The real estate industry is not immune to technology disruption – rather, it’s ripe for it.
Abdullah Snobar, the executive director of Ryerson University’s start-up incubator DMZ, reports in the Huffington Post that funding in real estate tech businesses jumped to $1.5 billion in 2015 from $300 million in 2012. More money than ever is being invested in upgrading the home-buying experience.
It used to be that you had to call a realtor, go in-person to view the interior of every property you wanted to check out, and trust your real estate agent to provide you with accurate data (which they handed to you on photocopied sheets), then miss a half-day at work to go sign a bunch of documents to seal the deal.
Thankfully, changes are in the works to make the home purchasing process more democratic, simple and streamlined. Here are some of the real estate technology trend we’re going to see in 2019.
It’s long since we’ve been able to view high-resolution pictures of potential properties online.
But virtual reality is scaling that up an extra 10 notches. Now you’ll be able to actually feel like you’re in the home, a feature that’s invaluable for two reasons: One, you’ll be able to get a more accurate feel for the scale and layout by using this 3D technology. Two, it will save you time and act as a filter – you can easily rule out homes that don’t suit your needs. For prospective sellers and their realtors, it has the added advantage of working as a marketing tool. Using virtual reality instead of pictures to market a home sends a message to prospective buyers that you understand the worth of your property and are excited and proud to share its design features and amenities.
Online Real Estate Brokerage Apps
Digital-first online real estate brokerages, such as Zoocasa, make the home searching process far easier; their websites and apps are faster and more user-friendly than most traditional brokerages because they are constantly innovating. They also offer consumers more tools, such as neighbourhood demographics charts, monthly payment calculators and school district maps, which add value and help prospective buyers make more informed decisions. Finally, they are open with data, which is a departure from the traditional real estate industry that prefered to restrict it. One example is the sharing past-sold data online and via apps, allowing consumers to judge price trends themselves.
In the fast-paced real estate markets of major Canadian cities like Vancouver or Toronto, time is of the essence. In-demand Toronto condos, townhouses for sale and single-family properties sometime last less than a single day on market. If you can’t get to your realtor on time to sign an offering or closing document, you may lose out on the home of your dreams. That’s why businesses, like Docusign, which let you sign document electronically are becoming so essential.
These are just three real estate tech trends we’re expecting to see become more popular in 2019, and we’re excited to see what else the industry has in-store.
Zoocasa.com is a real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse homes across Canada on the website or the free iOS app.