America’s $166 billion real estate and brokerage industry is continuing to grow to record heights, in part due to a boom in the use of digital technologies to help buyers, sellers, and brokers find the home of their dreams more efficiently. While the ways in which technology has transformed sectors such as entertainment, medicine, and transport are well-documented, less attention has been paid to the ways in which many of those same technologies have revolutionized the real estate sector.
Whether you’re a buyer, a seller, or a broker, here’s what you need to know about the increasingly prominent role of emerging technologies in the real estate sector.
1. Mobile-Friendly Househunting
Perhaps the most dramatic way that technology has changed real estate is the ways in which the entire market has adapted to the rise of smartphone usage. The vast majority of consumers now consult their smartphones to make a web search before buying a product, and houses are not exempt from this trend.
Many of the biggest real estate listing sites have adapted their platforms to be mobile-friendly, whilst viewings, payments, and consultations can all be arranged via a mobile browser. In addition, many realtors now offer remote viewings via FaceTime or WhatsApp, meaning that people can now attend house viewings anywhere in the world without leaving their living room.
2. Digital Mortgage Brokers
Once upon a time, hiring a mortgage broker to help you negotiate a reasonable mortgage deal was a time-consuming and expensive process. However, thanks to the rise of online mortgage advice services such as the UK-based company Trussle, people can now access mortgage advice from qualified professionals for free, all whilst standing to save huge amounts of money in payments and interest rates.
The rise of digital mortgage brokers means that the industry has become much more accessible and competitive, with anyone now being able to access professional mortgage advice in an instant.
3. VR Viewings
The rise of AR and VR technology has been a major boon to the house building and real estate sectors. VR and AR now allow people to explore a house that they are interested in from top to bottom, enjoying an immersive viewing experience without actually having to go to the house. VR viewings are hugely popular with international investors, who may not have the time to fly out to developments or properties before deciding whether or not to buy. All of this means that realtors can connect with more potential customers than ever before.
4. Buying In Bitcoin
Although this particular tech trend is still in its early stages, it has the potential to be the most transformative for the real estate sector. The number of people using popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to purchase homes outright has risen dramatically in recent years, particularly in techie havens such as Silicon Valley or London. The use of bitcoin for buying homes is largely restricted to the luxury property market for the moment, but there is every chance that this will change as blockchain technology becomes more mainstream in the years ahead.
These are just a few of the ways that new technologies are having a transformative effect on the real estate sector. Make sure to watch this space for more updates on how tech is changing the economy forever.
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