As you enjoy the spoils of the gift-giving season, there’s a good chance you’re playing with something involving tech. Whether it’s virtual reality goggles, a Google Home smart speaker or Apple AirPods, the latest tech gadgets are changing the way we do life. In real estate, the same is true. Advances in technology are making buying and selling a home easier than ever. Plus, they’ll make you more money.
1. Virtual reality
Looking at properties in 3D has been around for a while. But expensive cameras and viewing equipment limited the field to high-end properties. Expect to see more and more properties in 360 degrees, thanks to inexpensive handheld or phone-attached VR cameras and viewers. Virtual reality tours will also benefit buyers looking at new builds..
2. Cloud-based platforms
The security and efficiency of the cloud is transforming real estate processes. Companies such as Redefy that use a cloud-based platform have the ability to keep transactions moving quickly and smoothly to closing. There are five benefits to a cloud-based process:
- Better document handling. Your important papers aren’t sitting in a pile on someone’s desk. They’re securely in the cloud. No duplicates, no missing docs. You’ll arrive at the closing table with everything in order.
- Faster service. From e-signed docs to a systematic process, your home purchase or sale is tracked through each step to closing. Because many steps can be automated, your transaction moves forward much more efficiently.
- More personal service. This sounds counter-intuitive, but using tech to unburden agents from piles of paper leaves them more time to focus on you.
- Cost savings. Efficient tech allows agents to sell your house for less than the traditional commission without sacrificing the personal attention of an agent — a flat fee, full service brokerage is a win-win.
- More experience. Setting agents free from document handling also allows them to handle more transactions without sacrificing service to you. This adds up to a lot of timely real-world experience. Do you really want to trust your largest asset to an agent who does just a few transactions a year?
3. Mobile might
Advances in mobile tech means you’ll be able to shop for a new home, or list yours right from your phone. Short of closing, you’ll be able to do everything mobile without setting foot in an office. With a few clicks, an agent can come to you.
4. Big data
The amount of property data now available to tech-savvy brokerages can be a huge advantage to you. When you list your home, it’s important to price it right. Agents from brokerages that can access and properly interpret this data can give you a more accurate competitive market analysis for your property in a short amount of time. This translates to less time on the market and more money in your pocket.
5. Internet of Things (IoT)
Connecting everyday objects with network connectivity devices such Google Home or Amazon Echo is making it easier to do pretty much anything. Turn your lights off, order a pizza via voice-activated technology. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to shop for houses or sell yours with apps designed by tech-forward brokerages. A simple command such as, “Ask Redefy Real Estate what my home is worth” would give you an estimated home value.
6. AI Chatbots
No, we’re not talking about Siri or “push 0 to talk to an operator”. Artificial Intelligence chatbots are able to carry on a real conversation to answer your queries. For real estate, you can ask all the questions you want about a property, neighborhood, etc. Not sure if you want to sell? Exploring a new city? Chatbots can empower you to decide on a course of action, whether it’s time to connect to an agent to sell your house, or get your credit together for a future purchase.
Cryptocurrency (digital money) and the Blockchain digital record of transactions is still considered a bit “out there” for real estate. As this technology develops, you’ll see two benefits when buying or selling a house:
Redefy President & Chief Technology Officer Chris Rediger explains Bitcoin’s Future in Real Estate for REALTOR© Magazine.
- Instant, cash-equivalent transactions. With cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, you get paid right away in a totally secure fashion. You don’t really have to worry about the viability of such funds, because if the title company accepts such a medium, you’re still going to get regular currency at the table. Some title companies are already accepting cryptocurrency for home purchases.
- Better record keeping. The blockchain can store important legal documents like deeds and other property records so they’re tamper-proof and yet readily available. Cumbersome old-school title searching (and associated costs) by looking through a local municipality’s paper records could be replaced with a low-cost, universally-available digital record. Companies such as Ubitquity are able to create a parallel record of the paper trail for those who want to adopt the technology.
Real estate has been about “tradition” for many years. Old ways of doing things that are costly and inefficient. Touting customer service as the payoff for old methods, traditional brokerages justify high commissions to consumers.
Tech-based real estate companies are proving the opposite, with easier, faster and more secure processes that save you money. And customer service? Yep, you get that, too.
BY SUSHA ROBERTS
Redefy Real Estate is changing the way homes are sold with flat fee, full service. We’re leading the real estate technology revolution to serve you better and save you money.