. You’ve had a relationship status change
  6. A family member or friend has lost their copy of your key
  7. You’ve changed roommates or home service providers (such as a house keeper, babysitter, dog walker, etc.) who had a key copy or access to your keys
  8. You need or want to have identical keys that work for multiple keyholes
  9. You want to make sure that your home does not have a universal lock or keyhole that can be opened with a master key
  10. You’d like for a contractor to examine the lock cylinder for damage or wear during the rekey process

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.

8 Steps to Long-Term Success in Real Estate

8 Steps to Long-Term Success in Real Estate

No one ever said a career in real estate was easy. But the rewards can be great if you are up for the challenge. Do you have what it takes to stick with it and achieve long-term success? Follow these eight basic steps to help lay the groundwork for a long and successful career.

Are you in this for the long haul? You probably know a number of real estate professionals with long and successful careers. These agents are in an enviable position to achieve their financial goals and maintain a thriving business. But many more agents stop doing real estate full-time after just a short time. In fact, 87% opt not to renew their licenses within five years.* So how do the veteran pros make it work? It all comes down to building a solid foundation and directing your energy in the right places from the start. If you’d like to achieve a long-term career in real estate, here are eight steps that can help set you up for success.

1. Manage your own expectations

Real estate careers offer a relatively low barrier to entry and the perception of easy money. But it takes time, hard work, quite a bit of planning and the right mindset to make significant money. The pros may make it look easy, but building a thriving real estate business means selling yourself and your abilities every day, constantly creating new opportunities and staying ahead of the curve. Successful realtors are tough, fair, knowledgeable, personable, professional and have a thick skin.

2. Have a realistic financial plan

Do the math to set your goals. Figure out how much you need for bills, insurance and living expenses. Also include calculations for the cost of doing business. Real estate agents are independent contractors and typically pay for their own licensing, office expenses, required continuing education, marketing, business cards and E&O insurance. Be sure to have a plan to set aside portions of your income for taxes and savings to cover the slow times or vacation. Calculate what your commission would be for a target home. Based on these figures, you should end up with a realistic goal to make ends meet, and know how much you need to sell each month.

3. Set boundaries

When you start to really get in the groove and get a taste for success, it’s easy to eat, drink and sleep real estate 24/7. But know your limits. Long-term success is defeated by burnout. Make sure you try to protect time for yourself by way of a weekly yoga class, and time for friends and family. Balance will fend off burnout and is a more sustainable career path.

4.  Build your confidence

A successful agent is less likely to quit. The most important trait of a successful salesperson is confidence. But confidence is harder when you are a new agent. The best way to build confidence is practice. A couple tricks of the trade for practice:

a. Role-play with a colleague or friend. Work with a “script” of what you’d like to say in certain situations, such as meeting a prospective customer, and hear yourself say the words again and again.
b. Station yourself at open houses every weekend. This can be helpful to the listing agent and great exposure for you. Practice talking to people about their real estate needs and try asking them questions differently each time.

5. Get a mentor and/or a coach

A role model is worth her weight in gold. Having someone to ask questions, share ideas and learn from their experiences is incredibly valuable. If you don’t know someone who can fill that role, you can hire a coach. Become a knowledge sponge when you are around these people and soak up as much as you can. Also, read or listen to as many trade publications and industry blogs as you can get your hands on. Increasing your knowledge will increase your value to your clients.

6. Routines and checklists

It seems to be a simple thing, but a working real estate professional creates her own structure. Successful people tend to start their day with a specific routine. Some swear by positive affirmations or meditation. Some start by creating a to-do list for the day. Other start every day by looking at the hot sheets in their area to see what’s newly listed, sold, expired, etc., which is what you should be doing anyway. Find the routine that works for you and keeps you productive and motivated.

7. Be the captain of your own lead gen

Don’t just wait for referrals from family and friends. Contact newly expired listings and listings For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) and turn them into clients. Find out what might motivate them. Ask people if you can do a free home valuation or market analysis. This is good practice, too. Cold calling isn’t easy. You will hear far more “no’s” than “yes’s.” But if prospects always said yes, you wouldn’t be a salesperson; you’d instead be an order taker.

8. Never stop believing

Maintaining a long and fruitful career in real estate takes resilience. Even after bad experiences, and everyone has them, you need to find your own personal source for positive energy. Some successful agents use visual reminders of what motivates them. Or perhaps a mentor, coach or friend is just the touchstone you need to restore your faith in yourself.

The key takeaway here is you can do this. Be realistic, be smart and work hard and you have every reason to enjoy a successful career for years to come.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog

3 Ways Technology is Changing Real Estate

3 Ways Technology is Changing Real Estate

From digital open houses to Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms to bitcoin cryptocurrency, new technologies are taking over the real estate industry by storm and accelerating the pace of business. With tech-savvy Millennials and Generation Y representing the largest group of homebuyers, it is important to power up your career by staying on top of these swiftly evolving trends and learning how new tech can work for you.

Over 70% of customers look for homes online and more than half of house tours are booked through a website. Now more than ever, keeping up with the latest tech can help you differentiate yourself from your competition. Learn how to leverage the real estate tech revolution with these three emerging trends:

1. Artificial Intelligence can be an intimidating and even threatening idea to some. Science fiction has conditioned us to view it as something that will ultimately overpower human intelligence and bring about our demise. But, today’s AI solutions do not dream of electric sheep yet, and are used to meet a growing need for convenience and efficiency. Real estate AI platforms can range from robots giving house tours to immersive virtual tours offered from the comfort of your client’s couch. Beyond its consumer-centric approach, AI can streamline processes for agents by automating repetitive tasks, like answering questions in real-time with chatbots, and use predictive analytics to sift through large amounts of data to target hot leads.

2. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) offer a unique try-before-you-buy model in real estate. Thanks to aerial footage obtained from drones and 3D technology, your clients can now “step into” a space and have an immersive virtual experience while you assist another client. Agents may soon no longer need to spend time and money staging a space, because clients are able to personalize it with virtual furniture. Many international investors already use VR before considering a real estate purchase, and this trend will increase as the VR experience becomes more immersive and sophisticated. Allowing your clients to evaluate a space will help speed up their decision-making process and is more likely to put you in touch with an interested buyer.

3. Blockchain Technology. While Blockchain Technology is still in its infancy, it has already demonstrated its vast potential with the recent use of bitcoin currency in luxury real estate sales. Bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency created by blockchain technology, is essentially a decentralized electronic money used for transactions worldwide. The appeal of this peer-to-peer currency is that it is borderless, not controlled by a monetary authority and has created a wave of new digital wealth valued at about $200 billion — in less than a decade. Despite bitcoin’s potential tax implications and tech bubble “feel”, sellers are willing to accept the currency for large-scale projects fueling speculations that bitcoins may be revolutionizing the financial sector next.

It is important for real estate professionals to adjust to these technological advances and diversify their strategies, as new tech will continue to accelerate the pace of business. Consumers will increasingly seek centralized experiences that integrate all facets of a real estate transaction. One way you can diversify your strategy is by offering an AHS® Home Warranty along with your listing. This can help save your clients’ time and reassure them that their budget is protected from unexpected covered breakdowns.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog