Technological advancements are quickly welcomed into the home. They are also changing how homes are bought and sold. Read on to find out more.
Finding an apartment or a house in New York is tough at the best of times. Property demand is always high in the city. Recently, though, more people are looking to move out of the city. This opens up the market for prospective renters and buyers, and those who want to be in the city but are currently outside of it, to identify the right property for them. At this crucial time, technology is a great friend.
Technology is disrupting industries and markets all around the world. It is enabling smaller startups and businesses to compete and forcing the hand of those established to keep up-to-date. What this means for consumers, renters, and buyers is more opportunities and better efficiency. Technological innovations like blockchain, AI, machine learning, AR, and VR are the key perpetrators of the contemporary disruptions. The real estate industry is not exempt from this trend. The majority of renters and buyers do their research online, already. This isn’t new. What the recent innovations and advancements of existing tech has done is further consolidate this trend, and achieved the two things technological disruptions want to: provide more opportunities to customers and improve efficiency.
The application of blockchain technology is mainly publicized in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This publicity has its pros and cons. Bitcoin is highly volatile and is often lamented for being untrustworthy and dangerous. However, recent data suggests a surge of interest in the currency. While the tokenization could have a profound effect on property sales and shares – investors of any level can have shares in rental properties, for instance – the focus here will be on Smart Contracts.
Smart Contracts are computer programs which automatically execute the agreed details of a transaction or agreement. For instance, if there is a mutually agreed plan for payment instalments, the Smart Contract will execute this and cannot be manipulated. The main benefit, though, is that it cuts out the extra costs of go-betweens which usually enforce anti-fraud and other conditions because the blockchain technology itself ensures that the security is flawless. This will help buyers and renters save extra money otherwise spent on these services.
AI and Machine Learning
Data collection is an essential aspect of every industry in contemporary society. Real estate is no different. Market price and buying/renting trends all factor into many decisions, including those made in the insurance industry. Insurers like Lemonade are utilizing big data, AI, and machine learning to help keep renters insurance rates for NYC affordable.
AI and Machine learning help collect and analyze data more efficiently and accurately than standard practices. This cuts overhead costs and allows insurers to have lower prices while offering high-end policies.
It also helps with searching for properties, as filters and databases can be more attentive to a prospective buyer’s or renter’s needs and desires.
There is another way AI helps, too, in a way it is already being used in many industries: as a customer relation management tool. Chatbots are a great way for real estate businesses to ensure their customer-facing practices are consistent, in quality and availability. Customers can bring up the business’s website at any point in the day and a chatbot will be ready for them. As the technology has improved, their communicative skills – both comprehension and talking – enable many customers to be completely satisfied with their experience.
Virtual reality is associated with gaming. The technology is still in its infancy – Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 is a current standout – but the promise is complete immersion in a new space and world. How will this translate to real estate? In exactly the same way. Prospective buyers and renters will be able to virtually visit a property. They will be able to walk around at their own pace, getting a sense of the layout and feel of the apartment or house before going in person. A realtor will be able to attend to, as an avatar, to guide and showcase the home, should they wish to. It might not have the same effect when selling land, but the premise is still the same. While being in a home virtually and physically has obvious differences, the prospective buyer or renter could make a decision during a VR tour, should they feel it’s right, or, more simply, it is another way of narrowing the list of properties for them.
Apps can act as aggregators. They offer a single place where realtors can upload their properties and buyers and renters can look without having to flick back and forth between various websites. Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia are three popular examples. Not only this, but it acts as an access point for contact too – streamlining the process.