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The ongoing pandemic has impacted almost every industry in 2020. The real estate sector is one of the best examples of this new reality. Although modern technology was already changing the way buyers research and purchase homes before this year, COVID-19 has further strengthened the need for tech advancements, altering the industry as a whole. Consider the following tips on how real estate professionals can successfully adapt to technological changes moving forward.

Understand industry tools and trends.

One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to pay close attention to what other professionals are doing in the real estate industry. After doing some research, you may realize that the local competition is now using a superior way for obtaining leads, interacting with clients, or automating stages of the home buying process.

Only utilize technology that fulfills your specific needs.

Do you have a niche when it comes to real estate? Are you a listing agent? If so, you want to invest in tools that are made for home listings before anything else. If you are an agent who primarily serves buyers, you may consider new digital tools that help buyers research homes.

Always calculate your return on investment.

If you are struggling to rationalize the cost of a new tech tool, understand that return on investment is a more important number to you. After crunching some numbers, you may find that a few new innovations may increase your overall income. It is easy to get caught up in the expenses associated with tech tools. However, it is necessary to have a long-term outlook when considering new technologies.

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One of the best ways for a person to build wealth is to invest in the future. Some of the most popular types of investment categories include retirement plans, mutual funds, stocks, and commodities. Another proven-effective way to invest your money is through purchasing real estate. Although the ongoing pandemic has made 2020 a financially challenging year for many Americans, historically low interests rates make it an attractive time to invest in real estate. With this in mind, read on and discover a few reasons why real estate remains a smart investment in 2020. 

Real estate provides owner tax reductions.

One frequently overlooked benefit of owning real estate is that it is tax deductible. This is because tax codes permit various deductions on the interest paid on the mortgage, home maintenance, improvements, and property upkeep. These deductions can reduce your overall taxes, saving you money every year.

Real estate investments will likely appreciate. 

Appreciation is one of the most compelling reasons to invest in real estate. When the National Association of Realtors started tracking real estate appreciation levels in 1968, they reported an average rate of about 6% a year. While there are no guarantees that a home will appreciate in value over time, history has shown us that real estate will continue to appreciate in value.

Equity is built over time. 

Most people require a mortgage in order to purchase real estate. Through debt financing from a lender, a lender can purchase a home by putting down a small percentage of the home. This is known as a downpayment. Over time, the reduction in the principle amount builds your equity in the home. 

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While real estate is often recognized as one of the most competitive industries, it is especially competitive in the present moment with many new challenges presented by current events. As such, real estate agents are now vying for more leads through various marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to stay ahead of high activity in the market. If you are in the process of shifting your approach to client needs for 2020, consider the following best practices for succeeding as a real estate agent today. 

Provide value to clients 

Why should a buyer or seller hire you? What do you bring to the table as an agent? The most successful agents are knowledgeable about housing markets, real estate trends, different neighborhoods in the local area, school systems, public transportation, home financing options, etc. Also, buyers and sellers today want to work with agents who have strong networks of people. If you already have contacts that you can refer your clients to regarding things like landscaping, plumbing, electrical, and inspectors, you will make their lives a lot easier.

Understand that every client has a different mindset

The most successful real estate agents are flexible with how they work with their clients. All too often, agents stick to one methodology for communicating with clients. Because everyone thinks and acts differently, an agent needs to be accommodating to serve their clients best. For example, millennial homebuyers are generally more tech-savvy than older individuals and prefer the usage of digital applications for communication purposes.

Build networks through relationship building

As is the case for many professions, real estate agents should continually strive to grow their network. Over time, a strong network will provide you with business through referrals/word of mouth. Also, it is important to create new contacts, but it is also necessary to maintain your existing ones. In other words, don’t forget/neglect to reach out to people you haven’t spoken with in a while.

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Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have negatively impacted virtually all U.S industries, with real estate being no exception. While low interest rates continue to bring many buyers to the market, many sellers remain hesitant to list their home during the pandemic.

As states progress through their roadmaps to recovery, businesses are slowly reopening, which is encouraging news for our country. According to the Washington Post, the economy gained 2.5 million jobs during May. This was excellent news because this is the first time jobs have been added since February. Much of this can be attributed to the opening of many states during the middle/end of May. 

Real estate agents who have taken a proactive approach during the pandemic should be in a primed position for an influx of buyers in the coming weeks. Agents who have not already invested in their website, online lead generation and other marketing campaigns will likely be at a disadvantage from their competition. However, it is important to remember it is never too late to invest in your real estate business. No matter the circumstances, there will always be people looking to buy and sell homes in the U.S. 

There are Americans who put their home search on hold because of job loss or because they didn’t believe now was a good time to purchase a home. As we progress into the summer, we should see real estate transaction totals continuing to climb as more restrictions are lifted. While we are nowhere near being out of the woods with COVID-19, there are positive signs that people should be optimistic about the residential real estate market.

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With the right precautionary measures taken, buyers and sellers can still safely carry out their real estate plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both processes require additional steps/precautions, we have the tools and resources to complete real estate transactions. Read on and discover a few practices for safely buying or selling a home during COVID-19.

Digital communications

We are heavily reliant on technology during COVID-19 to conduct business operations. Real estate agents are communicating through email, phone, text messaging, or video conferencing applications. Some of the most popular video conferencing applications for agents include Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype. Although there is a learning curve for some, these platforms are well received by most buyers and sellers today.

Virtual tours 

Many buyers are hesitant to attend in person showings. Although they already had a presence in the real estate industry, they spiked in popularity over the last several weeks. By integrating 3D tours and videos, one can generate more traffic to their online listings. 

E-Transactions 

Not only are e-transactions safer than in person closings, but they are far more efficient. With the help of e-signature technology, home transactions buyers and sellers do not need to sit together at a table and pass around pens. 

Routinely disinfect surfaces

In addition to wearing face masks and washing your hands, we must ensure that high-touch areas are routinely disinfected. This includes countertops, doorknobs, handrails, lockboxes, cabinets, and so forth.

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With summer quickly approaching, now is the time to make predictions about the housing market in the upcoming months. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the U.S, buyers, sellers, and agents are pressured to modify traditional real estate practices to meet the unprecedented needs of these challenging times. Interest rates are at a continuous low, bringing many buyers into the market, and this trend is predicted to continue into the summer. Read on and discover a few housing market trends to anticipate into the summer. 

Individual home visits

Traditional open houses may not be a part of the summer housing market as a result of precautionary measures surrounding the pandemic. With these social distancing measures in place, individual visits will continue to be the norm this summer due to current COVID-19 guidelines. Prospective buyers who want to see a listing in person will be required to schedule a time to limit the number of people in a home at once. 

Bidding wars

While it is difficult to predict, there is reason to believe that because there may be inventory reductions in many markets across the country, there will also likely be a spike in bidding wars. Sellers this summer should keep this in mind as they are pricing their homes. 

Digital reliance 

The ongoing pandemic continues to increase the need for digital applications for real estate professionals. Not only are agents using virtual as a way to show homes, but electronic document signing has also increased in popularity in previous weeks. Regardless of what unfolds with COVID-19 in the upcoming months, we should expect the industry to continue to adapt to digitized processes. In many ways, digital usage promotes efficiency and is a cost-effective way of conducting business.

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