Today's Realtor®'s Second Annual Technology Study

The 1997 results are in.

July 1, 1997

For the second year, Today's REALTOR® has surveyed the REALTOR® market to find out what technology you use or shun--and how beneficial that technology is to you.

Although most of you say online ventures haven't brought any business, a formidable 85 percent of you are strong boosters of technology generally, believing it has bolstered your productivity (see "Does Technology Juice Up Your Bottom Line?" below).

Perhaps because of that, our survey found that within the next 12 months many of you are planning to buy more or better technology. Some 38 percent intend to upgrade their operating system by purchasing memory and new computers or adding peripherals, such as modems and CD-ROMs. (See "Open Season on Technology," below.)

The survey, conducted last February, randomly sampled 5,000 active Today's REALTOR® subscribers, who filled out a four-page questionnaire about their technology use. We received 636 completed questionnaires, representing a response rate of 13 percent. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

More of the Latest Technology Buzz . . .

Today's REALTOR®'s 1997 Technology Study reveals a wealth of information about you. Here are some highlights:

  • At work, 95 percent of you use desktops, 9.4 percent use laptops, 4 percent use notebooks, and 0.9 percent use palmtops.
  • At work, 45.6 percent access commercial online account at least two to three times a week. At home, 58.8 percent of you do so.
  • Ninety-eight percent own a computer at home.
  • The majority of you use your online service to send (59.6 percent) and receive (57.7 percent) E-mail.
  • Those with the highest salaries tend to spend more on cellular phone service.Of those paying at least $250 a month for cell phone service, 75 percent earn $100,000 a year or more.
  • When it comes to learning about technology, most of you prefer a personal touch. Overall, friends and relatives (52.6 percent) and colleagues (43.2 percent) are your preferred sources. Broker-owners tend to seek out independent sources. For instance, 60.6 percent of respondents who said they were broker-owners learn through a private consultant, and 59.5 percent opt for an independent seminar. Less appealing sources for all groups include visiting technology stores and surfing the Net.
  • The typical TR technology survey respondent is a 49-year-old male salesperson licensee specializing in residential sales. He has been in the business at least 10 years and earns a median gross income of $36,500.


Here's what you say about how effective computer technology has been in improving your productivity.

Improved considerably 32 percent
Improved moderately 53 percent
No effect 14.5 percent
Diminished 0.5 percent

Source:Today's REALTOR® Technology Study 1997


Do you prefer to do the fancy stuff at home? In five out of seven categories of add-ons, more respondents have add-ons at home than at work. Here's a sampling of two types of add-ons:

Color Printer  
At work 38.7 percent
At home 47.3 percent
CD-ROM Drive  
At work 39.2 percent
At home 62.2 percent

Source: Today's REALTOR® Technology Study 1997


Within the next 12 months, 38 percent of you plan to upgrade your operating system. Here are some other purchases in your future:*

Additional memory 37.0 percent
Laptop computer 31.3 percent
Desktop computer 28.3 percent
Modem 25.6 percent
CD-ROM drive 23.3 percent
Notebook computer 9.9 percent
Palmtop computer 0.7 percent

Source: Today's REALTOR® Technology Study 1997
*Numbers don't add up to 100 percent because respondents were allowed multiple answers.


How many people use Macs at work? Less than 2 percent, according to respondents. When it comes to operating systems, Bill Gates wins.

*1.8 percent Macintosh
50.7 percent Windows 95
47.9 percent MS DOS/Windows 3.1
20.7 percent DOS-based program
0.4 percent OS/2

Source: Today's REALTOR® Technology Study 1997
*Numbers don't add up to 100 percent because respondents were allowed multiple answers.


Although most respondents haven't realized business through the Internet, 37.2 percent of individuals and companies combined intend to create their own Web page. Here's the skinny on who has a Web site.

Yes 15.8 percent
No 58.8 percent
Don't know 1.4 percent
Plan to implement one 24 percent
Yes 53.7 percent
No 27.4 percent
Don't know 5.7 percent
Plan to implement one 13.2 percent

Source: Today's REALTOR® Technology Study 1997


Not really. The vast majority of respondents say business isn't coming from any online outreach efforts.

76.5 percent zero business
12.5 percent 1 percent of business
9.8 percent 2 percent to 10 percent
1.2 percent 11 percent and up

Source: Today's REALTOR® Technology Study 1997

Look Who Consider Themselves Tech Nerds

Overall, the biggest group of respondents--40.5 percent--say they're knowledgeable about technology, placing themselves smack in the middle on a five-point scale. At each end of the spectrum: Almost 36 percent say they're not very knowledgeable; nearly 24 percent believe they're very knowledgeable.

When we factored age into this mix, we found an unexpected result. The biggest group of people who consider themselves the most techno-savvy are 50- to 59-year-olds, at almost 38 percent. That's nearly as many as those in the same age group who consider themselves not very knowledgeable, 42.9 percent.

Source: Today's REALTOR® Technology Study 1997

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