How is Technology Affecting Real Estate?
Technology affects our day-to-day in all areas of our life and real estate is no different. Below are some areas in which technology has changed the landscape of the real estate industry.
The first way that technology has affected the real estate world is through the use of virtual and augmented reality. Virtual reality, or VR, is defined as a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment. Augmented reality, or AR, is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. Both of these forms of technology have become quite popular within real estate.
According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly half of potential buyers search for properties on the internet first. Because so many users are looking at properties online, it can be useful for realtors to create virtual reality tours of properties that potential buyers can experience from their own homes or even from long distances without ever having visited the property. Using VR for a property showcase can include using a panoramic camera to capture photos or videos in a 360-degree view of a home in a guided tour, or visits that allow clients to click on a spot in the field to move around the property. Perhaps in the future, real estate VR could also include using a virtual reality headset to “walk through” a property. This can save time and energy on both the realtor and the home buyer, who can use the VR experience of touring a home to determine if they would like to visit it in person or make an offer on the property. It is also helpful to home sellers because it allows people who may never have otherwise been able to see their home to get a walk-through like experience.
AR has also grown in popularity in real estate over the past few years. This technology is often used for property staging within a home’s listing to give an idea for clients to imagine how to set up an empty room without having to have actual furniture. There are even companies, such as Rooomy, that specialize in this technology space. Using AR can take potential buyers beyond the photos and give them an immersive 3D view of properties with furniture and accessories that allows them to picture living in the space.
In a similar space as virtual and augmented reality, one newer form of technology that has become popular in real estate is the use of drones. Drones offer a digital, multi-perspective and often aerial views of properties that would have been costly to capture in years past but is fairly budget friendly now. It is especially helpful for displaying larger homes and properties to give the real feel size of a place. This technology is also helpful and neat to use for touring areas that surround a home, like the neighborhood amenities or a new build area.
Another trend that has become increasingly popular within real estate over the past decade is a rise in smart home technology and features. The smart home trend refers to essentially any form of home automation that can improve comfort, energy efficiency, security, and general convenience of the homeowner. This also relates back to what is called the Internet of things or IoT. The Internet of things can be described as the network of physical objects that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technology that is able to collect and transfer data over a wireless network without human intervention. Examples of IoT and smart home technology that are quite popular include things like smart speakers or Nest smart thermostats that control temperature settings of a home and can recognize and adapt to trends in heating and cooling. Other popular smart home features that are recognizable include smart lock keypads for front door entry, video doorbells, programmable lights or automated window blinds that can be controlled from a user’s phone or an Alexa or Google device, robotic vacuum cleaners, and Wi-Fi enabled refrigerators. Perhaps in the future, the growing smart home trend could include things like robotic lawnmowers, more automated kitchens and cooking devices, or even a smart toilet in the bathroom. All these upgraded features can appeal to homebuyers looking to automate the homeowning experience.
On the real estate agent side of things, there are several technology upgrades that have helped make their lives easier as well. When it comes to task and transaction management, technology has come a long way in making things run a bit quicker and smoother for real estate agents. On the transaction management side, using mobile technology has been helpful when it comes to things like electronic document signing and during the appraisal process. Real estate agents also often fill out the same paperwork repeatedly across multiple properties, so having electronic signing options as well as automated appointment scheduling and technologies that can communicate with prospective clients This automated process really helps save realtor’s time, which they can put into helping their clients find their dream home. Technology has also drastically changed how real estate agents market themselves and their business. In today’s real estate world, advertising and marketing are done mostly online with websites and through social media. This also means clients expect increased access to their agents, with fast access to cell phones and social media. That’s why responsiveness is crucial to today’s clients and is somewhere that the Wood Real Estate Team excels in.
Finally, the last area that technology has affected in the real estate industry is through big data. Big data is defined as large, more complex data sets. In real estate, this could include collecting data on buying and selling trends for specific areas, traffic, demographic information, consumer survey results, and more. Using technology, they’re able to take in these large sets of data and then analyze it to provide insides on pricing, home value trends, and potential value of neighborhoods. Using big data in this way also allows clients to narrow their search criteria for things such as school data, owner demographics, and crime stats. The Wood Real Estate Team can use this technology to help you find a home with all the search criteria that you’re looking for and it helps buyers understand what type of area they are moving into as well.
As you can see, technology has grown in many aspects of the real estate industry over the past decade or two. While the Wood Real Estate Team has over 20+ years of experience in real estate, we’ve also been able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape that technology continues to provide. Reach out to us today to let us help you find your dream home!