Tech law GEEK

20061201

Technology in Houston Real Estate

or What Big Mama's kids learn

The Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) has an award-winning website for many good reasons. Over the past couple weeks I've had the pleasure of sitting in on some very informative sessions covering the use of technology in the real estate sales process. I continue to be amazed at the wealth of information and tools available not only to HAR members, but also to consumers directly from the HAR website.

I know from my own experience that the Houston real estate market benefits from having

the largest individual membership trade association in Houston, and the second largest local Association/Board of REALTORS® in the United States.

--See InsideHAR

HAR's technology group provides many resources to its members that automate much of the tedious work associated with marketing and locating properties, both commercial and residential. With over 50,000 listings active in the greater Houston area alone, one can only imagine how difficult it would be to manage that much information without a centralized system compiled by participating brokers and agents. Combine that with the use of eNeighborhoods/Wyldfyre, ZipForms and DocuSign to facilitate (virtually) paperless transactions, and Houston buyers surely become the most informed and involved market participants no matter where they are in the world.

And don't be fooled by news of depressed real estate markets in other parts of the country, Houston is still doing very well:

While national numbers have shown weakness, Houston is being highlighted as one of the remaining positive markets across the country.
-- See Greater Houston Area Redefines A Healthy Housing Market

So where does Big Mama come in? Big Mama is Ms. Desiree Savory, self-professed tech nerd and instructor for many of HAR's tech-focused continuing education courses. She, along with HAR staff members Marsha Mitchell, Edward Moncur, and Nathan Goble, help HAR members learn tips & tricks for optimizing their use of technology tools already available to members. And they need to learn these tools to stay competitive because, as the HAR web statistics show, more and more consumers are finding out about them, too, just by visting HAR.com.

When I started law school just a few short years ago, I was frustrated with how slowly it seemed the real estate market was adopting new technologies. Now, I am amazed at how much progress has been made. This can only benefit buyers (especially from out of town) and sellers more. And you can be sure it won't take long before they will expect legal professionals to operate just as efficiently.

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3 Comments:

  • HAR.com is a great website. Everyone I know who has bought a home in the past year or two has used it. There's still a lot of room for improvement though. For scouting locations, I've found Zillow.com wins hands down with its Google-Maps-style 'map and search' feature.

    By Luke Gilman, at Fri Dec 22, 02:00:00 AM EST  

  • I agree! HAR does have great resources to real estate agents to use on their sites. I honestly believe that most real estate agents under-utilize the tools that HAR has provided to them. I am very happy that they have finalized the agreement with Wolfnet IDX to allow agents to use an external IDX provider, which will allow consumers to browse Houston real estate listings in a variety of fashions.

    @ Luke Gilman

    The only problem with Zillow is that for the Houston real estate market, it is extremely inaccurate. I agree; Zillows map based search is very useful and integrates excellent advances in technology. Just be sure to not use it to gauge your pricing on a prospective real estate purchase in Houston.

    By Steve Castaneda, Realtor, at Mon May 21, 12:19:00 PM EDT  

  • I have taken a look at the site and I like it. Mainly it is easy to navigate. That is half the battle when dealing with people. Looks great.

    Rick Marnon, Howell
    http://www.oaklandlivingston.com

    By Rick Marnon, at Tue Nov 20, 09:40:00 AM EST  

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