Ticket to the Future

The technology train is departing for the future

September 1, 2000

Technology is like a speeding train: You either climb aboard or it’ll pass you by. And never before has the technology train moved so fast or in a direction so critical for the future of real estate practitioners.

From the back office to the front yard, the real estate industry is undergoing a technology revolution. Computers, software, and wireless communications are boosting productivity, increasing efficiency, and improving customer service, and this supplement to REALTOR® Magazine will help you make the most of it.

Consider how far the technology train has brought us already: Contact management software ensures that no opportunity is missed. Digital cell phones let you send and receive voice and e-mail messages. Palmtop computers put all your information resources in your pocket. Digital cameras save on costs and offer new marketing opportunities.

Place these advances within the context of the Internet, and their implications become even more dramatic. Today’s sellers want properties promoted on the Internet, and more buyers look there first to prescreen homes, buildings, and lots. Web sites such as REALTOR.COM link homebuyers to homes that meet their needs. These buyer prospects don’t just review home specs online but also scrutinize the details with walk-through virtual tours, the next best thing to being there. So, by the time they contact you, they’ve already narrowed their selection and eliminated fruitless hours once spent on previews.

And the train doesn’t stop there. When President Clinton signed legislation this summer granting legal status to electronic signatures, he opened the door for virtual transactions, from listing through closing. Within a few years, the only thing a buyer won’t be able to do online is smell the roses in the yard.

Success in real estate will soon require skills not even dreamed of a few years ago. Fortunately, industry leaders recognize their responsibility to equip practitioners for the future. Last spring the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® launched e-PRO®, a certification program that introduces real estate practitioners to online transactions and trains them to use new business models to serve Net-savvy consumers. The course itself makes the case for the Internet: It’s offered entirely online.

REALTOR® Magazine is also helping prepare you for this journey to the future with its annual look at the most critical technology developments in real estate. In this special supplement, you’ll find updates and overviews on digital cameras, palmtops, laptop computers, smart phones, and more. You’ll also learn the secrets of some very tech-savvy REALTORS® who’ve climbed aboard the technology train and are profiting from the ride.

So, get going: The technology train is departing for the future, and your ticket’s inside.

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