Advancements in technology mean that real estate pros no longer need to check the classifieds for new listings, send out faxes or use direct mail advertising.
The innovations that made those every day tasks obsolete helped to revolutionize how the real estate business works – but can you imagine how the industry will look in another decade or so, if this pace of innovation keeps up? Read on to find out!
The Internet of Things
IoT sensors have already made a serious impact in real estate. For example, sensors that govern and manage energy and maintenance systems are fairly commonplace, both at home and in commercial buildings. The lights, humidity and temperature can all be automated according to occupancy, while homeowners can also receive alerts telling them to replace parts of the system, before they break down. Automation is helping to save homeowners and property managers money while also improving experiences.
The application of virtual reality is generating all kinds of excitement among real estate pros, as the technology finally becomes more affordable. VR firms such as Matterport and VR Global have already made it possible to scan real-world buildings and transform them into digital worlds where prospective buyers can take a tour, even if they’re located on a different continent. Then there are companies like Floored, which create brilliant 3D renderings of buildings that are in fact, still just an empty lot. Some day soon, virtual reality is going to become the standard way the majority of real estate buyers get their “first look” at a listed property.
Nowadays, the digital signing and sharing of documents related to the real estate transaction process is commonplace. Buyers and sellers can simply sign documents with their mobile device and instantly email it to them, instead of driving to the agent’s office to do so the old fashioned way. The only problem with digital documents is it opens up the possibility of fraud – but that will become much more difficult with the Blockchain.
Blockchain – the technology that underpins Bitcoin, the virtual currency – promises to close off any loopholes that fraudsters might be able to exploit by adding an impenetrable layer of security to transactions. In addition, the technology should also help to speed up the process. Indeed, local governments are already experimenting with Blockchain, while startups like Ubiquity are already preparing to commercialize the technology for the industry.
As 3D printing advances, it may soon be possible for consumers to design and build their own homes within a matter of days. Chinese developers have already proven that it’s possible to do so, recently building 10 houses in 24 hours using the technology. Dubai is another city that’s also staked its future on 3D printed buildings.
A growing trend among consumers worried about their environmental footprint. Real estate technology is helping to make construction and housing become more eco-friendly, with new materials that don’t harm the environment becoming more and more common in newer constructions. This trend is also influencing architectural and community design, with developers also taking into account green spaces and rainwater harvesting.