Q: How has technology improved to help agents work with their clients?
A.We’ve seen a shift in how homebuyers get a home simply because the process is made so much easier with technology. For instance, prospective buyers can use a number of mobile apps, such as Realtor.com, Trulia or House Hunter, to access a wealth of information, listings, trends and more to help them in the buying process. Technology has improved significantly to make financing a home much easier than before, and Realtors now have many more tools available to them than before, and can help their clients by suggesting apps they can use or use technology themselves to improve their clients’ homebuying experience.
For instance, on GuaranteedRate.com, we just launched our online application that allows homebuyers to get approval for a loan in as little as 15 minutes. On our site, customers can customize their loan, get free credit reports from the three major bureaus and track their loan status 24/7.
In addition, the agents I work with cite specific tools they use to make their work day more efficient:
- DocuSign – allows agents to receive electronic signatures from their clients, reducing or eliminating the need for paperwork.
- Dropbox – a free file sharing tool that allows agents and their clients to access the same documents in the same place.
- Partner Xchange – our free portal that allows agents to monitor the status of their borrowers’ loans, including automatic notifications at important milestones; receive marketing support and personalized materials; and appear in our national search directory.
- Car Office – agents are able to incorporate elements of the office into their cars, including a tablet or laptop connected to a wireless printer and portable scanner.
Q. What challenges are presented with an increased reliance on technology?
A. The biggest challenge is simply incorporating technology we’re not familiar with into our daily lives. It’s always hard to adapt to new technology – you don’t know what it is, you don’t know how it works and you don’t understand how it will make your life easier. Once you become more familiar, everything becomes easier.
Another challenge, of course, is security. There will always be criminals who try to hack into various systems to get information or simply to create a disruption, so companies will always need to stay one step ahead and make sure any possible security holes are being plugged.
Q. How will tech be used in the future to make the homebuying process easier?
A. I do think the real estate and mortgage industries will eventually shift to a paperless system, where everything is completed, from beginning to end, online. Today, technology and regulations don’t allow for that to happen, but as consumers continue to rely more on using technology for all other activities – everything from managing their entire financial portfolio, to monitoring their home security to simply ordering their groceries – we’ll see an increased role for technology in the home buying process.
In 2012, Gjeldum closed more than $102 million, and thus far in 2013, is on track to exceed his 2012 total. He can be reached at 312-543-9692 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.