Digitalisation of The Real Estate Industry
The fourth industrial revolution is set to change the way that we live, work and interact. The advancement of business digitalisation presents great challenges in many sectors, forcing companies to either innovate their business or face a wave of new competitors who have integrated digitalisation in their daily operations. Key topics and developments such as big data, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence are now being openly discussed in the real estate industry which is known for its conventional practices and resistance to change.
Ultimately, it is the customers who will indeed make the final decision of purchasing or renting a property. However, with the emergence of mobile apps, optimised search platforms and online virtual viewings, investors and buyers are likely to have a preconceived idea of the type of property they want. Therefore, it is essential for a realtor to not only have a robust online presence, but also a wide pool of data on hand to meet market demands.
Here, we break down several essential processes within the real estate industry that has undergone a paradigm shift towards business digitalisation:
- Searching and Buying Practices
Most clients have become skilled enough to do they own pre-research for properties online prior to making a purchase decision. While the action of online research is not new, the quality of data made available by property-focused websites are becoming more refined and detailed. For example, a buyer may conduct their own price comparison analysis before even approaching a real estate agent due to the availability of house prices online.
Which is why digital transformation for real estate agents by becoming more familiar with the data being disclosed online as well as the variety of properties being advertised online is a great way to reinforce your expertise in the industry when communication with prospective clients. Most people prefer to connect with the business online, and by increasing your response rate to communicate with the customer, makes them feel appreciated. Likes, shares, and comments help you analyze and gain insights of which content your clients like and what they are expecting.
- Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
The two immersive technologies namely Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), are revolutionizing real estate sector by providing convenience and unmatched experiences to sellers, buyers, and agents. It helps potential buyers to virtually take a tour of the properties without physically being there. 3D renderings provide a 360-degree tour of the property from customer’s phone anytime, anywhere to experience the final product.
As the IT and Tech industry continues to extrapolate in its development and integration into daily business activities, the real estate industry will inevitably have to rely on AR and VR to attract the interest of prospective clients while ultimately saving cost on the need for real estate agents to physically travel from one property to another for every viewing session. Not only does the AR and VR revolution minimise the time frame of a property purchase, but also reduce costs associated to travel from one place to another in the long term.
- Digital Documentation
Gone are the days, when you needed long hours to prepare legal documentation of rental or purchase agreement. Also, manual documentation often resulted in human-errors or misplaces documents that ultimately causes delay in purchases. With the increase in variety of automated software and tools that provide digital buying documentation or lease agreements, the entire homeownership experience will indeed become more efficient, transparent and reliable. Ultimately, adopting digitalisation practices paves the way for the real estate sector to innovate in terms of enhanced buying experience, seamless daily operations and efficient agent performance.
Robotic process automation, machine intelligence, and software robots alike are set to become a staple in the office environment. While people will inevitably retrain for front office functions, there will also be a need for increased collaboration between smart tools and people – the challenge for those in real estate is preparing for increased bandwidth needs and the ability for people to integrate their working style to become more digitally savvy. As the on-demand economy continues to disrupt traditional industries, real estate is no longer just about four walls and a roof. Property is a service and the tenant is a consumer – realtors will need to meet the demands of its consumers while also adopt digitalisation traits to ensure its survivability among its competitors. In the long run, real estate agencies will have to collaborate with technology and infrastructure providers, as well as innovative PropTech high-growth firms to ensure its business sustainability and relevance to the ever-changing market demands.