3 Ways That Technology is Disrupting the Property Sector

3 Ways That Technology is Disrupting the Property Sector

Technology never ceases to amaze. Who’d have thought, thirty-five years ago, that real estate companies would advertise homes via a giant virtual network called ‘the Internet’? Or, come to think of it, that homeowners could deploy predictive maintenance with building information modelling, or that the rental market would facilitate mobile, allowing potential tenants to rent furniture on mobile apps? 

You can’t stop progress. Nor would you want to. Imagine trying to weather the pandemic without virtual viewings? Technology literally saved our skins.

Consequently, it’s fun to predict how real estate technology might shape the property industry in the coming years. What new innovations are on the horizon? Smart contracts, machine learning, big data... Well, we’ve done some future gazing and believe that the following innovations could be both just around the corner and right up your street.

1. Digital ‘For Sale’ boards in the real estate industry

Good old-fashioned ‘For Sale’ boards have been around in the real estate industry since the dinosaurs. And for the property sector they still work really, really well - as discussed here. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t be improved and made more effective. Therefore, one wonders whether digital displays might replace them in the coming years?

Property managers already boast digital displays in their office windows because they show so much more than old-fashioned particulars. So imagine if they replaced ‘For Sale’ boards, too. Rather than simply telling passers-by that a property is for sale, digital displays could provide a wealth of information like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the asking price, a brief description, and provide some internal images. 

Digital displays make fantastic property listings because they also allow for video and animation. They’re used extensively in the advertising world, whether it’s at bus stations or escalators on the tube, because they attract attention. So why not use them in the property sector as well? They can be updated in real time and even sport QR codes to redirect smartphones to your agency’s website. 

However, for property professionals, there are some downsides to digital displays - for one, they aren’t exactly cheap, and there’s always a risk of theft or damage. Thankfully though, their energy consumption is low, so batteries, or even solar power, could keep them running 24/7. They can also be reused again and again for properties across the real estate industry, so the investment might become a no-brainer as their price falls in the future.

2. Real estate companies offering virtual reality viewings

Virtual viewings were a lifeline during lockdown and they’re clearly here to stay. But since real estate agents are already using 3D interactive virtual tours, it makes us wonder why they aren’t going the whole hog and implementing fully-fledged, fabulous, and increasingly fashionable virtual reality tours on new listings? They have the same benefits as virtual viewings – fewer wasted physical viewings and the ability to ‘show’ prospective tenants a particular property in a remote location – but on steroids. 

Although VR sounds sophisticated, it’s actually quite simple: 360-degree photos of a property are stitched together and uploaded onto a device that’s connected to a VR headset. Then potential buyers or tenants put their goggles on and away they go. The headset tracks the viewer’s head and eye movement to recreate what’s normally left to the imagination. 

Whilst virtual viewings aren’t perfect, and some potential tenants will still be reluctant to make a firm offer before seeing a home in the flesh, VR viewings will provide an unprecedented and even more immersive experience. That’s why attitudes to VR in the real estate industry are extremely positive. Indeed, 71% of millennials – the generation most likely to embrace new technologies - are in favour.

We believe it’s only a matter of time before VR becomes a staple part of an agent’s daily diet. In fact, some agents are already sending headsets to potential buyers, so it’s virtually here already.

3. Next-generation security systems offered by property managers

A man’s home is his castle. And homes are always more desirable when it takes multiple catapults and a battering ram to break into them. No wonder property managers advise their vendors and landlords to make their properties as impenetrable as possible. 

But for property owners, what exactly will the security systems of the future look like? Although doors to restricted areas always seem to have iris recognition or fingerprint authentication pads in fictional films, we think that facial recognition will be the technology that eventually replaces traditional keys in the real world. We’ve started to unlock our smartphones this way, so why not our homes, too?

The key word here is ‘smart’. The Internet of Things (IoT), with its legion of cloud-based smart devices, is going to play an increasing role in our lives in the coming years. People already use artificial intelligence and smart apps to do all kinds of things, like set their thermostats and turn the lights on. Therefore, it won’t be long before property owners use apps for their home security as well. 

Smart apps connected to cutting edge cameras will play a central role in this security revolution. And we’re not just talking about outside CCTV here. Internal cameras can already tell the difference between a pet moving around and an intruder. Therefore, they could potentially incorporate facial-recognition technology, too. Images of intruders could then be sent to the criminal database in real time. 

Imagine an artificial intelligence security system interrupting a burglar, addressing them by their real name, and telling them the game’s up and the police are on their way. Who needs Robocop when you’ve got smart tech?

Entering a brave new world

Although some of these technological innovations might seem far-fetched, they’re very possible and probably closer to reality than you might think. Digital displays, virtual reality, and smart apps are becoming ubiquitous, and it won’t be long before every aspect of our homes is linked to our Amazon Echo or Google Nest. Credit card companies already process major transactions or give investment advice using smart services - the real estate industry is next in line.

Agents that utilise the latest real estate technology, and recommend it to their customers, will obviously have an edge over their rivals. And the advantage in property marketing will become obvious, too. You probably already send your customers email alerts when new instructions come to market. But what if there was a way to reach them faster and more directly? 

Just picture the scene. A house-hunter wakes up, hears the weather forecast via their Echo, receives reminders about upcoming meetings, and then gets told that there’s a new flat up for grabs in their dream location. They’ll be onto property managers in no time. In fact, they just have to say “Alexa, book me a viewing during my lunch break”. How’s that for smart? 

Changing the home move experience

No matter what your new home looks like, and whether or not technology has exceeded your expectations in the property world, Just Move In is here to support your customers across all aspects of the big move and help make things as smooth as possible.

When it comes to real estate transactions and the buying experience as a whole, new home owners can end up dealing with a lot of stress throughout the process (even if machine learning and augmented reality are playing key roles).

That's what we're here for. Our clever platform might not be years into the future in terms of its technological capabilities, but what it can do is streamline dozens of home move admin necessities into one simple process. With access to information across all our services, and support managing tedious admin such as bills, council tax and royal mail redirects, we're making home moves easier one step at a time - while also looking forward to a more digital future in the real estate sector.

Moving to a new pad is never straightforward, but with Just Move In, maybe it can be a little less stressful and a little more enjoyable. We know our stuff when it comes to real estate and the admin required to make things happen, and we're on hand to support our customers every step of the way.

The digital transformation in real estate might be a few years away, but if your move is fast approaching, get in touch with our friendly team to discuss how we can provide your customers with any support they need.

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