How Modern Technology is Changing Real Estate
The real estate industry has generally been slow to implement new technologies, but the industry is slowly being revolutionised and has taken an exciting shift in recent years.
Today technology has affected every aspect of the home buying process. Buyers can search for a property and view the surrounding neighbourhood through drone and satellite footage, and renters can apply online for a rental with just a few clicks and be able to track their application through a mobile app.
Gone are the days of driving, phoning, and meeting your estate agent, now with the technology available to buyers and sellers, the home buying process is becoming more accessible, cheaper, and quicker.
But where does technology fit in?
Real estate agents have a lot to do in a single days work. Not only are they finding buyers and sellers for the multitude of properties under them, but they are also expected to take care of marketing, negotiations, researching, and administration among other tasks. And although agents do sometimes work in teams with members fulfilling different roles, most would agree there is a lot of unnecessary processes that make tasks more time consuming to accomplish.
An agent’s primary role is to foster relationships and build trust, whether that be with sellers, buyers, developers or landlords. And any technology that allows agents to do what they do best will ultimately reduce time, save costs, and most importantly provide a better customer experience.
While the real estate industry has had difficultly in streamlining processes with new technologies, there are new and promising trends that are changing the landscape of real estate today and tomorrow. But which innovative technological advancement can agents use to provide a better digital experience for all?
Let’s dive in!
AI has been slow to be incorporated into the real estate space, for some, it’s a daunting change to processes that a single machine can learn faster, think quicker, dig deeper and produce more accurate information than a human can.
But AI can help enhance the home buying and selling experience. For estate agents, it can help to improve customer acquisition, satisfaction, and service. For buyers, it makes it easier to ask questions or apply for a house visit.
Three Ways Artificial Intelligence is advancing in Real Estate
The great thing about AI Systems? They never sleep. Smarter database systems are the go-to for businesses to provide quicker and more accessible customer service. Whether you are browsing during morning, evening or night, an AI system will be there to help you in your journey, collecting and sorting information and data that can help real estate agents generate faster, more accurate sales. From chatbots to information capture, processing and prefill, AI is creating more ways for agents to work smarter and not harder for you.
A smart system, tied together with virtual resources, can allow a potential buyer to have found and digitally inspected a property leaving the Sales Agent left to sell the house. Using marketing that employs these techniques creates better sales results that result in happy sellers.
The integration - or linking compatibility - of real estate systems is ever expanding. One database entry can multiply itself into other systems and spread further than what could be achieved with the original system. With more platforms sharing compatibility than ever before, the right agent with the right system can increase a properties exposure and capture more interest than possible at any other time.
Search engines have undoubtedly made it easier to find a property. But AI takes that to a whole new level by taking an analytical approach and using data integrated from many systems to provide more accurate and personalised results to help buyers search for, and find, a property in a much shorter period. While 'targeted marketing' has received its fair share of criticism, smart systems are pre-qualifying purchasers based on their data and recommending properties that more accurately suit their needs.
Virtual Reality (VR), along with Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are immersive technologies that allow users to interact and experience a digital environment. While AR enhances the user’s current reality, VR immerses them into a new world. Real estate agents can use these digital worlds to provide an immersive experience that allows their customers to visualise, interact and better imagine property products in cheaper and more efficient processes than ever before.
Especially in today’s non-stop environment, providing an immersive experience from the comfort of their own home can help buyers and sellers’ journey through the buying process easier, simpler, and quicker.
Two Ways VR Can Enhance the Buyers’ Journey
In a COVID world, the ability to view and experience a home from the comfort and safety of your own space is more important than ever.
Even if you don't have a headset for a fully immersive experience, buyers can conveniently experience virtual tours to walk through rooms, estimate dimensions, and experience a more real environment than traditional photography alone. Virtual walk-throughs allow more prospective customers to visit a home and attend an 'open-for-inspection' even if it remains digital. Another notch for virtual tours are that rather than losing a Saturday to the open-for-inspection race - virtual tours can be viewed 24/7, anywhere anytime. The buyer can spend as long, or as little, in the tour as they please.
Real estate agents save time and money on staging a space with virtual furniture - this option is faster and less costly to the seller than organising furniture staging and the right photo-editor can create very convincing virtual replicas. Photography often warps room dimensions creating confused buyers who are disappointed when they experience 'the real thing'. Adding virtual furniture to photography improves the dimension warping effect to show more accurate dimensions via the furniture, reducing confusion and creating more engaged buyers who like what they see.
For property developers, trying to market and sell a property that has yet to be built provides a challenge as old as time. You’ve probably seen 3-D renderings of rooms or showrooms with full-scale models of the house or apartment. With AR, VR and MR, architectural visualisation provides a cheaper and immersive experience that real estate agents can use to show the interior and exterior of prospective properties - thereby reducing the time and cost factors involved. In the future, display homes may include virtual walk-throughs of all their build options - allowing you, on the fly, to add or remove inclusions to the floorplan.
Technology is changing the house buying experience for the better
Many agencies are slow to recognise the ways that new technologies are impacting the real estate industry. Technology is moving at a swift pace; the next technological innovation to change the real estate industry could launch tomorrow. If buyers, sellers, agents, property developers, property investors, landlords don’t recognise the opportunities technology has to offer and importantly how to integrate them, they will be left behind.
Just like the retail industry, technology will help shorten buyer journeys, improve customer experience and service. Technology will continue to innovate the way we search, buy, and sell for real estate.