Technology has taken over. We hold it in our hands, we wire it throughout our homes, and it’s changing the game in more industries than most of us can keep up with.

One industry that’s making that transition more rapidly than most is real estate. Not that long ago, the only way you could put your house on the market was to have a listing agent write up a synopsis, pair it with a single photograph, and place it in a book that was rarely seen by anyone outside the industry.

Nowadays, if a “For Sale” sign is perched upon your lawn, potential buyers better be able to Google your address and understand the ins and outs of the property before stepping through the door. And even then, if you haven’t made the appropriate upgrades or utilized the right technology, it still might not be enough to attract the highest bidder.

Here’s a list of the many relevant technologies you and your agent could—and probably should—be using to help increase the value and visibility of your on-the-market abode.

Upgrade and Impress with Smart Home Products

According a survey conducted by Coldwell Banker, 71 percent of Americans want a move-in ready home. That means that most homebuyers want to purchase a property that requires very few updates or renovations.

What’s surprising about this research, however, isn’t the fact that most homebuyers are trending away from fixer-uppers. What’s surprising is that the term “move-in ready” is taking on a whole new meaning in the digital age.

Of the 71 percent surveyed, 44 percent of them said they would consider a home to be “move-in ready” if it had smart home products or devices already installed in the home. And 57 percent said they would consider an older home to be “updated” if smart home products were present.

What technologies and devices do potential homebuyers consider “smart” you ask?

A separate survey found that security, temperature control, lighting, and safety were among the most popular smart home items. It also found that 44 percent of millennials would pay an extra $3,000-plus for a home with a higher IQ, with 72 percent saying they would pay $1,500 or more.

For more information on smart home products and installations, contact a local Best Pick.

Use Real Estate Services to Understand the Market

Whether you’re in the process of selling now or are about to, services such as Zillow are incredibly powerful. They allow you to compare homes in similar markets, gain insight into local trends, understand your neighborhood, price it all accordingly, and—maybe most powerful of all—allow you to see your home as a potential buyer would.

These types of services also allow sellers to advertise their property to millions of potential homebuyers with the help of photos, videos, and local data sets.

A list of useful apps and services:

  • Zillow: Great for simple searches and general information. Has the largest database thanks to its inclusion of foreclosure, pre-foreclosure, For Sale by Owner, and new construction properties.
  • Another real estate service that, thanks to its sourcing of over 99% of MLS listings, holds the most accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Trulia: A Zillow subsidiary that specializes in the mapping of neighborhood information, including crime, schools, affordability, potential hazards, and local amenities.
  • Homesnap: An app supported by MLS that automatically retrieves information about a property when a potential buyer snaps a photo of the home.
  • DocuSign: An eSignature and Digital Transaction Management app that speeds up the process of buying and selling.

Film in 3D for the Virtual Buyer

woman wearing virtual reality goggles with real estate agentIf real estate apps and services provide any insight into the home-selling process, it’s that it’s getting harder and harder to make your home stand out online. One way to change that is to utilize some of the latest innovations to provide unparalleled access into the property you’re trying to sell.

By filming the inside of your home using 3-D technology, it allows anyone in the world—from next-door neighbors to overseas internationals—the ability to take a tour via phone, tablet, or computer, even in the dead of night.

Also, with the rising popularity of virtual reality goggles, glasses, and headsets, the 3-D experience is becoming more immersive and more valuable by the day, especially with the inclusion of virtual annotation.

The More You Know: Virtual annotation allows you and your agent to make a digital note about specific items in the home—like a brand-new Jacuzzi tub, for example, or the newly painted walls—that will pop up as soon as the virtual buyer enters the area.

Fly a Drone to Capture Dramatic Visuals

drone flying in front of a homeNothing will make your home look more buyable or more awesome than by filming it like it’s the star of a Hollywood blockbuster, and there’s no better way to do that than with a drone. Start from the grass and work your way up, video from rooftop to stoop, or simply take some aerial pics for your home’s online profile.

Drones are especially useful if you’re looking to capture the allure of a larger property, most notably those with multiple floors, extreme acreage, or outdoor amenities.

Don’t Forget the Photos…

If drones and VR goggles aren’t exactly your style—or if you don’t believe your home is worthy of such technologies—it’s important to make sure that the marketing and tech tools you are using pack a powerful punch.

One of these cheaper-yet-highly-required items are professional photographs.

According to a study done by IMOTO photo, homes with professional photographs sell 50 percent faster and garner 118 percent more online views. If you’re not into percentages, Redfin found that homes listed between $200,000 and $1 million sold much closer to their listing price thanks to the use of professional-grade cameras.

…And Don’t Ignore the “New Word-of-Mouth”

Graph of who uses social mediaWant to know the fastest way to sell your home? Know somebody who knows somebody with money and a willingness to buy. (In fact, that’s pretty much rule #1 of life, let alone real estate.)

And with 70 percent of Americans using social media on a daily basis, it is now easier—albeit more complex—than ever to get your property to spread from one potential buyer to the next.

Facebook alone has 1.94 billion monthly active users, and according to a recent Forbes article, you can spend just $5 a day marketing to a target audience with pretty ridiculous (albeit likely un-replicable) success.

Bottom Line

Technology has made it much, much easier to advertise and sell a home. Not only do services, apps, and social media make it simpler to post your property for all to see, but visual tools like 3-D filming and virtual reality, along with the installation of key smart home products, can make it shine and pop with a flavor and style that’ll help it sell to the highest bidder.

But don’t try going it alone. While these technologies make real estate simpler and more accessible than it used to be, there’s still no alternative to the knowledge and expertise that a real estate agent can provide, especially through a transaction that’s as personal and as expensive as this one.