POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- For home buyers, information on potential destinations is readily available on the internet, making the role of real estate agents much different than it has been in recent years.
With hundreds of real estate websites that feature listings all over the map, home buyers can narrow their search to find homes that they like before seeing them in person. Today, the job of real estate agents is to provide supplemental information to the home buyers and make the buying process simple and to the point. "Technology has shifted the role of real estate agents from an information provider to a local market expert and service provider," said Joan Keating a real estate agent for William Raveis Real Estate.
This readily available information is especially useful for first-time buyers, who make up a large portion of the real estate market. According to Keating, most first-time buyers come to Bedford and Pound Ridge and have little familiarity with the surrounding community. "Before they come to look at a home, people have an understanding of what they want from a community," said Keating. "This helps us find a home that represents our client's needs."
Real estate agents can also utilize technology when closing a deal, through services such as online signatures. With the rapid pace of finding a home and closing a deal, technology helps both the buyer and seller conduct business quickly and efficiently. "Home buyers do online research, know what they’re looking for and know the neighborhood," said Keating. "They key for agents is to be more responsive, understand what the client wants and justify the money that they’re getting."
As technology takes away barriers to information, real estate agents are now relied upon for their expertise in the market, inventory, background on the area and much more. Technology will continue to provide more access to the information but agents and brokers are necessary for playing a role in providing an important service to clients. "This business is all about adapting and understanding how to make the process as smooth as possible for our clients," said Keating.
For more information about Joan Keating of William Raveis, click here.