Real estate has existed for as long as man himself. From the days of early man down to this new age, land has been traded and bought. The real estate industry is one which has evolved as time changes; it’s one of the top industries, in Nigeria and also around the world.
Real estate business has quickly changed its mode of operation since the invention of the internet and ever-increasing competition rate. In the past, it was more of convenience or who you knew. Real estate agents were chosen by seller mostly for convenience sake they were sometimes a friend or the friend of a friend, or maybe they sold a house of a family or relation etc. Now with the rate of technology and the growth of the webspace, information about real estate companies and agents all over the internet.
Below are ways in which real estate was done in the past as against the present:
1. Advertising using newspapers vs online advertising: In the world before technology, one of the ways people get information was through newspapers. When a buyer is interested in buying a property, they usually will check the paper for property listings. Prospective buyers would look through the real estate section of the newspaper and choose a property which best suits their needs, and they put a call through the owner of the property to fix an appointment. The documents of the property and pictures would be physically delivered. Going through the property listing was the first and most crucial step for anyone looking to buy or sell a home.
The internet and technology have made the buying process easier for the buyer. Sellers can now upload pictures and details of the property online. Technology has advanced even further that buyers can watch virtual tours displaying the entire property. This can be done from anywhere in the world, making it convenient and saves time.
2. Availability of real estate agents: Before, there was no need for an agent as the transaction of selling a property was limited to the buyer and the seller. They bought agree and seal the deal as the conversation between the two parties were enough, adding a third party was not necessary. Today real estate has become a complex web with a lot of processes that it is vital to have an agent. The real estate agent represents the seller or the buyer and manages everything from finding a buyer to setting up deals, sorting all document and finally sealing the deal. A buyer or a seller cannot proceed smoothly with the transaction without getting help from a listing agent or a buyer’s agent.
3. Method of Marketing: The way of marketing used to be from door to door up until the introduction of telephones. Even with phones, the conversations were cold, but properties were till sold one way or another. Now with technology and the World Wide Web marketing has become seamless and reached an even wider audience. Agents no longer have to make cold calls about properties or go door-to-door marketing their homes to obtain leads. They can now create email campaigns to send to prospects and effectively make use of social media channels to increase the exposure of their listing. Realtors are now utilizing professional platforms like LinkedIn increase their credibility.
4. Emphasis on Customer Service: The conventional real estate methods paid little attention to customer service. There were no reviews or company testimonial what, word of mouth was the only mean possible. Clients who were not happy with services rendered could only complain to family or friends. Customer service in today’s world is essential, and agents pay so much attention to it, with the internet clients can write about experiences with an agent, and this can either make or break a business.
Clients expect realtors to be their partner during the process of buying or selling their property and want their realtor to be able to answer any questions.
Technology has changed the way we do things in the world, and real estate isn’t left out. It has made the process of real estate business easier, faster and less stressful. This does not mean the conventional method was wrong in any way as some of the methods used in the past are still relevant in today’s world.