Technology is changing the real estate industry faster than ever, with 70% of today’s buyers looking for homes online. However, technological developments from the past few years goes beyond easier access to property listings for potential home buyers. Real estate tech covers almost every step of the home or property buying process, from consulting services, accounting, and financing, to collecting market data for large real estate companies.
What Is Real Estate Technology?
Real estate technology is a general term that covers many aspects of information technology applied to the real estate industry to reduce mundane or redundant processes for buyers, sellers and brokers. The objectives of real estate technology vary greatly and might include securing transactions, reducing paperwork, smart home technology, managing spaces, 3D-modeling, and more.
Real estate technology is often abbreviated to REtech (real estate technology) or CREtech( commercial real estate technology). The investment in REtech has grown drastically in just that past few years, with $12.9 billion invested into real estate startups. Here’s how they might impact the industry.
1. Buying And Selling Platforms
One of the most impactful changes in real estate technology has occurred in the functionality of buying and selling platforms. As it becomes easier to navigate the various platforms, homeowners can put their homes on the markets faster, helping them to find a qualified buyer sooner. More people are bypassing a professional agent and opting for just using these platforms to sell their homes to save on the commission and connect with buyers on a deeper level.
2. Virtual Site Walkthroughs
Virtual reality has disrupted multiple industries, and it might be ready to take off in the real estate industry as well. VR platforms dedicated to the real estate market allow potential buyers to see the property without traveling to see it in person. This real estate technology can be especially useful for people who are from out of town or cannot see the site during regular visiting hours. Using VR allows the potential buyer to “walk” through the property, see the layout, where the windows are and get a better understanding of the property in general. This tool will become more widespread in the upcoming years.
Blockchain, most notable for its ability to support and secure cryptocurrency, but now, that same technology can be applied to the real estate industry. Blockchain has almost limitless possibilities. By using digital tokens, landlords could potentially use the blockchain technology to sell small portions of their properties.
Blockchain-based platforms could help secure real estate contracts between sellers and buyers. The technology helps encrypt all personal data that is sent between clients and real estate companies. It could even be used to store property titles in a secure location.
4. Access Control Systems
Real estate technology companies have been creating access control systems that are disrupting the commercial real estate technology industry. It allows for the property to remain secure, but still open to those who have access. Access control systems can be used with smartphones, eliminating the need for keys or fobs to enter the building. Access can be granted or revoked within seconds, so maintenance workers can be allowed in, but only during a set period of time. It keeps the property while alleviating the stress of property managers and brokers who traditionally have had to track and copy physical keys that are easily lost or stolen.
5. Big Data
Personalized marketing and advertising have become a common tactic for businesses, thanks to big data. However, big data hasn’t fully infiltrated the real estate industry yet. Big data, in the future, will be able to act almost like a real estate agent and make personalized recommendations based on the wants and needs of the client. It is possible that in the future, home buying platforms will be able to make intelligent recommendations and predict what the buyer will want, even if they haven’t directly stated what they were looking for in the past.