This article was originally published in Real Estate Agent Magazine Twin Cities, written by Charity Malmberg, Founder and President of Trademark Title
Technology has been constantly changing the way REALTORS® work for the last several years. According to National Association of REALTORS® 2015 study, nearly half of buyers began their home search by looking for properties online with only 14 percent contacting a real estate agent first. It’s no secret or surprise that the consumer wants to find answers, resources and opportunities without ever walking out their front door. The Internet enables this and now smart devices allow this easy-access of information to be mobile as well.
This changes the name of the game for REALTORS® like you and the companies you work with. You know that in order to keep your business thriving, you need to be discoverable online, accessible from smartphones and tablets and only a few clicks away from the properties people are searching for.
What about the title companies you work with and refer to? Are they just as accessible, educational and resourceful for your home buyer? As more and more millennials are entering the market, title companies should also be using technology to attract and inform this ever growing group of online consumers. Sure, many title companies will have the basic websites with contact information, office location and a few tidbits on the company or products they sell. A few companies might even have online rate sheets, quote calculators or even online ordering of services. Even fewer will work to educate the consumer on what a title company actually does or how they should be vetted in the home buying or selling process. However, in the next few years, you’ll begin to see more and more title companies directing their website content toward the consumer, educating them on what title insurance is and why it’s an important policy to have in place.
We, at Trademark, are already there. We’ve launched a new site providing all of the above with a fresher look and feel. We still have all of our 17 locations listed, along with easy online ordering and rate calculators to ensure pricing, but we are also striving to educate the consumer. We provide information on the home buying, selling or refinancing processes, types of title insurance, real estate title insurance requirements and more. Our website is designed to not only provide tools for the consumer, but to also help educate and empower them in their home buying experience. As a REALTOR®, you can use our website to learn about the different services we provide or refer to it as a means of education for your home buyer or seller.
Websites are not the only place consumers are looking for answers and resources. Apps have transitioned into one of the most commonly used tools for consumers as mobile has been more magnified. According to localytics, there are 224 million monthly active app users in the United States alone. Additionally, time spent on said apps now exceeds the time spent accessing the Web on a desktop. So, as the demand rises, why not meet it? We, at Trademark, have also launched our new mobile app, Trademark Title, to help you service your consumers quickly and simply while on the go. This is more than just handy; it can help ensure you’re doing business right. Failure to disclose to a buyer or a seller at or before the time an offer is written or presented that the buyer or seller may have to pay certain closing costs, which may effectively reduce the proceeds from the sale or increase cash outlay at closing is a violation according to Minnesota Statute 82.71. With the Trademark Title App, you can prepare seller net sheets, help cash or loan buyers estimate how much money they will need to bring for closing and figure out the price range of homes you should be showing your clients by using the affordability calculator. One of the best features about this is the ability to email the net sheet right from the app, sending it to yourself for future reference or directly to the broker or client. Additionally, if you have a closing scheduled with us and need directions to our office, you can also get turn-by-turn directions through our app as well.
Technology will always be changing, but as consumer demands rise, we want to be right there fulfilling those demands and helping you to fulfill your demands as well. Check out our website or download our free app to see how we are striving to help you be the best possible agent for your buyer and seller.