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Four Technology Trends Set to Change the Real Estate Sector in 2018 and Beyond

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 29 August 2018 20:16

These days, it seems as though digitization and technology have impacted almost every area of our lives. This is especially true in the real estate sector, where new innovation is changing the way we sell, buy, list and tour our homes. This year has seen major leaps in this regard and the progress is expected to continue into the coming years. Today, let’s take a look at four trends that will redefine the industry as we know it and set the pace for influential change moving forward.

 

1. Chatbot technology will change the agent/customer relationship.

Are your clients still emailing, calling or texting you for updates on their property? If so, expect that to change moving forward. Now, more consumers than ever before are deploying the use of voice-enabled chatbots to get their work done. In short, that means they don’t want to type on their computer -- they want to talk to it.

 

Thanks to tools such as Siri and Echo, they can now do just that. While those personal assistants are more adept at turning on your favorite playlist or telling you the score of the major league ballgame, there are virtual assistants designed to handle real estate transactions, as well. In fact, one program known as AskDoss is the first real estate-centric personal assistant designed with artificial intelligence. Users simply speak their search criteria and the tool goes to work finding properties that match.

 

2. Customers will crave customized marketing.

Gone are the days when the same generic email blast was effective on everyone and encouraged a large number of conversions. Today, customers want marketing and advertising collateral to be tailored to their specific needs, wants and expectations. To that end, real estate marketing is about to take another turn toward finding ways to speak directly to a target audience.

 

To gauge what types of materials this may include and how to best craft these messages, industry marketers are employing advanced analytics to get a clearer picture of their ideal customer. In the real estate sphere, similar data is analyzed as well. Though only around 10% to 20% of the vast amount of produced information is actually reviewed, this could change soon. Thanks to advancements in computer vision and pattern recognition, agents can now better track web visitors to learn where they’re clicking, what data they’re interested in and what’s losing their attention.

 

3. Speed will become an even higher priority.

As we find ways to sophisticate current technology, there will be an ongoing need for systems and processors to keep up with the lightning-fast pace. In other words, developers will need to find ways to help everyone access their smart devices without having to wait for a screen to load, an image to pixelate or a blog post to show up. This “need for speed” also applies to the way humans work. With so many demands pulling at us at all times, it can be easy to feel like we’re furiously spinning our wheels only to come up short.

 

As a solution, look to productivity-boosting tools that take the legwork out of complicated tasks to be on the upswing. For instance, in real estate, programs such as Homespotter’s “Boost” are designed to help agents create quick social media advertisements detailing available properties in an instant, bypassing the need to complete the time-consuming, step-by-step procedures that often define the process. Instead, the software pulls from the MLS to get applicable information, images and Calls to Action (CTA) immediately. The agent just has to click “approve” and the post goes live.

 

In a similar vein, other complex processes that used to take up a ton of agent time, most notably the offer submission and acceptance timeline, are now being automated as well. Consider, for example, the emergence of tools such as Uber Real Estate. On this platform, sellers can list the details of their property and then buyers can work with their agents to post a offer, change their  and see a review of other offers. This back-and-forth interaction could take weeks if left in the hands of an agent as there are meeting to schedule, paperwork to file, notes to take and much more.

 

4. The customer experience will be immersive.

Consider this scenario: You have a family of buyers who are ready to make a major move to the other side of the country. They want you to navigate the process with them, but they are obviously unable to trek 3,000 miles every time a new viable property opens up. In this case, what if they could just put on a Virtual Reality (VR) headset and “tour” the home from afar, complete with 360-degree views that are so lifelike they’ll feel as though they’re actually walking around the rooms.

 

Now, that dream is a reality. You can also use Augmented Reality (AR) to visualize how a particular piece of furniture will look in a client’s home, making the object “appear” in the space for visual effect. In 2018 and beyond, real estate clients will want to play a more active, hands-on role in the buying and selling process, and strong graphical interfaces should enable that.

 

Moving Forward: What Lies Ahead for Industry Tech

As clients become more tech-savvy, their expectations around their real estate experience will understandably shift. Companies and agencies that want to keep pace, boost sales and build a community of trust will use these new tools to their advantage to learn more about the audience that comprises their clientele. Then, keeping this knowledge in mind, they’ll find new and creative ways to implement the tools that are the most appropriate and best suited for success.

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