For buyers and sellers in the real estate market, using various forms of technology to search for or list a property has become the norm. Digital platforms now play a significant role in how both consumers and industry professionals are approaching the market.
A survey conducted three years ago by Property24 revealed that 63% of the respondents search for properties via property portals; 17% use estate agents’ websites; 10% use newspapers; and 10% other. Fast-forward to 2018 and the digital world is creating opportunities unlike any we’ve seen in the past. Real estate companies that plan on maintaining a competitive edge will need to adopt digital ways of working if they haven’t already. This will allow them to target more potential clients, close more deals, and collect more relevant information.
Here are 5 ways the digital world is reshaping the property industry:
1. Online listings
Searching for or listing a property has now become as easy as finding the hourly weather report for any city in the world. High quality photos, videos and detailed information of the properties simplify the selection process and enable the user to set their desired location, price and type of home. The satellite view option gives a realistic glimpse into their potential new neighborhood.
Tying in closely to online is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It is not enough to just have listings online. Companies need to ensure that their websites are optimized and contain interesting and easily-accessible content. This will allow the internet to locate their website easily thereby ranking their site higher on the search engine results pages. The better optimized a website is, the more findable it is for consumers.
3. 3-D virtual tours
As if well-angled photos weren’t sufficient enough, new software allows buyers and sellers to take a 3-D virtual tour of a residential or commercial property, giving them the opportunity to “walk through” the space as if it were in real life.
4. Mobile apps
Almost all property sites have apps too. Without having to do much, you can receive tailormade notifications about properties that meet your search criteria. What’s more, apps usually have a one-click option that puts you directly in contact with the agent / potential buyer.
5. E-signing services
Multi-party property transactions can now be completed using e-signing. Things like secure and legal e-signatures and simple file sharing improves efficiency and has changed the way agents respond to potential buyers.
The case for an agent
Despite the rapidly developing world of technology, buying property remains very much an emotional process. Notwithstanding the wealth of digital mediums described above, the case for the use of an estate agent in a property transaction remains strong. An experienced agent guides one through the sales process, provides a negotiation medium and creates awareness around the potential pitfalls in the deal.
By embracing the technology available and drawing the best from an experienced agent; buyers and sellers give themselves the best chance of achieving a seamless real estate transaction.