Real Estate Technology: Trends And Overview
There is not a single industry in the world today that has not benefited from technological advancements. But, unfortunately, real estate is among the few industry verticals that were reluctant to adopt modern solutions into their operation.
However, that is no longer the case now as real estate technology is evolving with innovative and convenient solutions. In comparison, real estate businesses were relatively slow to pick up new real estate technologies to help their business run smoother and better.
These changes make real estate transactions convenient for both the buyer and seller. Over the last few years, the growth of real estate technology has been so dramatic that it has even changed how a realtor interacts with their clients.
If you own or run a real estate business that still uses legacy solutions, consider what we have to say next. First, PropTech is a new term coined just to categorize the new technologies made exclusively for property sales and transactions.
So, if you are still choosing to stick with the legacy solutions, even at this stage, then you will end up holding back your business from evolving. At some point, real estate businesses of all sizes and shapes will inevitably have to change the way they operate.
This means that no real estate business will be able to survive the ever-changing real estate landscape unless and until they learn to adapt. Therefore, the sooner real estate businesses make their transition to a modern-day real estate business, the better it is for them.
We realize that this transition may not necessarily be smooth, especially if none of your business operations has been digitized yet. However, the more you wait, the more your competitors will get ahead of your business, and you do not want that.
Therefore, it is crucial that real estate businesses keep themselves updated with the latest real estate technology trends. Real estate businesses should not settle for digitizing their operations solely based on the current trends. Digitize operations that are relevant to your real estate strategy and capable of streamlining them.
If you want to optimize your real estate business using real estate technology constructively, you must be open to constant change. Because technology is one thing that is constantly changing, and it is no different in the case of real estate technology.
This article aims to shed light on the popular real estate technology trends today. Every real estate business, including the ones, should have a broad idea of the changes happening in the real estate industry.
1. Big Data
Having an extensive database is particularly useful for real estate businesses because data has always been at the center for them. Big data Access to a quality database enables you to make data-driven decisions which is the only way any business can achieve sustainable success.
Let’s take the example of leading real estate businesses like Zillow and Redfin. These companies have smartly utilized big data to their advantage. With the help of big data, these companies were able to compile valuable data that ultimately helped them optimize their business.
Big data may even be able to collect data that could prove to be vital for your multiple business operations, including lead generation. This also includes information that can reveal the purchase or sales trends.
Categorize And Analyze Data
Big data even enables you to categorize data based on specific areas, demographics, surveys, website traffic, and much more. You can then analyze this data carefully to figure out the right price that can work for you and your clients.
Determine The Right Price And Identify Trends
It means that the price of a property will appear reasonable to the clients without eating in on your profits. Furthermore, you can also determine the home-value trends so that you know when you can price real estate properties higher or lower.
Determine Property Value in Specific Neighborhoods
Using advanced real estate technology you are able to determine a property’s potential value in a specific neighborhood. This can be tricky with a manual process, and the chances of getting it wrong are pretty high when done manually.
Real-Time and Historical Data
With the help of advanced solutions, you can get access to real-time and historical data on all types of building systems. This includes valuable data from systems like HVAC, utilities, fire safety, life safety, electrical, telecommunications, and even postal communications.
Alert or Predict Equipment Failure
You can then utilize this information and use it for serving your clients with enthusiastic maintenance. Such an approach is bound to create an impression on your real-estate clients. Sometimes, it is possible to alert or even predict equipment failure to property managers automatically.
Such an approach will ensure that you can perform the property maintenance or even arrange for a replacement if necessary. Such timely maintenance of your real estate property can ensure minimal downtime. Furthermore, this will ensure that your clients are happy and remain loyal to your business.
Addresses Verification to Avoid Bad Data
With big data, there is always the risk of your data being inaccurate and prone to error. Addresses, in particular, have a higher chance of error than most other data or information. This can be easily avoided by using an advanced address verification system such as PostGrid.
With PostGrid, you can bulk-verify your address database using a simple CSV file. It is convenient and fast. The address verification carried out through PostGrid ensures that the address data you have is real and deliverable.
This is possible by cross-checking the addresses against the official address database from USPS. All you need to do is ensure that the address verification tool or API you use has a CASS certification. The CASS certification held by solutions like PostGrid implies that it can access the USPS’s official address database.
2. Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have already become popular in several industries. And now they have found their way into the real estate industry as well. AI and ML are quickly changing the game by making real estate solutions that are convenient and easy to access.
AI and Machine Learning enable you to make the most out of big data. How? Because the AI and Machine Learning capabilities allow the system to make efficient use of the data by making it actionable. This means that the data you’ve collected can be efficiently used for optimizing different business operations.
Immense Future Potential
AI or ML is something that real estate businesses should really put their energy into because it is the future. Today, you already have the capability to sort properties based on basic criteria like location and size. But, with the help of AI and ML, you may well be able to sort properties based on your personality.
AI and Machine Learning can be used to develop advanced chatbots that can offer resolutions for complex queries from your clients and prospects. In fact, they might just be able to show your buyers around a property in the near future.
A number of leading real estate companies are already working on technologies to use AI and ML capabilities for showing. Their aim is to enable the real estate agent to conduct property showings via a smart device. This could be anything, including tablets, phones, or even chatbots.
Establishing such a system would allow a single real estate agent to tend to multiple clients in multiple locations in a single day. This means that the agent does not have to drive around from one place to another. It also means that the agent can showcase properties at the far ends of the town without breaking a sweat.
Predict Pricing Trends
One of the best things about AI is that it can analyze data and predict things that we may have deemed impossible to predict in the past. The pricing trend is one such factor. Although such predictions may not always be accurate, AI uses sound logic that is more accurate than any other alternative.
The AI makes use of historical data, including past trends in a particular market. Such data is often based on a local area. This further implies that such an advanced system can also account for other factors such as crime rate in the area, transportation facilities, schools, and more.
3. Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR)
The National Association of Realtors recently revealed that almost half of all potential real estate buyers search for properties online. This revelation was the result of a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors.
If we were to take the survey at face value, it is clear that real estate businesses need to diversify their operations to survive. This means that all real estate businesses will eventually have to move to the online platform.
The use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can make browsing for properties online a fulfilling experience for your prospects. Not only can they get a better understanding of the property, but the VR/AR capability makes the process more exciting for them.
Virtual Reality Tours
The VR capability can be smartly used to set up a virtual reality tour of the property. Doing so enables the real estate buyers to experience what the property looks and feels like without leaving the comfort of their homes.
Such a capability can also be highly effective if your real estate clients live a long distance away from the property. Similarly, any client who has difficulty physically reaching the location can also opt for a virtual tour.
By providing a virtual option tour, you effectively make your real estate business more flexible and convenient for prospective buyers.
Staging Using VR/AR Technology
Staging is one of the best ways to enhance the perceived value of a property. There is, however, one problem with VR or AR-assisted staging. The problem is that such staging can be very expensive, and companies running on a tight budget typically consider it a dealbreaker.
That being said, leading real estate companies like Roomy have already implemented advanced staging with AR/VR capabilities. The AR/VR-powered company allows realtors to stage a property virtually. They even allow you to add furniture to give you a broad idea of how the property can look.
Realistic Architectural Images
The AR/VR technology can be used for creating realistic architectural images for new buildings. In addition, you can even create practical walkthroughs that can prove to be extremely useful for the buyers. These features enable the buyers to understand the property better before the actual construction even begins.
Provide Comprehensive Instructions
The use of AR and VR technology in real estate makes life easier for property managers too. For example, the virtual reality tour enables them to provide instructions on the basic maintenance of the property. This way, the property managers can avoid writing lengthy instructions or rushing to the property to assist them.
The AR and VR technology can be effectively used to provide the tenants with all necessary instructions. This could include everything from instructions on working the thermostat to what to do in case of an emergency. Furthermore, the instructions are precise, with easily understandable demonstrations of each step.
4. IoT (Internet of Things)
IoT or the Internet of Things is something that every industry is familiar with today, even though they may not have employed it yet. For those of you who may be slightly confused with the term, IoT refers to the smart devices/appliances that can be digitally connected to the internet.
Typically, the IoT devices are connected to a cloud system that enables the IoT devices to communicate with each other. They are equipped to send and receive information from each other constantly. In addition, IoT devices can include machinery equipped with smart sensors.
The sensors can alert the property owner or manager to any potential damage to the property. This paves for a revolutionary change in property management that can be termed predictive maintenance. Likely, your prospects will soon be able to access a property’s maintenance history.
This will ultimately enable potential real estate buyers to make better buying decisions. They may even be able to identify specific patterns and use them for decision-making. This can be possible with the help of smart devices connected to a property’s HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems.
Implementing such an advanced predictive maintenance system will effectively mean that the customer will no longer have to guess their maintenance needs. Furthermore, it will also help you avoid costly inspections of the property. Additionally, it can also help with energy efficiency and help you save money.
We have now reached a stage where we have smart homes. Therefore it is not a big stretch to think about smart buildings in the near future. You might as well have entire smart cities, and the exciting part is that the day is not far away.
Imagine the amount of data that needs to be sent and received by a smart home and then consider a whole building. You will understand that Big data, AI, and ML will play a quintessential part in running a smart building. Furthermore, you’ll have access to much more advanced insights that can aid predictive maintenance.
5. 5G - Fifth Generation Technology
5G is all the hype today, and it offers a lot of capabilities to almost all major industries, including real estate. All of the digital transformations we have discussed so far would require the advanced capabilities of 5G.
The key feature of 5G is obviously its higher bandwidth and super-fast connectivity. This will enable you to connect more smart sensors and devices to the internet.
In addition, thanks to the higher bandwidth, your real estate business can set up truly wireless work environments and improve your communications as well.
Home security is one of the prime aspects that can get totally changed by introducing 5G. By using 5G, connecting numerous sensors, cameras, and other security devices to property becomes very easy. Furthermore, using 5G is less expensive as compared to the existing systems.
The use of 5G in your home security system can even enhance the definition of images captured by the security system. Though the images captured are of higher definition, you will have no problem transmitting them. Furthermore, sharing security footage is practically instantaneous using 5G.
As far as real estate buyers are concerned home security is of utmost importance. Having an advanced home security system can potentially increase the value of your property.
Practical Challenges in Using 5G
To put all that we have discussed above into operation, we’d still need a significantly higher number of 5G base stations. It is not just about the number of 5G stations either. The stations need to be placed in closer proximity than the ones we currently have.
How 5G Can be Beneficial For Property Owners
We have already established that you need an extensive number of 5G stations for it to work properly. This would also imply that the commercial property owners can now sell or lease their properties to telecom providers. The property can then be used for installing base stations and also to provide power and fiber connections.
6. Use of Drones
Drones are often considered by many as a gimmick or namesake regardless of where or how they are used. Unfortunately, this is also the case in real estate, but this is a gross underestimation because drones have immense potential in the real estate business.
Once employed correctly, it can potentially change the market. Below we discuss some of the major applications of drones in the real estate industry.
Multi-Perspective Site Visits
Drones can be used to implement multi-perspective site visits through a digital medium. You can even use them for conveying an emotional story that surrounds a specific property. This can be especially effective using a drone shot because of its grand and picturesque nature.
Furthermore, aerial photography shot through drones is relatively cheap. Getting the same aerial shots that we can now get through a drone would have probably cost you a small fortune a few years ago. Drones can be even more useful for getting a literal picture of bigger homes or buildings.
Tour the Area
The aerial view also gives the real estate buyer a better understanding of not just the building or its size. It also shows you the different aspects of the neighborhood the property is in and even the geographical features of the locality.
Using drones for real estate tours provides a comprehensive picture of the property that will come in very handy for new builds. The drones are also an ideal tool for your clients who are planning to move to a new town. It will help your real estate clients to get assimilated to the new place before the big move.
Identify Potential Risks
Drones enable you to identify potential risks to the property. Such risks could lower the price of the property or at least be used in negotiations. In addition, knowing such risks beforehand enables real estate businesses to be better prepared while trying to sell a specific property.
Industrial Site Tours & Surveys
Drones may not be ideal for touring small plots or congested areas where it’s difficult for them to navigate. However, it is the perfect tool for industrial site tours where the plots are vast. Furthermore, it is the ideal way for surveying properties and for creating sketches for the same.
Advanced Omnichannel Real Estate Marketing
The marketing trends have drastically changed in the last few years, and even the real estate industry is now warming up to it. Today, real estate marketing is all about being constantly on top of the prospect’s mind.
This can only be achieved through consistent and timely communication coupled with an omnichannel approach. Omnichannel real estate marketing involves different communication channels like email, social media, and even direct mail as touchpoints.
Automated Online & Offline Marketing
Automation has completely changed how marketing for the real estate industry. So, it is not surprising to see that online marketing strategies can be easily automated. But, many are still unaware that offline marketing strategies like direct mail can also be fully automated when talking about real estate as an industry.
You can make use of advanced direct mail automation tools like PostGrid to fully automate your direct mail marketing. This means you can personalize your direct mail, have them printed and mailed to your target with ease. All you need is a functional CRM, and you can easily integrate PosGrid’s direct mail API into your system.
Combine Online & Offline Marketing Efforts
With the ability to automate offline marketing strategies like direct mail, you can easily combine your online and offline marketing efforts. Using tools like PostGrid, you can print personalized QR codes or PURLs in your direct mail. This will then navigate your prospects to your website or landing page.
Once you have successfully navigated your prospects to the online channel, you can pitch them with the right idea. This will lead the prospect to take any desired action. This could be signing up for a newsletter or simply promoting your business. You need to offer something the customer holds valuable to generate genuine leads.
It is also worth noting that direct mail has a higher response and conversion rate than most online marketing strategies. Furthermore, they have a significantly higher ROI which makes them a perfect marketing tool.
The real estate business may have been slow to adapt to new technologies initially, but that has changed now. Today, we have specialized real estate tech being released and tested one after the other. As a result, everything from big data to true omnichannel marketing is now being employed by the real estate industry.
You need to have specialized tools to get the most out of the real estate technology trends that are popular today. Using tools like PostGrid that have capabilities like address verification enables you to avoid data in big data. You can even automate direct mail marketing with the help of PostGrid, which will further enhance your marketing efforts.