Twenty years ago, a realtor’s job was very different. It involved keeping vast amounts of files and having the resources to show clients the houses that were on the market.

Since then, smartphones, data portals, and real estate apps have had a significant impact on how realtors connect with their clients and match buyers with sellers. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has found that the three most valuable technological services real estate agents use in their business include today:

  • Multiple Listing Services (MLS) like Zillow and Redfin (64 percent)
  • Lockbox/Smart Key devices (39 percent)
  • Social Media (28 percent)

This shows how the responsibilities of a realtor have changed dramatically. Clients can now access all the information that was once almost exclusively available to realtors. Anyone with a smartphone can:

  • Research neighborhoods
  • Get price comparisons and estimates
  • Find out the history of homes
  • Discover demographic info, school district ratings, and local amenities

Clients don’t need access to a realtor’s file cabinet. They can find all of this information on their own through Zillow or Redfin.

While the vast majority of realtors are now using some amount of technology (91% overall use some amount of social media), that hasn’t always been the case. Many were slow to understand how MLS sites and social media would change how clients interact with real estate.
That’s a mistake that agents can no longer afford to make. As more information becomes readily available, it becomes even more crucial for realtors to become the experts not just in finding houses but in working with technology.