Digital Trends in Real Estate to Watch Out For in 2021

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The real estate industry is known to be elusive to technological adaptation, or more specifically, the immediate acceptance of innovations in fear of disruption. In any type of industry, technology can either enrich or disrupt processes, and the real estate industry is one of the many that are hyper-aware of this fact.

Nevertheless, there is no denying that the adoption of modern-day technology is often necessary to improve operations, customer experience, performance, engagement, and many more crucial aspects of real estate. To further understand how digital technology is making waves in real estate, here are the top trends that are currently changing the industry as we know it.

1. CRM software

CRM software maintains data from companies, customers, tenants, and realtors themselves while managing relationships with those customers. Real estate professionals use CRM to enhance specific processes, including data importation, managing sales campaigns, overseeing transactions across all funnels, and many more. With CRM, real estate professionals are able to streamline processes and workflows, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency.

2. Online sales

Online real estate marketplaces make it possible for buyers to find homes and sellers to put their properties up for sale. Even lenders are curating their websites to allow the bulk of the home loan or mortgage application process to occur online. However, it is not yet possible nor feasible for the entire transaction of home acquisition to happen entirely online.

But what does the future hold? With the use of online marketplaces steadily increasing over the years, we can expect the possibility of transferring property ownership online in the future. Paperwork and payment can already be done digitally thanks to modern software, so there are few things standing in the way of online sales conducted 100% online in the years to come.

3. Big data

Big data refers to the technology that automates the analysis of large amounts of data from multiple sources, helping optimize the use of money, time, and human effort.

This type of technology benefits real estate in a number of ways, namely by reducing financial risks, narrowing down ideal properties (for buyers), and curating social media marketing campaigns. Not only does big data provide multiple benefits for real estate professionals, but it also makes life easier for buyers and sellers as well.

4. Predictive analytics

In real estate, predicting market behavior is often difficult and sometimes impossible to achieve. With predictive analytics, however, real estate professionals and investors can come up with accurate forecasts on market trends based on historical data, real-time data, and behavioral analytics.

Specifically, predictive analytics can improve lead generation by pinpointing buyers who are more likely to be interested in buying or renting (based on their previous behavior). It also helps investors make smart choices by finding the best areas to invest in terms of rental income, value, and occupancy rate, among other parameters. Moreover, this technology can help realtors determine the expected condition of a property and how much buyers are willing to pay for it in that state, thus helping realtors (and sellers) make necessary improvements to get the most ideal offer.

5. Virtual reality tours

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The pandemic has caused a significant decrease in house tours, which prompted the adaptation of virtual reality as an alternative to in-person showings. Virtual reality tools allow homebuyers to view a property, either through guided or interactive visits. Either way, a virtual reality tour aims to help potential buyers visualize the property before they visit it in real life.

The main benefit of VR tours in the face of a pandemic is that it eliminates unnecessary in-person visits, keeping both realtors and homebuyers safe. Another benefit is that VR tours help buyers narrow down their choices without spending time and money with an actual visit to the property. In turn, this also helps realtors and sellers save resources by only entertaining serious buyers for actual in-person tours.

6. Internet of Things

The Internet of Things refers to the network of physical objects that have technologies designed to connect and exchange information with other devices over the Internet. This includes everything from smartphones to laptops, to security systems and thermostats, to light switches and coffee makers, and just about anything else that can be connected to the Internet.

Using data from the Internet of Things, property managers can better understand their tenants. For example, they can find out the answers to questions like: “When do tenants use the heating the most? Which rooms are most frequented? Which parts of the building experience the highest foot traffic?” Knowing the answers to these things can help make things easier, particularly maintenance, repair, and insurance.

These are just some of the trends that are overtaking the real estate industry as we know it. In the coming decade, we can expect more digital technologies to seep into the industry with the goal to improve processes for the benefit of buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals alike.

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