Buying and selling property has already become much more accessible due to technology, and this trend is only going to speed up. While historically, real estate professionals, investors, and landlords have been reluctant to pay for technology, and the data available has been spotty, the tide is turning as more wake up to the opportunities. Investment values are shooting up in many places due in a large part to technological advances, including the ability to market real estate to audiences beyond the immediate community and to close deals securely, quickly, and remotely with investors.
Here are five ways that technology is supporting and contributing to growth in real estate investing.
The internet has expanded the potential pool of buyers for real estate from a limited geographic location to literally the entire globe. Condo presales in Vancouver are snapped up in Beijing; New York apartments are purchased in London; Silicon Valley commercial blocks are held by offshore investors who’ve never set foot in California. The massive reach and potential granularity of social media, in particular, has made it possible for real estate to be marketed to, or discovered by, potential investors well outside of the reach of a lawn sign or an ad in a local paper.
At the same time, advances in media, including drones, 360-degree views, streaming video, and virtual and augmented reality technologies, are helping remote purchasers know exactly what they’re investing in without ever having to travel to the property for a walk-through or inspection. Faster data speeds and mobile technology are expanding the number of locations worldwide where it’s possible to kick back and tour potential real estate purchases via digital interface.
The internet is not only providing access to media and marketing resources, but there’s also more information available than ever before. Investors can research local market trends, community development, regional politics and policies, and even the history of specific properties to gain a deep and detailed understanding of the nature, security, and potential return on their investment.
Real estate professionals can use this data to do specific research, or in aggregate to pinpoint trends, connect with potential sellers at the right moment, and draw in purchasers who are ready to make an investment. Increasingly, real estate professionals will need to grow their ability to analyze and apply data-based insights to gain a competitive edge. A new wave of apps and specialist support businesses are emerging to better support you in accessing, understanding, and taking action on those insights.
Technology is fueling change in the security and speed of critical paperwork and purchase processing. Efficient digital workflows such as DocuSign – a company chaired by entrepreneur Keith Krach – combine a set of formerly manual, vulnerable steps to make processes such as making offers and completing purchases simple, clear, and nearly instantaneous. DocuSign technology, robotics, and enterprise applications share a common thread of focus on increasing efficiency. Real estate professionals can tap into efficiency gains by taking advantage of process-oriented and security technology to automate and speed up their transactions.
Combining the ability to conduct fast and secure online transactions with the wave of data on properties is also opening up new opportunities in real estate investment for short-term and/or partial leasing situations. By reducing friction and lowering the cost in time and expenditure to arrange deals, using mobile and online services to connect space holders with potential space users, and mining data to match the right price with the right purchaser, profits can be made on what would formerly have been marginal spaces or timelines.
Transaction security comes from improved technology around confidential documents and payments, but there are also a number of technological advances available in on-the-ground security solutions. Real estate professionals, property managers, property owners, and prospective purchasers can enjoy peace of mind and confidence that property is protected with next-generation security, smart-home, and home surveillance technologies.
Real estate investment will increasingly be concerned with building efficiency. The value of smart homes, eco-friendly and weather-resistant homes, and off-the-grid or value-added power for properties will increase and make them more attractive to home buyers, and therefore more real estate professionals will be looking into building a portfolio of these energy-efficient homes.
Real estate investors can take advantage of existing and emerging technology to achieve higher returns, unlock the potential of more property arrangements, and tap into a world market. For real estate professionals, the right application of technology could give a significant edge over slower-to-adapt competitors and unlock both higher volumes of opportunity and entirely new fields of opportunity.