A New Year brings new opportunities, and that’s certainly true if you’re looking to sell or buy a home in 2017. But what exactly does the year ahead have in store for housing?
Realty Biz News sat down with Pieter Aarts, Co-Founder and CEO of virtual staging company roOomy, to discuss what we can expect 2017 to hold for the real estate market. Aarts offered up the following four predictions on trends that are likely to impact the industry in the next 12 months.
1. Real estate agents and developers will rely on technology to gain a competitive edge:
Technology can no longer be an afterthought in the real estate industry. Innovative tools and mobile apps – from 3D staging platforms to virtual tour capabilities – are becoming increasingly mainstream and ultimately a necessity for realtors to remain competitive. 40% of all buyers rank virtual tours as “very useful” in their home shopping process and 90% begin their search online, demonstrating the digital-first shift that’s occurring right before our eyes. I’m fully expecting technology to become an even bigger part of the real estate industry in 2017.
2. The percentage of home buyers who begin, and end, their search online will increase:
New research from the NAR found that 43% of buyers first found the home they ended up purchasing on the web; that number was just 8% in 2001. Furthermore, over 94% of millennials and 84% of baby boomers use online websites in the home search. This trend is going to continue throughout 2017 due to a variety of factors like consumer convenience and mobile accessibility. Through a quick Google search, home shoppers can gather almost every detail about a property, see what it would look like fully furnished through 3D technology (and even cater the design to their specific tastes) and take a virtual tour. Real estate agents must adjust their marketing strategies appropriately.
3. Home furnishing retailers will redefine their business models to continue bridging the gap between realtors and consumers:
The interactive nature of virtual e-commerce programs presents a great opportunity for retailers to showcase their products and capture consumers in creative ways. Home furnishing retailers will better integrate virtual and augmented reality into their sales/marketing strategies to break down the visualization issue that plagues consumers when shopping for furniture. Making the visualization process tangible to furniture buyers through a virtual realm fosters a newfound connection to the pieces that cannot even be achieved in a brick-and-mortar store. 2017 will be the year that the retailer, realtor and consumer all work in a seamless manner to take the home shopping process to another level.
4. Social media will become a bigger part of real estate marketing tactics:
Over 78% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile and realtors are becoming increasingly savvy when reaching this audience through platforms like Twitter and Instagram. That doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to be done. As younger home shoppers enter the market, agents should be using social media tactics to drive traffic to their properties. Instagram, for example, provides a valuable resource for realtors to leverage, as it places a heavy emphasis on imagery – a key component to any property sale. Sending out a quick message to your followers can do wonders for driving awareness.