Photo Copyright, iBuyers Are Central Tech Hurdles

2019 technology in review: What you, our readers, buzzed about the most this year.
young businesswoman using a digital tablet with property graphics

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If you haven't heard, technology evolved quite a bit this year. Virtual staging, iBuyers, and wire fraud were among the most buzzed-about topics in the real estate technology space. But you, our readers, seemed most interested in how to comply with copyright laws when obtaining and sharing listing photos online. Our most popular technology articles of 2019 offered practical tips on all of these fronts. Refresh your knowledge with the top five.

Illustration of online listing

Wait! That’s My Listing Photo!
The takeaway: Attractive, high-quality photography is important for marketing properties, but you may spend considerable time on obtaining great listing photos while overlooking some critical legal aspects, including who owns the photos and videos and who has the right to share them. Ignoring questions of legal ownership is wrong and poses serious risks.

Exchange of key and money

‘You Can’t Afford to Ignore iBuyers’
The takeaway: Companies that make quick all-cash offers to home sellers online are changing the real estate transaction process dramatically for consumers. But as a buyer, you don’t usually care who owns the home, whether it’s Offerpad or an individual homeowner. You want your agent to help you through the buying process. There are opportunities for agents to collaborate with iBuyers.

Person sending email on smartphone

Email Subject Lines Your Clients Will Click On
The takeaway: The last thing your clients want is another promotional email—unless the subject line is tantalizing enough to get them to open it. Since email marketing is one of the top technology tools that provide the highest quality leads, according to NAR, it’s important to create engaging email subject lines to cut through the clutter and stand out in clients’ inboxes.

Aaron Cole and his wife and two children

Buyer Bilked Out of $123K: ‘Just Like That, It’s Gone’
The takeaway: Aaron Cole and his family put an offer on their dream home in Canby, Ore., but lost their $123,000 down payment in a wire fraud scheme. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates a loss of nearly $1 billion in real estate transactions from such scams. You are the last line of defense for your clients, and educating them about cybersecurity risks is essential.

Virtually staged photo

The Worst Offenses in Virtually Staged Photos
The takeaway: You can make any listing picture-perfect with virtual staging tools, which can do everything from manipulating the appearance of skies in photos to making empty properties look like modern spaces with fancy fixtures. But there is such a thing as going too far—and it could land you in hot water.