The landscape of real estate is steadily manifesting, with technology seeping into an industry that was once archaic. Exciting new implementations, like machine learning for market analysis and drones for breathtaking house photography, are only a few technological advances to pay attention to—though there are many more. Let’s delve a little deeper into some of the most recent adaptations.
Chatbots in Real Estate
Chatbots are incredibly useful in terms of lead generation and customer service. When a customer visits a real estate site, either to find a new place to live or to sell their home, they’re looking for immediate answers, with there being no such thing as “too fast”. However, what if the real estate agent is unavailable? It is unrealistic to think another human being would be available around the clock to answer queries, no matter how pertinent the question.
The solution to this problem? Chatbots! Chatbots are computer programs that essentially solve the problem of unavailability by being, just that, available. Whenever you have a question, like a request for information on a flat-fee MLS program, get an instant answer—even if it comes to you at twelve o’clock at night! They can even store information on clients for later use.
With advances in AI, chatbots are gradually becoming more intelligent as well. When given enough information, they can even perform advanced tasks like market research, as well as answer more specific and advanced queries. Many real estate websites are starting to take advantage of this technology.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality is an interactive experience in which the user is placed in a simulation of a real-world environment whereby the objects that reside in said environment are augmented. Virtual reality is very similar, in that it digitally recreates a real-life setting (though it’s not quite like the ‘overlaying’ aspect in augmented reality). Together, these two are facilitating exciting new technologies within the real estate sector.
- 3D Virtual Tours. Homes with high-quality 2D images already have higher perceived market value than its counterpart. Imagine homes with 3D options! More and more tech companies are starting to reinvent the traditional structure of a property listing, offering options for potential homebuyers to immerse themselves in a ‘world’, rather than just flip through some pictures. With technology continuing to advance, the option of being able to walk around the property, explore rooms, gaze out the backyard, look down the street, will soon become possible in the near future.
- Virtualization of Construction Projects. Even beyond the classic buyer-seller transaction, consider property development. With virtual reality and AR, construction companies can build an entire building, and every detail in it, virtually, before bringing the project to actual fruition. This is particularly advantageous for seeing how a structure organically flows together, rather than just depending on blueprints and drawings.
- 3D Rendering of Furniture Inside Listing. Go even further than merely placing yourself in the virtual landscape of a potential home—put your furniture inside of it and see how it fits! Plenty of apps and software are rising in popularity that allows the user to virtually decorate a space to see how well their furniture would fit inside. magicplan and Planner 5D are two apps that specialize in this.
“Uberizing” the Real Estate Industry
“On-demand” has garnered popularity as the latest fad worldwide, with services like Uber, Postmates, and other sites of a similar business model having one key element in common: fast delivery of services with a click of a button. The benefit of having an on-demand service is straightforward: such a model appeals to our inherent nature as human beings to avoid delayed gratification and instead go for the instant reward. If you can have a service or good now, rather than wait for it, which option are you most likely to choose? The latter.
This phenomenon could work well in the real estate industry, with advantages for both home sellers and home buyers. Matter of fact, there are already two startups—Naked Apartments and CurbCall—that connect consumers who want to get inside of a home for sale right away with nearby agents ready to grab a new lead. This process helps to remove friction and unnecessary bureaucracy by connecting the buyer/renter and a real estate agent right away.
Overall, “uberizing” the Real Estate Industry has huge potential to revolutionize and undermine well-established rules.
Machine Learning and Real Estate
Machine learning, a growing field of Artificial Intelligence, also known as predictive analytics, is also becoming a major game-changer in the real estate industry. It’s all about data that is mined in order to make more informed decisions, which can help predict the market value of a property and also help plan a time to close. Programs are used to not just generate data but analyze it – it essentially increases a user’s knowledge of the current market right on the spot, and better-informed decisions can be instantly made.
What’s truly remarkable about incorporating machine learning into real estate is the interaction between the analysis of data in the real estate market and the ultimate decision made by a buyer, seller, and their respective parties. The fact that data can be mined quickly and accurately with machine learning means more real estate deals can be closed and can be closed more quickly than ever before.
Because of some basic human limitations, all the data available on the real estate market could never be combed through enough and accurately enough without some help – and that’s where machine learning comes in. Suddenly, the details and data of the real estate market that were previously unavailable are not only available but in real time and accurately. This makes decision making, deal-making, showing booking, and general action-taking regarding selling or buying a home much more efficient.