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Survey: Tech adaptations key to success during Covid and beyond 

A new report by the National Association of Realtors looked at which work habits and technology adopted during the pandemic are here to stay.

January 7, 2023
2 minutes

The pandemic changed work habits and processes across all industries, real estate included. While some, like forgoing open houses, were only temporary, many tech-enabled adaptations are here to stay. 

That was the finding of a new report — "Adopt to Adapt" — released by the National Association of Realtors. The report identified changes made across the real estate industry during the Covid-19 pandemic that have become more standard practices in 2023, including the widespread adoption of digital documents and virtual meeting technology.

The report is based on a survey of thousands of real estate agents and MLS and association staff fielded in August and September. Members were asked about changes they made during the pandemic period that they have maintained.

The report noted that when the pandemic was declared in the U.S. in March 2020, most states deemed real estate as an essential business that could continue to operate. The designation compelled many offices to adopt practices to keep running safely — and keep up with the historically high market activity throughout 2020 and 2021. Some of the protocols implemented were so successful they are now a routine part of everyday business.

These are some ways in which industry professionals adapted during the pandemic:

  • 44% of agent and broker respondents said that e-documents were the most impactful tool for their businesses during the pandemic and continue to be prioritized today. 

  • 67% of the agents and brokers surveyed changed up their office environment, mainly by adding virtual meeting technology and reducing the number of in-person meetings. Many respondents said that attendance is up at meetings that are remote or have that option.

  • More than half of the association staff who responded to the survey said they have adopted virtual voting by members.

  • A significant number of respondents said they had adjusted their marketing strategies, leveraging new technology in their outreach efforts to consumers.

The report also noted that buyer activities changed, with a growing number of people moving farther from congested major metropolitan areas, opting for small towns with more space. Helping to drive the trend was technology that enabled people to work remotely.

The survey also touched on the impact of pandemic-era low mortgage rates on home sales, with the majority of agents saying that lower costs are a "positive influence" that makes a big difference in their business.

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