Technology is affecting every industry, and real estate is no exception.
From better-informed sellers, to iBuyers, to virtual tours, tech has resulted in some serious changes in the past several years-especially 2020, when the pandemic forced real estate agents everywhere to adopt tech more quickly than they may have otherwise.
If you are only now stepping into the world of real estate, then you have got a long and hopefully fulfilling career ahead of you. However, you may want to consider getting a real estate internship (the Fi Introvert blog can provide more information on this front) before taking up a full-time job. This way, you can come to terms with all the new tech while also getting a good grasp of the market trends.
Let’s take a closer look.
Data-driven trend reporting
In the past, housing market trends were something you’d have to learn about by reading industry news outlets or talking to a real estate agent.
Today, the average person can simply check out a website like Zillow or Redfin to see what’s happening in their market.
Not only that, but the knowledge we have to extrapolate trends from is much more conclusive, because data about every home transaction can now be collected and aggregated, then made available to not only real estate agents, but also consumers.
This means that the average buyer (or seller) is entering into the phase of hiring a real estate agent with more information than ever before. This can make working with clients both easier for the agent-as they won’t have to spend as much time explaining some of the basics-and harder, as some clients may come in with well-established opinions that they don’t want to change.
Affordability and mortgage payment calculators
For buyers, it’s never been so easy to get the financial information you need to inform your home buying process.
Free online tools like home affordability calculators, mortgage payment estimators, and more make it easy to get an accurate range of how much you can afford in a monthly payment, what your budget range should be, and how much of your mortgage payment would go toward the house payment, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, etc.
Virtual tours and video tools
Virtual and 3D tours have been in use in the real estate industry for some time, but the pandemic really pushed them into the forefront of real estate agents’ tech toolboxes.
Platforms like Matterport and 3dVista allow agents to easily create 3D virtual tours for clients who can’t tour a home in person, or even for clients who want to be able to refer back to a virtual tour after doing an in-person walk-through.
Streaming services like Periscope and video call services like Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime are also helpful for live video walk-throughs, as clients can ask questions or request to see specific details in real time.
iBuyers, or platforms that allow home sellers to sell their homes for cash almost instantly, are a relatively new development in the real estate industry.
There are many companies out there that do this, but essentially the service is the same: you list your home with the iBuyer, they estimate the value and make you a cash offer based on that value, and if you accept, your part of the transaction is over. The company that purchased your home then markets and resells your home themselves, which is how they make a profit.
iBuying isn’t right for everyone, but it can be a good choice for sellers who are on a tight timeline (for example, those who need to relocate quickly for a job, family, or other reason) or for those who are burdened with an inherited home that they want to dispose of in as stress-free a manner as possible.
For more information on the real estate industry in 2021, check out the Top Agent Insights Report for Summer/Fall 2021.