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"Real Estate Confronts the Future!"


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Stefan Swanepoel Photo
4/5/02 Interview with Stefan Swanepoel

RealtyU Group
8 Argonaut, Suite 100
Also Viejo, CA 92656
Biography

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Progress towards Automation

  1. Technology actually happens slowly over time, so much of the long anticipated automation of routine real estate functions is still happening; noticeable areas already affected include marketing/advertising of properties.
  2. Today, the bulk of information on real estate is on the Web; contracts and documentation can be downloaded from the Web; transactions are routinely completed online between people who have never met.
Trends for Real Estate Pros

  1. The merger/acquisition mania and the big-bank grab have created some strife in the industry for a couple of years; newer trends are more positive, especially in the telecommunications industry.
  2. The key ones are: 1) the convergence of the Internet and telecommunications (integration of the telephone and the Web); 2) enhanced communications.
  3. Numerous communication tools have evolved in separate compartments: telephone, fax, Internet device; these technologies are coming together so that hardware devices will increasingly perform multiple functions.
New Tool for Serving Visitors to Your Web Site

  1. Software is becoming available that lets you put links anywhere on your web site to connect a visitor immediately to a phone number of your choice; a different forwarding number can be used at various locations on your site to direct inquiries to the most appropriate source for answers.
  2. A company on the forefront of this technology is Connect 4 Info; others are also beginning to offer this hot new idea, and GenuTec is offering the product to the real estate industry.
Enhanced and Simplified Communication

  1. The integrated hardware will make possible the unification of multiple phone/fax/cell numbers that most business people now have into a single contact number; with one number, people will be able to reach you more easily via multiple modes (phone, fax, email) no matter where you are.
  2. With this technology, you will also be able to respond immediately in multiple formats from the same device that receives.
  3. Many large telecommunications companies are looking into products that accomplish this unification, expect them to hit the market by fall 2002.
m-Business and v-Business

  1. The term e-business has become familiar to signify traditional business that is conducted online (electronically); m-Business is e-business that is done via wireless technology; v-business takes m-business to the next level of being voice-enabled.
  2. With regard to multiple listings, a consumer eventually will be able to dial into an MLS from a car, access appropriate listings by giving voice commands and receive voice responses on the spot.
  3. GenuTec Business Solutions is planning to offer products for the real estate industry later this year, e.g., the unified communication number and some voice-command capability.
Characteristics of Online Consumers

  1. Online consumers expect the Internet to benefit them by providing: 1) quicker service; 2) simpler transactions; 3) real time information.
  2. Realtors need to meet these expectations by being set up to respond fast on the Web; the industry needs to work toward a simpler processes for mortgage loans and real estate transactions to make buying a house easier.
  3. The demand of consumers for immediate information is strong, chat rooms are popular, and instant messaging is growing much faster than email; some international companies are conducting board meetings in a chat room.
  4. The Society's Online Convention, with live keynote speakers, fits into this new pattern of immediacy and interaction.
Recommended Tools and Sites for Realtors

  1. To remain on the cutting edge, agents need to be current with news and information in general; good sites outside the industry are CyberAtlas.com and Internet.com.
  2. Informative sites within the industry are REcyber.com and Rebuz (lots of articles on residential, commercial, mortgage, etc.).
  3. Google.com is a powerful search engine with minimal advertising.
  4. A great, relatively new travel site is Orbitz.com, owned and operated by some of the major airlines; it is notable for its comparison charts and excellent prices.
A Look into the Future

  1. The effect of the Internet will be magnified by the fact that upcoming generations will grow up being comfortable with the Internet and are expected to spend a quarter to a third of their time online.
  2. The impact of the Internet will be astounding, changing the way people communicate, socialize and do business; the NEED to move great distances will be eliminated because of cyberspace connections.
  3. The Internet will also have profound impact on how real estate is practiced; many of the traditional services will lessen in importance or become obsolete as Internet automation takes over.
  4. However, agents will continue to add value through irreplaceable skills, such as interpreting and sharing information and negotiating.
Advice for New Professionals

  1. Novices coming into real estate must recognize the importance of being Internet connected, basics for doing business include an email account and a web site.
  2. The most important technology factor for real estate success into the future is using technology effectively to be efficient without sacrificing the courteous, personal touch.
Contact Information for Stefan Swanepoel:

(v) (949) 349-9394
(f) (949) 349-9392
(e) Swanepoel@RealtyU.com
(w)www.RealtyU.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

RealSure:
RealSure.com

For telecommunications products:
www.connect4info.com

GenuTec Business Solutions:
www.genutec.com

General tech sites:
www.cyberatlas.com
www.internet.com

Real estate tech sites:
www.REcyber.com
www.rebuz.com

Persoanl favorites:
www.google.com
www.orbitz.com