Technology has been impacting the real estate industry more than ever, and this is just the beginning of a dynamic (r)evolution. It makes a lot of things easier in the real estate niche, reshaping how property is delivered to customers, and how professionals go about their daily business.
Everyone wants to incorporate technology in their business operations, in order to gain an edge in the market and attract tech-savvy customers. Yet, real estate pros often find themselves falling behind and failing to leverage cutting-edge technology. To make it worse for them, purchasing a home independently, without the aid or agents, is no longer a treacherous endeavor.
There is an overwhelming amount of data available today and everything is at one’s fingertips. Collecting it is just one part of the success equation, as it needs to be followed by comprehensive processing, organizing, and structuring. And when it comes to the Internet, it must be noted that a portion it provides users is inaccurate and gives rise to faulty customer expectations.
Another major development is that, due to the surge in automation and robot processing, personal relationships are taking a back seat. The lack of face-to-face, human connection may be convenient for many, but it is also a barrier to forming trust. In addition, consumers expect immediacy in agents’ response times and put increasing demands on them.
Digital tune up
While automation alleviates stress, saves time, and eliminates tedious and manual tasks, the use of mobile devices is still expected to gain full momentum. Still, it has already transformed the way people access information, and consume content. As a result, a number of real estate brokers have developed mobile versions of their websites or dedicated apps.
Regardless of that, real estate agents are no longer in a commanding position and are no longer seen as exclusive owners of valuable information, as search engines push them to the back. Many of them make up by establishing social media presence, communicating via email, direct messaging and other services.
The chief goal of real estate enterprises is to improve efficiency, create more efficient marketing, and take customer relations to the next level. Still, the transition to a more tech-adept business can be costly. Furthermore, senior professionals also experience difficulties learning new tech and digital communication skills.
Indeed, brokers are not always tech-savvy, although that is about to change. It is clear that companies need to invest in tools and technology to support agents in internet marketing and other online efforts. That way, they can maximize the exposure of their listings and stand out in the saturated market.
One of the areas where tech has made our life easier is the appraisal process. This is not a labor- and paperwork-intensive job anymore. We can now employ automatic email, electronic documents, programs that auto-fill appraisal forms, and laser measuring devices. Appraisal forms and the necessary software can be stored in the cloud, accessible from anywhere and at all times.
Bear in mind that cloud technology plays a prominent role in its own right, as it has enabled agents to work outside the office and conduct business on the go. Finally, Zillow has attempted to replace appraisers with computer modeling, but it is obvious that this has still not become the norm.
Tools of the trade
Nowadays, buyers can look for properties in any area online, which almost makes realtors redundant in the buying process. Services like Lifull allow users to browse listings, search for targets based on location, property type, and other specific criteria, as well as to receive a personalized value assessment.
We have also witnessed the rise of innovative platforms, like WiredScore, that let leasing agency teams and real estate owners assess the internet connectivity in the building. There is a wide range of other databases and tech tools that improve the decision-making process. At last, advanced analytical tools enable lenders, investors, and developers to stay on top of their game.
A shifting landscape
Technology is a multi-faceted phenomenon which gives rise both to great opportunities and complex challenges. It has changed the way customers communicate, search properties, and seek real estate information online. Many processes, like appraisals, have been refined to the benefit of all players involved, although the real estate industry is still to rise to the occasion. We have not even mentioned augmented reality and the Internet of Things, the emerging tech behemoths that will likely cause seismic shifts in the real estate landscape.