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By Kim Murphy
Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round-Up: The gift of technology


Last updated 5/11/2020 at 10:30am

Do not get me wrong, there are many parts of the all-encompassing technology apps that truly make me uncomfortable. And if I really considered the overriding exposure to any data transmitted via the cloud, I would be opposed to all of it. However, given the current California “stay at home” mandate, everyone has had to adapt, and adapt we have.

Normally, this time of year, I am in Sacramento for the California Association of Realtors legislative meetings. Association members spend five days in Sacramento attending the spring meetings and visiting with state legislators.

That conference was not possible this year, so the association took all their meetings online utilizing Zoom video. The Zoom platform has allowed them to hold meetings with nearly 1,000 in attendance. It is amazing. It is a bit like watching a giant “Brady Bunch Intro” with each participant’s smiling face in their very own square.

The platform allows for full audio and video communication with all participants. It has a voting application, a written comments application and even an emotion application, where attendees can clap their hands or raise their hand if they have a question.

CAR spread the meetings out over two weeks, which made it possible for directors to attend more meetings than would have been possible if they were physically there and for meeting times to extend in order to complete a discussion or take a vote. The cost savings was huge and yet the productivity has been excellent.

Zoom video can be utilized throughout individual real estate transactions. As a seller or a buyer, residents can virtually “meet” with their Realtor to discuss documents, negotiations or strategies. Do not get me wrong, I am still and will always be a believer in the value of personal, face-to-face, communication, but during these unique times Zoom is a tool everyone can embrace.

Previous online tools that Realtors have used for quite some time now, include “DocuSign” and “Glide.” Both these apps allow buyers and sellers to complete many forms online and sign them with their designated signature. The online use does not remove them from the responsibility of reviewing and comprehending what they are signing, but it streamlines the process.

Think about it this way. When email came on the scene, it was an online app. Look how email has transformed communication. Many people could not live without it. What about, texting? It is a very quick way to get a small amount of information to someone else, which is saved in both the sender’s and the recipient’s phone history. This way all parties can refer to it at a later time. Both technology apps have become mainstream.

I do think it is funny, however, when someone sends me a text that requires a lengthy response, so I call them rather than text them, and they do not answer their phone. I know they are in the presence of their phone because they just sent the text, but they do not answer their phone, because they prefer texting as their form of communication. I will send a text to them that simply says, “Call me please.”

Another, not so new, but underutilized real estate tool is the 3-D walkthrough. A special camera with some very specialized software can allow a prospective buyer to walk through a home. It allows a potential buyer to get a feel for the flow of the floorplan and the arrangement of the rooms in the home. Viewers can even scroll up or down to look at the detail of the flooring or the type of light fixtures or cabinetry in the home.

In my humble opinion, none of these tools will ever replace personal relationships or interaction. However, when buyers and sellers are given lemons, these apps are a way of making lemonade.

The moral of this story is that real estate is being conducted. Sellers are selling homes and buyers are buying them. They are just doing things a little differently than they did them in February.

Contact us, via text, email, phone or just stop by the office on Main Avenue. We are here to meet you in your comfort zone, with whatever tools work for you. But there is no need to stand on the sidelines when technology is providing a path to keep moving forward.

Thanks for reading. Hope to “see” you soon.

Kim Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N. Main Ave. in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.


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