How does your company use technology to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace?
Technology at TOWN is designed to support and enhance the ability of Representatives to serve our customers. TOWNSquare is not only a real estate search engine, but also a collaborative tool that allows us to interact and collaborate with customers on their home search. That’s a huge advantage as it allows us to understand the scope of a customer’s interests and participate in evolving ideas and opportunities to meet their needs.
On the organizational front, TOWNSquare also provides us with a virtual file drawer to track and store all the essential documents that are needed to complete the transaction. Maintaining clarity for a customer about what is in place and what is needed to complete a bid or Board package is critical in being able to move quickly to close a deal.
What is the most exciting trend in residential tech?
I think the evolution of collaborative systems is going to be the most critical trend in technology in the real estate business. Listing services allow virtually anyone to see what is on the market, but the ability to understand the pluses and minuses of each property in a process requires conversations, both face-to-face and increasingly virtual. The ability to interact across multiple platforms with clients to discuss these issues is very important, particularly in a fast paced market like New York City.
How has tech impacted the residential sector overall?
We all know that putting together a list of properties is not really the first step in the process of buying or selling real estate; it’s essentially tying on your shoes so that you can take the first step. I think we have progressed past the point of predicting the demise of real estate agents because everyone has an understanding that agents perform a much more crucial function than identifying what is available for comparison or purchase. Technology has essentially exposed the real value of the real estate profession. We are experts in the market, experienced negotiators and facilitators and emotionally intelligent. Without those skills all the technology in the world will not make a transaction close.
What are some of your favorite tech products right now?
Social media applications like Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn are excellent vehicles to not only build a brand but expand your relationship with your customer. As the world becomes more and more visual these apps are becoming more critical.
What's next for your company?
This will be a very big year for TOWN in many ways but a very important behind the scenes shift will be towards a paperless environment. Having spent a good deal of my professional career in risk management and technology I was a bit stunned to find that a good deal of the real estate industry has not progressed past the copy machine in terms of providing critical and confidential material to the parties to a deal. This must change and TOWN has the corporate culture necessary to push for that change.
Connect with Will Sharon
WSharon@townrealestate.com | (917) 848-1672
Connect with TOWN
Town Astor Place 26 Astor Place 2nd Floor New York, NY 10003
O: (646) 588-4016 | www.townrealestate.com