How technology changed the Ottawa real estate industry

It is hard to believe that about 10 years ago the use of internet was still a novelty for most Ottawa real estate agents. Most agents did not have a website and faxes were the most convenient way to send and receive offers. Smart phones and of course tablets, the use of scanners, electronic signatures did not even exist yet. In fact, many Realtors still used pagers and a landline to conduct business and some wrote offers by hand. It seems that technology changed everything in the real estate industry!

The most important change, however involves the Ottawa MLS system and the appearance of many new marketing platforms and the resulting changes they brought in the promotion of Ottawa homes for sale. About ten years ago the MLS, Multiple Listing Service, was the only widely used internet based platform to showcase and advertise houses for sale. Today there are numerous small and large, free and paid websites that allow anyone to post pictures, videos, maps, contact info and description of houses for sale in Ottawa. The effects of this development are numerous but the most dramatic is the empowerment of the home buyers and sellers.

They can now do their research, make appointments to see the properties, compare them and advertise and sell them without the direct involvement of a real estate agent. On the other hand, the Ottawa MLS system managed to remain the by far the most popular and most efficient platform to sell homes for top dollar and in a shorter time frame. The reason is that MLS provides a huge exposure to thousands of prospective buyers searching for new home from the comfort of their home. To use the MLS system a seller needs to work with a registered real estate agent.

Furthermore, the MLS gives immensely powerful tools for agents to search the sales history and statistics of just about any residential property. This provides a very valuable primary source of information on market values and market activities of any type of property in any neighbourhood. The result is that the work and goals of successful agents moved away from simply sales to consultation type services. They no longer simply list a home by putting some amateur pictures and a short description in the local newspaper. Agents now use deep market knowledge, speedy communication to advise their clients about the optimal ways to sell and home residential properties.

Overall, while there are many new and successful ways to expose a property to home buyers it seems that the Multiple Listing Service is still the best single technology you can use to advertise and sell your home.

 

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