The real estate industry seemed to go an entire century with very little change to the way it fundamentally operated. If you wanted to get a new place, you found a real estate agent, drove to see apartments or houses, picked one, and sealed the deal.
If you wanted to sell that place later, the same agent helped you by putting it on a listing exchange. But times have changed … and they’re still changing.
Here are three technologies that are driving innovations that have occurred in the real estate industry, or are on their way here!
It would be hard to narrow down smartphone functions to one word, because the many ways that smartphones have disrupted the real estate market are vast. You can walk past a property, search for it with a mobile application, find photos of the interior, and dig up former sales prices, tax assessments, and sales contract status — all online.
You can call the agent as well, although in this app-crazed world, many people seem to have forgotten that functionality!
2. Digital signing
First there was the fax machine, which drastically reduced the time it took to conduct real-estate transactions. And though fax machines eventually achieved a network effect that drove high usage rates, they’re becoming obsolete, thanks to digitally signed documents.
Now it’s as easy as signing the screen of your smartphone to buy, sell, or lease a property.
3. Blogs and content
Blogs are hugely abundant and constantly growing, so content is becoming more focused. Thanks to blog frameworks that are easy to replicate, the time it takes to set up a blog has diminished to the point where it can be done in five minutes.
Content creation, as a result, has exploded. And when there’s more content, the nature of competition dictates that consumers will expect a higher quality and more relevant content from the blogs they choose to follow.
A great example of this can be found in the Clinton Hell’s Kitchen real estate website that’s operated by a local office of Keller Williams. On this site, you’ll find not only real estate listings for the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, but all kinds of specialized content that should be helpful to consumers who are considering a move to that neighborhood.
When websites were harder to build and information was less connected online, this type of content would be fairly rare. But today and tomorrow, we should expect this type of excellence in every real estate market in the developed world!