It is not easy to stay at the top when it comes to the real estate industry, as this is one industry that is evergreen, but ever-evolving as well.
The simple concept of shelter is no longer applicable to the majority of the users of the real estate sector, as people seek more comfort and amenities while also trying to get the most value for their money.
And at the end of the day, users of the real estate market look for one key amenity: convenience.
This is where technology plays a crucial role. Today, convenience is linked to technology in almost every major aspect.
But, technology and real estate? If you’re wondering how the two are connected, the answer is simple. Just like technology became an integral part of our everyday lives and the businesses around us, it wormed its way into the real estate business sector as well!
Thus was born the concept of online real estate platforms! Just as you purchase groceries, jewellery, and even automotive online, you can now purchase your dream property online without putting a toe outside your current property.
In this blog, we will:
- explore the link between technology and real estate.
- talk about why it is important to take your real estate business online if you haven’t done so already.
- consider the factors that drive the growth of online real estate businesses.
- discuss some important features that a good real estate software must have.
- and touch upon how incorporating technology in real estate can boost your real estate business.
Why Do We Need to Merge Technology and Real Estate?
If you’re wondering about the importance of technology in real estate, let me transport you back a couple of decades.
Imagine that you’re in the 90s and think about purchasing a property in a crowded metropolitan or a laid-back suburban neighbourhood. It doesn’t matter where you are or what type of property you intend to purchase, you will be subjected to a long series of gruelling processes before getting your hands on a key.
Between drawn-out meetings with multiple real estate agents, missed and rescheduled open houses, and the seas of paperwork you will likely drown in, conventional real estate management cycles are tedious. No debates there.
This is no longer the case, thanks to the technology innovation in real estate that we have seen predominantly over the past decade. It is safe to say that technology makes real estate property management easier and more efficient in almost every aspect.
Merging technology and real estate helps you save time, resources, and costs in the typical property management cycle. And the benefits are not limited to any particular stakeholder either. Buyer and seller stand to enjoy the advantages of real estate technology in today’s market.
Factors that Drive the Growth of Online Real Estate
We know that it’s happening, but how technology is changing real estate is a question that does not have a simple answer.
Selling properties has never been easier, but what’s the point of selling properties if there are no takers? So, before you get into the real estate property management business, let us take a moment to understand the factors that drive the growth of online real estate.
The most important driving factor of the real estate sector is none other than the audience you intend to target. If you do not know your audience, you might as well hang up your hat and call it a day!
You need to be keenly aware of your audience, their predictions, their wants and their needs, as well as their financial ability to meet the aforementioned wants and needs.
We live in times of crisis and it is hard to predict the economy from one day to the next. However, it is not possible to drive a successful real estate business without having an understanding of your economy at any given time.
Your focus should not be limited to your local audience either. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on the global economy as well to ensure you are not blind-sided if and when there are sudden dips in the economy, which history shows us is inevitable.
This is because, if the global economy is down, the purchasing power of your prospects will also be affected adversely and it is good to have a contingency plan in mind.
3. Public Policies and Interest Rates
The real estate sector is also susceptible to the changes in local and global government policies and regulations as such changes affect permits for properties and influence your buyer’s decisions.
Also, the real estate rates you set in place should be reliable for your end users as fluctuating real estate interest rates will likely deter potential buyers.
One of the main ways you can position yourself above your competition is by giving your customers a stellar user experience. The facilities you provide will set your brand two steps ahead and improve your chances of success.
You should consider harnessing the power of real estate technology and set up a platform that combines tech and real estate so that your entire real estate life cycle will be more optimised and certainly more enjoyable.
How Can Technology Improve Real Estate Management?
You must have a lot of questions by now!
- If technology is the future of the real estate industry, how can I keep my business relevant in the coming years?
- What sort of real estate tech should I invest in?
- How will AI affect real estate?
- How can I use advanced real estate tech to make my digital user experiences more rewarding?
At the end of the day, your real estate business’s success will largely depend on your knowledge of the real estate market and your ability to adapt to the evolving times we live in.
You can learn about the market and gain a deeper understanding of what drives real estate users if you take the time to do your research thoroughly under the guidance of experienced real estate professionals.
Next comes your willingness to embrace the future of real estate, that is, digitalisation. Technological developments in the real estate sector have now made it easier than ever to connect the right users to the properties of their preference.
Let’s take a look at how emerging technologies in real estate can enhance your overall property management life-cycle:
1. Comprehensive Real Estate Management
If you utilise real estate tech optimally, you can build a comprehensive real estate platform for your business that helps you address every aspect of your real estate property management lifecycle from a single touchpoint! Yup, you heard that right!
You can streamline all your real estate processes right from the lead generation stage to the handover of the keys with a connected digital ecosystem that makes all your stakeholders equally accountable.
2. Avoid Middlemen
There was a time when middlemen were the bane of people trying to get their hands on the property of their dreams. While some were helpful, most hindered the real estate management process for their own benefit.. Well, gone are those days, thanks to blockchain technology, which does more than provide a base for cryptocurrency.
Blockchain technology is a new means for buyers and sellers to connect at lower costs and without the help of middlemen and with complete transparency.
3. Negate the Hassles of Conventional Real Estate Management
Online real estate platforms help you get the keys to your kingdom without leaving the comfort of your couch!
You can help your end users navigate the conventional hassles of real estate property management such as long-drawn out processes and paper trails.
With the right software solutions, you can set up virtual tours that let your end users browse thousands of properties without ever having to attend a single open house!
4. Create Exceptional User Experiences
User experiences determine the ultimate success of any business.
Real estate technology can help you create exceptional user experiences that guarantee to improve your conversion and retention rates.
Help users navigate easily, find the right properties that fit their requirements, and connect buyers and sellers in real-time for better chances of closures.
5. Enable Easy and Paperless Transactions
The paperwork associated with real estate property lifecycles are famous, or rather, infamous, for being tedious and long.
With real estate technology, you can enable hassle-free and paperless transactions, which will also help you score brownie points for conserving the environment (more digital documentation means less trees cut down).
6. Club Sales and Digital Marketing
Sales and marketing go hand in hand, and real estate technology helps you easily put your brand on the digital map!
You can reach out to your users with engagement strategies and promotional campaigns, and stay connected to their marketing expectations in real-time.
7. Data Management from a Single Dashboard
Data management is one of the biggest hurdles of real estate property management, with multiple contracts and proposals associated with every property you handle.
Back in the day, it was not uncommon for important documentation to go missing from archives due to negligence or perhaps the sheer volume of documents that had to be handled. This slowed down the real estate transactions too, as document storing and retrieval were no mean tasks.
Now, thanks to real estate technology applications, you can upload hundreds of thousands of real estate documents to the Cloud and retrieve them in seconds when required.
8. More Purchasing Power to Users
You can also use real estate technology to give your users more purchasing power and help them make faster and more informed decisions.
Add financial tools such as amortisation calculators and flexible leasing options to your repertoire of online real estate capabilities and enhance your user experience.
What Are the Features of a Good Real Estate Software?
You can easily benefit from the technologies in real estate applications by creating your own real estate platform that incorporates the power of big data and machine learning.
1. Easy Onboarding
The onboarding stage is where most businesses lose prospects if they don’t play their cards right.
You might feel the urge to get as much personal information about the user as possible in one go, but refrain from doing so! Long onboarding processes with multiple steps for data collection will force users to lose interest and move away from your website.
Keep your onboarding short and sweet!
2. Lead Management
Lead generation and nurturing are important processes of your real estate property management cycle.
A good lead management module is a prerequisite for your online real estate business so that you can manage all your leads and track their progress from a single console.
3. Great User Interface
A minimalist and clutter-free user interface will help you circumvent the hassles avoided with conventional real estate transactions.
Keep it simple and make your user’s real estate journey a single page process, if possible.
4. Smart Maps
It is a great idea to incorporate a smart map in your online real estate platform’s capabilities to guide users to the right locations.
Not only will it make it easy and convenient for users to find what they’re looking for, but you can also avoid the bottlenecks that are usually caused due to communication gaps between sellers and buyers and agents.
5. Curated Visual Gallery
You are helping your users shortlist their favourite properties after sorting through hundreds of properties from their smart devices.
You can make the selection process easier for your users by curating a gallery with visual aids such as pictures and videos of virtual tours.
6. Detailed Property Information Pages
Make sure your online real estate platform has detailed property pages with information about the type of property, its area, the neighbourhood it’s located in, the amenities nearby, and more.
Remember, the more detailed your property listing pages are, the better will be your user experience.
7. Real-Time Updates and Alerts
In the real estate game, time is money. Easy and quick communication channels are necessary if you want to ensure that all your end users are connected to each other’s needs around the clock.
Also, ensure that your real estate platform can send alerts and notifications to your stakeholders in real-time so that they can make purchase decisions faster.
8. Financial Tools
Financial tools that help users calculate flexible leasing options and amortisation calculators empower your users to make more informed decisions without having to leave your website and break the user flow.
9. Analytics Tools
Analytic tools are great for knowing how your user’s minds work. They give you an in-depth understanding of how your users interact with your business, which in turn will help you focus on improving your strengths and fixing your weaknesses.
10. Robust Filters
Your real estate platform needs to have a dynamic and layered search filter system to help your users track down the best properties that meet their bespoke requirements from hundreds of thousands of properties listed on your site.
Once our users find the property that fits their needs, it is also a good idea to add an option that helps them mark desirable properties as favourites so that they can find them easily when they wish to revisit them at a later time.
11. Calendar and Scheduling Tools
Make sure your users never miss an open house again!
Incorporate calendars and scheduling tools into your online real estate platform’s capabilities to conveniently enable buyers and sellers to set up meetings and explore properties.
How to Ensure the Success of Your Business with the Help of Technology
There are various ways to ensure that the success of your real estate business is ensured and sustained. You can definitely help your real estate business grow in the right direction if you keep these simple tips in mind. Read on to find out the strategies you can employ to stay two steps ahead of your competitors.
1. Take Your Real Estate Business Online
Now, this is a given and if you haven’t done so already, don’t waste any more time taking your real estate business online.
Clubbing the benefits of technology and your real estate business can do wonders for your bottom lines.
And, when you replace the conventional hassles of real estate management with the convenience of online real estate capabilities, your conversion and retention rates will increase automatically.
2. Go Mobile for Better User Convenience
Taking your online real estate business online will probably be one of the best business decisions you can make for the future of your business.
You will not only be making your offerings and services more accessible to a global audience, but you will also give more purchasing power to your end users by enabling them to manage their properties on the go!
A mobile-friendly application for your business will ensure that you are connected to the needs of all your end users at all times.
3. Increase Your Online Visibility
Back in the day, the reputation of a real estate business was highly reliant on the goodwill of its patrons. If you liked a business or real estate agent, you were likely to tell your family and friends about it, thus gaining the business a loyal base of clientele.
However, this was a time-consuming process and also came with its fair share of disadvantages. One disgruntled customer could give enough negative feedback about your business to impact your profits adversely.
With digital marketing, you can increase your online visibility and reach tens of thousands of your target audience with a small budget and without relying on anyone.
If you launch targeted campaigns the right way, you can improve your brand awareness, and also make your offerings more visible on the internet.
You can build a strong online presence in multiple ways other than just paid campaigns. For example, you can host webinars for real estate users and agents to discuss the prominent trends in the online real estate industry.
This will help you hack your way to the top of the industry and build user and investor faith in your online real estate business.
4. Invest with a Reliable Solutions Provider
There are plenty of real estate software providers in the market, but only a handful of them will be the right fit for your business requirements. After all, it is more about quality than quantity when it comes to solutions providers.
Make sure that you place the future of your business in the hands of a reliable software solutions provider who will take the effort to understand your business thoroughly to come up with solutions and strategies that are tailor-made for your organisational goals.
Remember, your online real estate business will only be as good as the platform that supports it, so try to find the best solutions provider for your business within your budgetary constraints.
5. Maintain Transparency and Trust
Transparency is the cornerstone of any successful business, and this applies to your online real estate business too.
If you conduct business in a fair and transparent manner and ensure that all your stakeholders are in the know, then the chances of your online real estate succeeding are higher.
Technology makes it easier for you to keep your stakeholders in the know and also helps you bridge communication gaps between the different stakeholders in your business such as buyers, sellers, and real estate agents.
A transparent and reliable system of business will help you build and maintain long-lasting relationships with your users, which is one of the prerequisites of a sustainable online real estate business.
6. Network Extensively and Globally
Connectivity is the future of digital business ecosystems, and it is enabled by robust communication systems.
You can no longer rely on just word of mouth referrals for your online real estate business. Rather, you need to take active steps to make sure that your business is connected to a robust global network of like-minded people.
You can easily utilise the developments in communication technology to build a strong global network of followers for your business.
Technology makes our world go round! The applications of technology in various fields are almost countless.
They include smartphones with Virtual Assistants that help you navigate your daily routines more efficiently, e-commerce applications that bring groceries right to your doorstep, virtual car showrooms that help you purchase your dream vehicle from the comfort of your couch, smart homes that regulate your environment to ensure optimal comfort, and communication channels that help you stay connected with anyone anywhere in the world, to list a few!
It is only a logical next step to link technology and real estate as well.
The real estate industry is dynamic in nature and the market demand for properties is influenced by numerous factors. User requirements change with the change in perceptions, the latest changes in lifestyle, and global trends in socio-economic aspects.
For example, the Covid-19 pandemic brought the real estate world to its knees for a few months before the recovery process started. People no longer focused on luxury properties or land acquisitions, rather, the demand for affordable and safe homes grew dramatically. And, now with the pandemic crisis settling down, sustainable and comfortable homes are more in demand than ever before.
The only way you can keep up with the emerging trends in the real estate industry and cater to the needs of your target users is if you build an online real estate marketplace that rivals that of your competition. Choosing to harness the power of technology and real estate and investing in the right strategies can help you increase the success of your real estate business.
To know more about the nuances that connect technology and the real estate sector, get in touch with one of the online real estate experts at NeoITO now!