Anyone involved in real estate knows it is a thrilling time to be integrating technology into everyday operations and decision-making processes.
The technology currently available makes every aspect of buying and selling properties much easier, which has led to a surge in different services available. By the same token, it makes standing out against the crowded real estate landscape more difficult.
Last year the word “Bitcoin” played an enormous and significant role on the digital currencies front page. Apart from the huge drop in value — a massive 70% — we also saw the first case of a real estate transaction involving a cryptocurrency. A home in Seattle was sold using bitcoin for the down payment (10%) in early January 2018. Since then several property agencies have announced they would accept bitcoin for property purchases, and a Manhattan property was paid for entirely using cryptocurrency shortly thereafter. Bitcoin transactions are still quite rare in real estate on the whole; it will take time for the practice to mature and years for it to become a norm.
However, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are not new to the real estate industry, and projects and developers we work with regularly use them for home tours and in advertising. These AR and VR applications allow prospective purchasers to visualise an apartment’s layout and how the completed finishings will appear in real time. We find this extremely useful, as it enables us to present buyers with virtual tours of the properties during the marketing period. People can experience what it’s actually like to walk through the property for themselves, without the need to travel overseas or wait for completion, which certainly helps a great deal with the buyer’s decision and makes the sales process easier.
While these technologies are changing the way the real estate industry functions, the whole industry has been moving towards the digital age for some time. Smart resources and easy-to-use platforms are evolving all the time to help buyers, sellers and agents. That said, I can’t imagine a near or distant future where these new technologies take over entirely, eliminating the need for brokerages or agents. The purchase of property still needs a human touch. As there are more demands on technology than ever in the real estate industry, it encourages real estate organisations to invest more heavily in tech in order to stay competitive in the market. And more accurate information, more informed actors, and decision-making made easier as a result of new technologies is something all stakeholders can benefit from.
Forbes: How technology is changing the real estate market
The Globe and Mail: Real estate industry sees sweeping changes in technology used to buy and sell homes
Miami Herlad: Bitcoin is booming in Miami. But can you buy a house with it?