When it comes to real estate technology, Realtors said that eSignature, lockbox, and apps and technology from their local multiple listing service were the most impactful tools for their businesses this past year.
These findings appear in the 2022 Technology Survey from the National Association of Realtors. The survey examined NAR members' current tech usage and attitudes about the future of real estate technology. Respondents said that during the past 12 months, eSignature (79%), lockbox (67%), and local MLS apps and technology (67%) were very impactful tools used in their businesses.
- eSignature, lockbox and MLS apps and technology were the most impactful tech tools used by Realtors during the past 12 months.
- Cyber security, 5G and drones are expected to have the biggest impact on real estate in the next two years.
- Nearly half of Realtors believe the metaverse will have an impact on real estate.
When asked to predict which emerging technology tools will be very impactful over the next two years, members stated they believe that cyber security (31%), 5G (30%), and drones (27%) will have the most significant impact.
"It's clear that technology plays a key role in our members' lives and businesses," said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. "From our annual iOi Summit to our REACH tech accelerator program, NAR has its eyes on the future. By partnering with innovation leaders and empowering Realtors with the latest technology, we're driving the future of real estate and helping our members build staying power.
The survey also examined the total amounts spent on technology tools over the past year. About one in three Realtors – 34% – paid between $50-$250, and 19% spent more than $500 each month on their real estate businesses. Twenty percent spent less than $50 per month.
Sixty-one percent agreed or strongly agreed that their brokerage provides them with all the technology tools they need to be successful in their job. Twenty-three percent neither agreed nor disagreed and 15% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement.
Among the most valuable technology tools provided by brokerages were eSignature (67%), lockbox/showing tech (53%), and transaction management (45%). When asked about technology fees paid to their broker, 47% said that the price their broker charges is reasonable. Some 38% said that the broker does not charge a technology fee, slightly up from 36% last year.
Facebook remains the top social media network among Realtors, with 89% using it in their real estate business. Instagram is used by 59% of Realtors – up from 52% in 2021 and 39% in 2018. Some 63% of respondents said the main reason for using social media in their business was to promote listings – up from 49% in 2021.
For the first time this year, the survey asked about the impact of specific emerging technologies on the real estate industry. Some 35% of Realtors said that blockchain technology will definitely or probably have an impact on real estate. For big data and artificial intelligence, 48% think it will definitely or probably have an impact. The metaverse scored a similar result – 46% said it will definitely or probably have an impact on the industry.
When asked about the timing of these impacts, nearly one in four Realtors – 24% – predict that the metaverse will have an impact on real estate in one to two years. Some 27% said it would take three to five years and 11% said the impact would occur in six to 10 years. Ten percent of respondents believe that the metaverse currently has an impact on the industry.
"To ensure that NAR members remain at the forefront of new technologies and ideas, our Strategic Business, Innovation and Technology group continues to research, vet and champion the most promising tech ideas and companies," said Goldberg. "At the heart of everything we do is an insatiable drive to empower our members by providing them with innovations that will impact their businesses for the better."
To read the full report, including more data and methodology, click here.