Key Highlights

  • Drones, cyber security, 5G and virtual reality are expected to have the biggest impact on the real estate business in the next two years.
  • eSignature was the most valuable tech tool used by Realtors® in the past 12 months.
  • Thirty-six percent of Realtors® spend $50-$250 per month on technology, while 23% spend more than $500.

WASHINGTON (August 3, 2021) – Realtors® view drones and cyber security as the most impactful emerging technologies to their business, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors®. NAR's 2021 Technology Survey examined NAR members' current tech usage and attitudes about the future of real estate technology. In addition to drones (37%) and cyber security (34%), Realtors® believe that 5G (31%) and virtual reality (30%) will also have a significant impact on their business in the next 24 months.

"The pandemic has confirmed to all of us in the industry that technology will continue to transform real estate," said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. "The great work being done by NAR, including our Strategic Business, Innovation and Technology group, has ensured that Realtors® will continue to have access to the latest technology and remain at the forefront of the innovations driving the market forward."

The survey also examined the current use of technology by Realtors®, finding that the most valuable tools used in the past 12 months were eSignature (78%), local MLS apps/technology (54%), social media (53%), lockboxes (48%) and video conferencing (39%).

Many brokerages are providing these technologies to their agents. Thirty-seven percent of respondents agreed that their brokerage provides them with all the technology tools they need to be successful, and 27% strongly agreed. The top tools provided by brokerages were eSignature (57%), personal websites (54%), customer relationship management (54%) and transaction management (50%). Roughly one out of three Realtors® – 36% – said that their broker does not charge any technology fees, and 50% said that the price their broker charged was reasonable.

NAR's report found that Realtors® are willing to pay for this technology, even if their brokerages do not. Thirty-six percent of Realtors® spend on average between $50-$250 per month on technology to use in their business. Eighteen percent spend between $251-$500, and nearly one out of four Realtors® – 23% – spend more than $500 monthly on technology.

When asked about desired technology tools that are not currently provided by their broker, cyber security topped the list at 19%, followed by lead generation (16%), eNotary (11%), CRM (10%) and personal websites (10%).

According to the survey, Realtors® are using social media now more than ever in their businesses. The top social network is Facebook, used by 90% of Realtors®, followed by Instagram (52%), LinkedIn (48%), YouTube (24%) and Twitter (19%). Video has also played an ever-increasing role in the marketing of properties on social media. Thirty-seven percent use video in their marketing and 35% do not use video but hope to in the near future.

"There is no denying that social media has become an integral tool to promote a listing," Goldberg said. "The pandemic has caused more of our members to use social media and video to creatively market themselves and their properties."

The top reasons Realtors® cited for using social media in their business included that they are expected to have a presence on social media (54%), it helps build and maintain relations with existing clients (49%) and they use it to promote listings (49%). Additionally, 36% of Realtors® use social media to find new prospects and 33% say it helps them network with other real estate pros. Social media also topped the list when it comes to lead generation. The top three tech tools that have given respondents or their agents the highest number of quality leads in the last 12 months were social media (52%), CRM (31%) and their MLS site (28%).

These current and future real estate tech topics will be front and center at NAR's iOi Summit, taking place August 17-18 in Dallas, Texas. Over 500 real estate practitioners, technologists and investors will convene to share insights and unveil cutting-edge real estate products and ideas.

"iOi is all about innovation," Goldberg said. "This event brings together proptech leaders and thinkers whose products, services and solutions will help shape the real estate industry and drive it forward."

Learn more about and register for the iOi Summit at

The 2021 Technology Survey is available to download at

The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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