Technology Shaping Real Estate
We live in a digital world that is rapidly evolving and changing the way we behave as consumers. It seems that the real estate realm has also cashed in on the idea of technology enhancing the services that both realtors and buyers/sellers benefit from. Many people realize that millennials are categorized as a large group of consumers in today’s market. However, according to Forbes, the upcoming “Generation Z account for $29-143 billion in direct spending.” This population is technologically savvy and the rest of us are catching up with these trends. Today, buyers and sellers want fast, accurate ways to gather information and realtor professionals like myself are embracing the needs of today’s consumers by streamlining the way buyers/sellers access the housing market.
Most websites are utilizing AI (artificial intelligence) tools to help the consumer experience. Chat bots help consumers to save time while navigating websites and a helpful pop up box can allow you to chat directly with someone via the web. Realtor websites allow you to access mapping tools, mortgage estimators, compare house prices, tax information, and check property values in real time. If you are a home buyer, the first step you need to take towards home ownership is to become prequalified. You’ll want to have an idea of your budget and what you will be eligible before you start the home search.
On my website, you can access a mortgage calculator that provides a predictive snapshot into your monthly mortgage cost in a particular value bracket. In addition, technology has enabled me to provide you a map of all homes currently on the market in a particular area of town. Interested in a 3 bedroom home, in St.Petersburg for less than $400,000? You can easily set filters to search for the home of your dreams by navigating particular areas of interest.
Are you looking to relocate and want to see a home several hours away from you? Do you want to visit an open house, but don’t have availability that day? Virtual tours are becoming increasingly popular among realtors as a way to showcase properties. Services like Matterport allow homebuyers to walk through the property room by room as if they were actually there. It provides more of an actual feel of the flow of a property vs. static pictures.
There are several apps to allow sellers and buyers to view and shop properties and to gain invaluable property data. A service that I love to offer to my clients is SavvyCard. While it’s not an app, this electronic business card of sorts provides useful features. This unique mobile website has an integrated IDX to view all properties on market. Pretend you are driving on your way to the store and you pass a beautiful house for sale. You want to know the price, square footage, and specifics of the house. You can scan the QR code associated with the house and immediately pull up the information on your mobile device. It makes house hunting a breeze by offering turn-by-turn driving directions to properties in my database! What’s also nice is that my SavvyCard is easily shareable and accessible to others; very user-friendly.
Other sites/ apps such as Realtor.com (official search portal for NAR), Zillow, and Redfin allow you to see the value of homes in the area, school ratings, and to filter homes by upcoming open houses and other such features. It’s imporatnt to understand that these sites don’t always provide the most up-to-date information and some properties may not be on the current market. It’s best to consult with a real estate professional who can provide you with more accurate and in-depth information. Agents can also offer you comprehensive buyer and seller market analysis reports that are current to the day.
Technology is shaping the way we buy, sell, and market homes. As we enter further into the new year and the following years, we will be seeing an increase in tools to make aspects of real estate more convenient. Being equipped with these tools and a knowledgeable real estate agent to advocate for you will help you to stay ahead of the trends and to assist in your real estate needs.
How has technology helped you in this scope? What are your thoughts on the matter? Leave a comment below!
Your Neighborhood Expert,