We bought our first piece of real estate, a house, in 1988. I remember finding the house advertised in the Denver newspaper pullout as a HUD property. At the time, it was the best way to find a property. Sunday real estate advertisements were a primary method of marketing real estate. In today’s market there are numerous methods to search for real estate, thanks to technology and the internet.
Using the internet, one can view real estate listings from the comforts of one’s own home on an array of websites. Our office subscribes to eight different commercial real estate based websites, which are constantly kept updated and current. LoopNet, CIMLS, Grand Junction Commercial, Commercial Source, Co Star, and Coldwell Banker Commercial World Wide are just a few of the more well known websites for commercial buyers, sellers and tenants. The local MLS website allows agent and broker members to set up property showings, contact other agents or brokers to request more information about specific listings or search out other specific area information; all this at fingertip access. Social networking, blogs, and personal websites are other ways that the public may search out properties or find an agent/broker that would suit their needs.
One can make an offer to purchase a property via the computer, without leaving one’s home or office. Contracts are now electronic, and electronic signatures are quite easy to do, and legally accepted. Our office has adopted and is using a real estate contract software package that allows the Broker to email the contract or listing to the Buyer and/or Seller, who can then sign it on their computer, just using a mouse. One of my 80-year old clients signed her listing agreement from her home in the Mountains, giving me an instantaneous response. This saved both of us postage at the least, and time and travel in the worse scenario.
Technology has changed the face of many things, and will continue to be dynamic in all aspects of business, banking and real estate, affecting our lives in many diversified channels. Using real estate technology simplifies construction of, sending and sharing of legal documents, however, face to face discussion, agreement and hard copy document preparation is still the most safe and effective manner to conduct business. As a last word here; technology can indeed improve the speed that we can send and share information and do business, but we must never, ever lose focus of doing all of our business with a personal touch.