Real estate is a game of predictions. What will the market do? Who will the buyers be? Who will comprise the rental market? What types of features are people looking for in their homes, whether they buy or rent? In the coming year, two of the answers to questions like these will be closely linked.
According to Realtor.com, millennials will continue to make up the largest segment of homebuyers in 2019. That said, Gen Z is beginning to enter adulthood and look for homes of their own. This leads us to another important point: What do these “digital native” generations desire and demand in almost every aspect of their lives? Seamless interactions and efficiencies created by technology. The housing market must keep up, both on the business and consumer sides.
Some experts are predicting that technology will turn traditional real estate completely upside down. Disruption will run wide and deep, with innovations on the technology front like blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning revolutionizing how buyers, sellers and investors interact with properties of interest and with one another.
Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning
How does Google know what we’re going to type in Gmail before we even finish our own thought? The answer is machine learning, a function of what many in the industry today refer to as artificial intelligence. Machines take in vast amounts of data and are able to predict what’s coming next. These kinds of predictive analytics permeate our everyday online lives, and we will soon start to expect them in the real estate industry as well.
Driving things like personalization and targeted messaging, these technologies can help to match buyers and investments, renters and properties. In fact, if we don’t receive the hyper-focused communications (driven by machine-learning technology in the background) that we’ve come to expect in other spaces, we may quickly move on to something that “understands” us a little better.
The excitement around this technology in nearly every industry is overwhelming. When you cut through all the hype, blockchain has some very practical applications when it comes to secure data sharing. At a very basic level, it shifts data ownership from a centralized location and breaks everything down to “blocks” in order to distribute them over a greater network. In the real estate space, some are saying this will change the way we access the MLS, conduct transactions and access records. It has the potential to more effectively and securely connect stakeholders along the real estate continuum.
Implementation will require a concerted sea change in the industry, but it is something to keep an eye on. From a consumer standpoint, it offers individuals greater control over their own data, and we may start to see a consumer-driven demand for this approach in many industries in the future.
Beyond these sweeping new technologies that promise to change the way we do business, real estate consumers are also demanding technology innovations that affect their everyday lives.
Smart Home Technology
If you’re looking for ways to make your property more attractive — either for a buyer or renter — implementation of some of the many smart home technologies out there may be a good place to start. Many of these technologies will resonate with the younger generations as they help people meet their goals for environmental consciousness and also allow them the remote, digital control they demand. Some examples of these include home thermostat systems that consider weather patterns and user behavior to adjust the temperature, as well as allowing user remote smartphone control; smart irrigation systems that monitor weather, water usage and soil moisture to save water; and lighting and electrical systems that automatically turn off (also allowing remote control via apps) when not needed, saving energy.
Complete and immediate connectivity that can keep up with today’s fast-paced, digitally driven lifestyle is essential. If you have a clunky experience online, chances are you’ll abandon whatever you are trying to do and move on. Real estate interactions need to focus on online functionality, mobile friendly apps and ease of use throughout any transactional process. The real estate sales industry needs to lessen paperwork and move more processes into the digital realm, where parties can communicate and conduct business virtually. Landlords and investment property owners need to boost the capabilities for regular tenant activities that traditionally took place over the phone or on paper.
It’s clear that real estate won’t be left behind, and in some cases is leading the pack, when it comes to smart technology implementation. Whether you are a buyer or seller of real estate, a property investor, landlord or property manager, it is vital to stay on top of trends and how they may affect the way we do business. This is becoming more important in light of the new generational powerhouses that will be the future of the marketplace, as their demands for digital innovation promise to continue driving disruption in both the homebuying and rental spaces.
- Originally posted on Forbes