The Future of Real Estate: New Technologies that Will Change the Buying and Selling Process
The real estate industry has largely remained unchanged over the years. The process of buying a house has always been the same. First, you have to look around and find a property that suits your needs. Next, you secure financing via a mortgage loan provider. Third, you make an offer to the seller and hope that you arrive at a favorable resolution. Before you close the purchase, you still have to get a home inspection. After that, you sign the contract and then you can move in.
However, little by little, new tools have started cropping up for both buyers and sellers. There are real estate apps made for buyers to make the process of searching for available properties easier and more convenient. There are websites where sellers can list their houses to drum up interest from aspiring homeowners.
The pandemic made the integration of technology in the process of buying and selling a house take a further step forward. With shelter in place orders and physical distancing suggestions, the old ways can no longer continue. If the industry wants to survive, it has to be willing to make upgrades.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been in use in real estate even before the COVID-19 but, during the pandemic, it became a necessity. Because of the lockdowns, no one could go out from their homes, meet a real estate agent, and then view available properties. The industry, therefore, had to adapt to the situation.
Many real estate companies have introduced house viewings via VR. VR offers an immersive, 360-degree look at an available property. It can either be a still image or a video, but the aim is to tour the house without actually being there physically.
VR is different from regular photos and videos because it is interactive. The buyer has the option to step forward or click on a certain detail to make a close look and turn their head around or tap the arrows on the image to inspect the rest of the space. The most common way to do it is through mobile phones but, increasingly, real estate companies are investing in headsets. Although more expensive, VR headsets from Oculus or HTC can make viewing feel more real because it allows the viewer to move around as if they really are at a house viewing.
In the future, VR and AR will be further integrated into the process of house viewing. It will be most useful for properties that are yet to be built or properties located in another state/country. It will also help convince potential buyers to close the sale by allowing them to envision the interior design of the space.
One technology that a lot of experts seem to be excited about is blockchain. Blockchain has received a lot of attention in recent years because of cryptocurrency, but it has the potential to transform industries, including real estate.
The integration of blockchain can minimize the time wasted when buying a real estate property. The technology can streamline the process of storing, verifying, and transferring records. Even property titles can be stored and handled digitally through blockchain. It is preferable, too, because of its built-in encryption which protects both seller and buyer from scammers and thieves.
In addition, there are a lot of things that property owners can do with blockchain. In the future, the technology can allow landlords to sell portions of ownership of a building.
The digitization of real estate makes way for the future integration of artificial intelligence (AI). Right now, real estate agents do the work of sorting through listings and finding options that suit the needs of their clients. However, in the future, the computer might take up the task of recommending properties based on the personal preference of the buyer.
The technology can be further refined to make intelligent suggestions that predict what the buyer wants before they even mention or think of it. AI will change the way people search for their future homes by eliminating the rather tiring process of doing multiple house viewings to find the one that has everything they want or need.
The real estate industry is steadily undergoing a technological transition to better cater to the demands of the public. Both buyer and seller will benefit from the inclusion of websites and apps, virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and other new inventions in property investment.