'Realtorsaurus' may go extinct in 2010: More Realtors embrace hi-tech

2009 may go down in history as the year many real estate agents grew tired of twiddling their thumbs and began using them for a more-profitable if not higher purpose: texting. A slow-to-embrace-technology industry if ever there was one, the nation's real estate sales force stands poised to embrace some even newer technologies in 2010.

How about having buyers use their cell phone cameras to scan a bar code on a for-sale sign which then downloads all the home's details? Or an iPhone app to serve as a lockbox smartkey? Or mobile video text-messaging to send virtual tours and slideshows to would-be buyers?

All are coming.

Joseph Ferrara of TheClozing.com, a real estate news aggregator site, predicts increased reliance on technology in the property sales industry in the coming year.

Ferrara says a new cell phone from AT&T with an attachable projector will enable agents to show slide shows, photos, and videos to clients in the field. He expects a new iPhone or BlackBerry app for the National Association of Realtors Property Resource will become a must-have.

Among other technologies we can expect to gain popularity next year, Ferrara predicts video e-mail, web sites that allow agents to bid on listings, and services that allow buyers to quickly obtain home details by pointing cell phone cameras at a bar code on the "For Sale" sign or magazine ad. Now if he could only predict some buyers.