Real estate used to have a reputation among young consumers and practitioners for being prosaic and technophobic.
In some cases, this resistance was motivated by a fear of replacement – a concern that automation would slowly make professionals obsolete.
In other cases, the industry’s stalwart attitude betrayed a fear among less principled practitioners that technology would eat away at the opaque, predatory practices driving their income.
Thankfully, things are starting to change as younger consumers demand tech-enabled solutions and innovative thought leaders work toward convenient solutions.
Moreover, these “smart” tech solutions benefit professionals rather than replace them.
Welcome to the new era of smart real estate. Below, we explore how tech innovators deliver convenience, consumer centricity and risk reduction to the real estate industry.
Technology and Consumer Centricity
One of the central complaints among real estate consumers was (and still is) that the cards are stacked in a real estate agent’s favor.
Agents could withhold their commission fees, conceal their listings, hide their sales histories and brush their negative reviews under the rug.
And consumers had no way of separating the good real estate agents from the disreputable ones.
They had to choose an agent based on unreliable recommendations, Yellow Page ads, and, of course, the marketing tactics of those selfsame agents.
Nobul, the real estate digital marketplace, is addressing those issues head-on.
“Our platform enables buyers, and sellers to openly see the transaction histories, pricing, reviews and services of real estate agents,” CEO Regan McGee explained to Superb Crew.
“Agents can then actively compete for the prospective buyers’ business.”
As platforms like Nobul illustrate, the new era of smart real estate will be defined by consumer centricity and consumer choice.
As Regan McGee explained to BNN Bloomberg, “It’s consumer-centric. So whether consumers want the absolute best at a high price or the cheapest – it’s up to them.”
Before, several processes in the real estate consumer experience were inconvenient: communicating with an agent, finding properties, viewing properties, managing documents, etc.
One of the defining features of real estate’s “smart” revolution is the pivot toward convenience.
Recently, we’ve witnessed a proliferation of online listings sites that give consumers a bird’s eye view of their options with a few mouse clicks.
More and more agents are adopting e-signing, digital contracts and blockchain software to help consumers complete and manage their paperwork electronically.
Messaging functionality in an end-to-end platform like Nobul lets consumers reach their agents quickly and easily. And virtual reality software lets remote buyers view properties with immersive 360-degree video.
How Data Unlocks Insights, Reduces Risk
The new era of smart real estate may also help consumers reduce risk.
Significant strides in machine learning, AI and big data may allow consumers to unlock clear insights about properties before they purchase.
But consumer advocates hope that big data will make its way to consumers, helping home buyers and sellers mitigate risk and enhance fraud detection.
To recap, the new era of smart real estate promises more consumer control, convenience, and data-driven insights. As the industry finally moves to embrace technology, it’s the consumer that comes out on top.
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