In the past decade the real estate sales industry has had many new and innovative marketing products and faster communication systems introduced. Some of these have permanently changed the way people sell or buy real estate. Now Coronavirus is forcing not only the Real Estate Industry but our whole society to alter the way we live and work every day. Thankfully, our office has been preparing for this without even knowing it. Here is some of what we have done that.
Over the past few years our company started updating our internal marketing and communication systems to improve how we provide service to customers and clients and the general public. Four years ago, we purchased a photographic system where we can offer virtual 3D tours of properties we market. At the time very few of our clients felt that there was much value in this. Now it turns by having our own system we have more ability to provide what is currently the most popular way of viewing homes for sale or for rent. We have seen viewership of our YouTube channel of listings increase by the thousands.
Two years ago, we started using Zoom meetings as a way of communicating with out of area clients and customers. In addition, we use the video meetings to work with our staff and brokers for training and face to face conferencing. Today, because of the virus it has become the standard for people to meet with each other in a way that is safe and at the same time have the personal eye to eye interaction.
A decade ago, we invested in a cloud base offer management system to keep track of offers on our listings and to make it more transparent that all offers were presented to sellers. Two years ago, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service purchased an even better system that includes forms and ability of buyers and sellers to sign agreements electronically. We moved to that system and hired a virtual staff person to work with our customers and clients alongside of our Brokers to make sure all forms for listings or purchase agreements are completed. We believe the more transparent we make the process the better for all involved.
Other innovative changes are coming that will make the ability of buyers to find and purchase real estate easier and less stressful. Having more open communication allows sellers to better understand the process of marketing, negotiating and closings a purchase agreement. These changes were inevitable, but the Coronavirus has sped up the migration of use of these products and services. Now that we are here our company looks forward to even more changes in the future that will benefit our customers and clients