The opportunities of the internet are set to open many doors for estate agents to think outside the box when selling property. As technology continues to drive new ways for property sellers and buyers to interact, the market is slowly progressing toward a thriving digital future. Here are five technologies that are laying the groundwork for property innovation in the coming years.
No more property search
Today’s home shoppers are tech-savvy and accustomed to finding information quicker and with less input from their side. As more and more agencies build their own smartphone apps, there will be a move away from search queries to push technology. Companies can now push notifications to a user’s smartphone home-screen, alerting them of new listings in their preferred area, and encouraging them back to the app. Private Property, the collaborator on this article, is leading the way for push technology locally, having launched South Africa’s first property feed to the market.
VR-powered property showcases
Users are familiar with the virtual tours currently found on major property websites. These three-dimensional showcases are basically a series of images pasted together into a continuous, 360-degree horizontal angle of the interior of the property. Virtual reality takes this concept further, delivering a more immersive, three-dimensional experience that makes users feel that they are actually there. Considering that viewing property in person can be time-consuming and that a VR headset allows homebuyers to view many more properties in a single session, both buyers and sellers are set to benefit from this technology.
Big data is large volumes of customer data that can be analysed to gain better insights into customers’ behaviour. In the real estate sector, this data can be used to see what types of property a customer is most interested in, determine the average selling/purchase price, when users are most likely to sell/purchase a home and even how many people will attend your next open house.
Neighbourhood guides add rich content to a property website, showcasing the local property market in a fun and creative way. But why tell visitors to your property website that neighbourhood X has the most beautiful park in the city, when you can show them? A drone video is something that can give tenants and purchasers a quick overview of the area they are thinking of investing in.
It’s not just retail giants such as Amazon and Apple that are taking advantage of artificial intelligence technology to generate leads. Chatbots are becoming a lot more relevant, helpful and powerful in real estate as well. This automated customer touchpoint can effectively engage home buying prospects during the initial consultation and lead them down the sales funnel.
Every industry is embracing digital transformation, and real estate agencies are now recognising the need to revamp the way they sell property to potential clients. Even their clients are beginning to understand how technology can provide key advantages during the home buying process, whether they’re searching for new housing developments, apartment rentals or repossessed houses. Through the implementation of innovative products and services, the agent-buyer relationship can be drastically enhanced.