There’s no denying that the world has seen an incredible technology boom in the last couple of years. Technology is absolutely unavoidable, and it is integrated into our daily routines as well as our homes, cars, offices and many other daily necessities. While some people may feel skeptical about the impact of technology on our lives, others embrace it with open arms. Even though change can be difficult to accept the main goal of new technologies is to ultimately make our lives easier and more efficient. One example would be the advancement in cell phone technology. Just over 20 years ago cell phones were not an item that every single person owned or carried around with them. If you needed to contact a friend or family member you would need to either do it from home or feed some change into a street phone – you would also need to know the number of the person you were calling and if they did not answer then you would just have to call back, there was no option of texting them and reminding them to call you back later. Fast forward to 2020 and the majority of the US population is glued to their smart phones 24/7. There are definite cons to the digital addiction we all fall victim to every now and then, but can you imagine your life without the comforts that new technology provides?
Technology has not only changed how we interact and behave as individuals, but it has also significantly impacted many industries, real estate included. The evolution of real estate, as it has been with most other businesses, is technology driven. Even concepts that we may not think are influenced by technology are! For example, the majority of first-time homebuyers, as well as other buyers, begin their search for properties using online search tools. Whether they download an application onto their smart phone or utilize an online property search on an agent website this is how the process begins. Most real estate agents have also embraced the digital age by utilizing social media, email marketing and a wide range of other technology-driven platforms to communicate with clients and grow their business in their communities.
So how are new technologies affecting real estate? Whether a buyer is looking for a home, a landlord is seeking new tenants, or an agent is marketing their business there is constantly new technology being introduced that is shaping the real estate industry. Although it’s tough to predict what will come next, there are a handful of technologies and real estate trends worth noting that are making a big difference in the way business is done.
Internet of Things
One of the biggest ways that technology is altering the real estate industry is the popularity of the smart home trend. Smart home technology is a very generic term that is used to describe home automation that is used to improve certain things within the home including energy efficiency, security and general conveniences. The Internet of Things is very closely tied to smart home technology like the Nest thermostat, artificial intelligence assistants like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, smart water sprinklers, automated light bulbs, smart appliances and so much more. This time of smart home technology is not only convenient and cool, but it can help property owners boost the sales price of their home by anywhere from three to five percent. Additionally, homeowners who currently enjoy this technology in their home are more likely to look for and purchase a home with similar technology. New buyers are very interested in this type of home upgrade because it allows them to personalize their home and living experience based on their unique needs and lifestyle.
Virtual reality isn’t just something that is used in gaming or those fancy buildouts in the middle of the mall – this is an important piece of technology that is making a big breakthrough in the real estate industry. Virtual reality makes it possible for an agent to show a property to an interested buyer who may not be able to visit in person. This can be used to take people beyond online photos and present an immersive, realistic 3D view of a home from whatever device they are using. This is one of the newest trends in real estate, but it is picking up speed quickly and it is one that many realtors will soon be using. Just imagine how much easier it would be for an out-of-state client to purchase a home before they move without ever stepping foot in the home. With virtual reality they can explore the property room by room in detail without leaving the comfort of their current residence.
There are also additional benefits of this technology like aerial drone footage that allows a client to explore the neighborhood remotely, or virtual furniture that can help the client visualize an empty space without the extra expense of a staging company. This type of technology has the potential to increase the pool of buyers an agent can tap into, as well as speed up sales cycles by allowing clients to get a better sense of a property.
Real estate professionals, as well as buyers and sellers are probably already using a wide range of cloud-based programs in a variety of ways. In terms of how this technology impacts the real estate industry – it can make the lending and closing process much simpler, faster and streamlined. Data from documents and listings can be securely managed and stored in a cloud system, and things like electronic signature capabilities can further facilitate faster deals.
There is specific technology and software created like Salesforce, PipeDrive, Base and many other CRMS specifically for real estate professionals. A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management tool that helps to manage contacts, relationships and interactions with existing and potential customers. The goal of this technology is simple – to improve business relationships and help professionals stay connected to their clients, streamline business processes and improve profitability. A CRM created for real estate agents can help them keep track of emails, calls and the progress made with a prospective client. This allows the agent to have a clear understanding of their pipeline and quickly identify areas in their business where they need to take action.
Blockchain technology is still in its beginning stages, but it is slowly being introduced into the real estate industry, and once it takes hold it’s going to be a complete gamechanger in the way business is done. Believe it or not, many home sellers are now accepting Bitcoin as an alternative payment option for high-value property sales. Blockchain technology makes it possible for people to process big financial transactions, like a sale in real estate, without going through a middleman like a bank. Once blockchain technology is fully implemented, if it is used properly it can bring security, efficiency and transparency to real estate transactions. Blockchain technology will also tap into smart contracts that will bring together a transaction completely between the buyer and seller, or renter and landlord. Removing the middleman and limiting interaction can actually speed up the transaction and reduce the chance for fraud.
As the world of tech continues to evolve and brilliant minds create innovative start-ups aiming to bring new technology to the market, we can continue to expect these high-level trends to break through into the real estate industry. It’s not easy to predict how new technology will be developed and how it will be implemented into the real estate industry, but it’s important to be aware of the changes and adapt as new technology becomes available. We live in a digital world and technology has the power to completely change the way we do business, which is why it’s important to keep up with the trends and maintain an open mind to the evolving business model.
At Brazos County Realty we have an outstanding team of real estate professionals who are well-versed in all aspects of the business. We have been assisting clients with buying, selling and investing in real estate in the Bryan College Station area, and beyond, for more than 25 years. As our business has grown and progressed, we keep a vigilant eye on market trends, digital updates and new technology that helps us provide better service to our clients. Our website provides a wide range of tools, resources and informative articles that buyers and sellers can tap into. We also provide tools that allow you to search for properties for sale based on the criteria that matters to you, various mortgage calculators to help you estimate your monthly payments and comprehensive lists for local schools, attractions, utilities and so much more.
If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in Bryan College Station, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for help. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you soon!