Digital technologies have become an integral part of the house-hunting process, shaping the home buying industry and affecting everyone involved. The research shows that every second buyer heads online first to look for a new home.
Responding to this, real estate agents, brokers, and investors are leaning toward custom software and purpose-built mobile applications in their day-to-day practices to engage customers in the digital space.
Here are five leading technologies that are driving the revolution in the home buying experience right now:
The adoption of business intelligence tools in the real estate industry is growing, especially when it comes to self-service data analytics platforms. These BI solutions provide agents with relevant insights and strategies to home buying in real time, without the need to engage IT resources.
Big data enhances decision-making based on the prevailing market and micro-economy trends. BI software can reveal essential information about customer purchase intent and behavior based on historical data.
Another use case in home buying where big data capabilities find application is marketing. Integrated with the enterprise CRM system, data-driven BI solutions help agents capitalize on customer data integrated from a variety of sources and target the prospects with a high conversion propensity without delay.
The use of predictive analytics and machine intelligence automation drives smarter decisions in the real estate sector. The AI use cases holding the most value for the industry include:
● Enhanced home search experience. By leveraging predictive algorithms combined with big data analytics engines, realtors can pinpoint individual tastes and requirements of every single buyer. Based on these findings, they can tailor house recommendations to suggest the exact kind of properties their customers are looking for.
● Real property valuation. AI valuation models aid real estate agents and property owners in maximizing their sales. Artificial intelligence algorithms take into consideration the full spectrum of factors involved in real estate appraisal and provide accurate estimations of a property’s worth. This way, these systems enable sellers to determine the fair market value of their assets quickly.
● Faster transactions. The real estate industry generates vast amounts of paper documentation. Processing all reports, permits, certificates, and contracts is a mind-numbing and tedious task. AI-based intelligent process automation can free up agents’ time on paperwork. Solutions exist that can automate the collection, review, and generation of required documents to cut down manual processes and speed up transactions.
Blockchain is another technology with a strong potential to disrupt the dynamic real estate market. Secure, traceable and immutable distributed ledgers allow plenty of benefits, from cost saving through increased transparency to time efficiency. Agents, sellers, and buyers use blockchain-based smart contracts to reduce friction and transaction costs, streamline payments, and mitigate fraud.
In recent years, we have seen an emergence of real estate blockchain services that facilitate fast and secure property sales. Meridio, for example, provides a blockchain platform to create, manage, and trade fractional ownership shares in real estate assets. Propy uses blockchain to automate and speed up international property transactions. ShelterZoom delivers a customizable widget, a mobile application, and dashboards that allow brokers and agents to transact with buyers and sellers through blockchain.
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Augmented reality is perceived as the next big home buying disruption. The technology allows prospective buyers to walk through a property on the screens of their laptops and mobile phones. High-quality digital walkthrough solutions offer a 360-degree view of a property enhanced with 3D visualization, interactive hotspots, pop-ups, and embedded media. Thanks to this elaborate mix of technologies, virtual tours make it possible to visit a place 24/7 and inspect it inside out in close detail, without the need to waste time on travel to the actual physical site.
Online location and property walkthroughs have been experiencing explosive growth during the COVID-19 outbreak. The VR technology creates a unique opportunity for homebuyers to continue their search for a new home despite the lockdown.
Chatbots and virtual assistants are gaining traction in all sectors, including real estate where they are deployed to enrich customer experience and help close deals faster. By integrating 24/7 virtual assistants into websites and mobile apps, agents gain a powerful tool to interact with buyers, nurture their interest, and address their questions about a property.
Bots may also be used to collect information necessary for the sales and marketing teams to proceed to the next stage of customer engagement.
More advanced bots can assess prospects’ requirements, suggest matching properties, and even act as a guide during a 360-degree virtual tour of a site. Virtual assistants also create new business efficiencies, freeing up agents’ time and reducing the burden of basic tasks, such as scheduling or addressing common buyer questions.
From AI recommendations to VR tours, home buying is not the same anymore. In the current information age, it takes much more than a simple listing to distinguish a real estate property from thousands of available offers. The modern consumer expects real estate services to be delivered with speed and convenience. As homebuyers are increasingly turning to the web and mobile channels, real estate companies need to be prepared to embrace the technology in order to maintain their competitive advantages.