The real estate industry is about as old school as they come. Knowing what sells, having a knack for networking, and being able to connect with people are still essential to moving property. So the fundamentals are still intact, but just like most other sectors today, this market is currently in the midst of a technological transformation. Understanding some of these trends is useful for any MSP hoping to help out real estate firms with their fast-paced businesses.
Recent acquisitions on the Internet real estate front and growing interest from venture capital investors suggest that noteworthy breakthroughs are on the horizon. Following, we take a look at some of the most exciting innovations and trends in real estate tech.
Big Data and Analytics
The big data train is on the fast track to mainstream stardom and passing through the real estate realm along the way. From consumers to agents to banks, the analytics component of big data can be advantageous to every player in the game.
Easily accessible data: Zillow is the classic case of big data at work. Huge amounts of raw data from multiple sources is run through a centralized system, crunched by sophisticated algorithms, and served up in a format consumers can easily sift through and view. For buyers, it’s pretty neat stuff that will only get more advanced as analytics progresses.
Marketing fuel: One of many things real estate pros can learn from big data is how consumers go about researching properties online. Armed with this knowledge, companies can target their email, social media, and PPC campaigns based on those patterns and hopefully produce better results.
Money-making insights: Banks and financial institutions are all about the money and so their usage of analytics in real estate is largely built around making sound investments. For example, a financial analyst can drill into the huge pool of local market data to determine if a particular short sale or foreclosure is worth gambling on.
Google Glass “may” be a bust, but there’s still a future for wearable tech, and the real estate industry is primed for adoption. Keeping Google’s project in mind, let’s take a look at the key characteristics of the prototypical smart glasses.
- Economical design made to be gentle on the eye
- Built-in mic, speaker, and camera for mobile computing with a POV twist
- Hands-free functions, most via gestures and voice commands
- Easy access to data on connected systems
- Ability to visualize data in computer generated graphical overlays
Based on what we know about smart specs, watches, and similar gadgets, it’s clear to see that convenience is the big selling point to wearable tech for real estate professionals. Instead of whipping out their smartphone, tablet, or God forbid a laptop, agents can be faster, more productive, and safer by tapping into a device that is more easily accessible.
The real estate industry is home to one of the original mobile workforces and agents are constantly on the go to this day. BYOD is perfectly suited for this environment, where it offers superior flexibility
that allows employees to work efficiently from any location, on any device. So whether they prefer an iPhone, Galaxy Tab, or Surface Pro, real estate agents can pull listings, contact clients, check in with management back at the office, and perform many other tasks traditionally handled behind the desk.
Some of the most impressive real estate tech is compressed and bundled in mobile applications. Of course you’ve got consumer-focused apps like Realtor, which helps house-hunters track down homes for sale in their area, along with agents who listed the property. Then there are apps more suited for professionals, like Balcony, which helps real estate agents generate referrals by connecting and collaborating with other industry pros. The app technology will only get slicker as developers realize the opportunities and brokers home in on their specific needs with custom development projects.
You might think drones are poised to take flight in real estate. The ability to capture aerial photography and video alone can give forward-thinking brokers an edge with innovative marketing capabilities their competitors lack. But the lack of freedom is exactly what’s standing in the way for now. The Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) limits the commercial use of drones to strict applications most industries don’t qualify for, so real estate pros need to tread carefully to say the least. But if a new, more relaxed rule proposed by the FAA is any indication, things could be looking up for drone users.
Slowly but surely, real estate is catching up with the rest of the industrial world in adopting technology. And this is only the beginning. Another 10 to 20 years of tech infusion, and this industry could look remarkably different.
Photo Credit: Ted Eytan via Flickr