From the way we travel and get our food, to the way we communicate and exercise, everything in our modern lives has been altered by rapidly developing technologies. In years gone by, we would have to get out of bed in the morning, open the window, and pop our head out the window to find out for ourselves how cold it was outside.
Nowadays, simply shout a voice command at Alexa, our handy companion stationed in the corner of the room, and she’ll respond with a ‘feels like temperature’ and even a suggestion of whether you need to get the woolen mittens on too.
One area of our lives that hasn’t witnessed the stark effects of technologic innovation is the way we buy and sell houses. Most other industries have had their processes dismantled and reconstructed by the capabilities of the internet, whereas the real estate industry has undergone improvements, such as housing adverts moving online, until now. Set to go through major changes, the property businessis set to get easier and efficient.
70 per cent of all today’s property buyers conduct their searches online. This provides a significant reduction the amount of time that would have been spent 20 years ago, saving them from trooping from one estate agent to another, picking up copious amounts of brochures. Despite this, the experience can be extended even further thanks to what’s on offer from the internet. Once you’ve shortlisted a variety of properties which match your taste, you then have to organise a viewing which suits both you and the seller.
If you’re moving a large distance, this can be particularly inconvenient. With developments in relation to virtual reality however, potential buyers can walk around a property with the help of holography, getting a real feel for the place without having to visit it. Not only does this save the time and money of the buyer and the seller, it also means an estate agent doesn’t have to attend the property either — further reducing costs.
One of the main stress-inducing aspects of real estate is the sheer quantity of paperwork, all of which is of grave importance. One of the most valuable pieces of paper you will ever lay your hands on is the deeds for your house. However, taking advantage of the likes of Cloud will support the process in a digital fashion — offering a place to house the variety off documents. Meanwhile, the development of blockchain in securing details will make for a more simplistic transaction.
Although there still exist hurdles in regard to binding digital signatures, the HM Land Registry are continually analysing its rules on how to implement such technologies into its processes, knowing how cost-effective and time efficient it would be.
The app generation has taken over and with the growth of the likes of Purple Bricks, the property industry isn’t much different. Book a valuation using the app, have your property promoted online through the Purple Bricks website and companies such as Zoopla, control viewings online on 24/7 basis, and finally, manage all the incoming offers. Unlike going through an estate agent, where, if a bid rolls in, you have to wait on the estate agent contacting you to inform you, with Purple Bricks’ handy concept, you can view your offers at all times, and even accept them using the app —the only non-digitalised aspect of the entire process is the company calling round to put up the estate agent boards.
The popularity of the humble text message has increased tenfold over the past number of years, particularly amongst millennials. Jill Hussar, a Florida based realtor, describes the current situation within the housing market as: “millennials prefer the majority of communication to be via text message.
She goes on to note how they:“use texts to express their interest ina property, schedule appointments and ask questions while phone calls are usually reserved for more urgent or pressing concerns”. On the side of the agent, 90 per cent are communicating through text, 94 per cent through email, while 36 per cent are using instant messaging.
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With an increased dependency on cost-cutting and efficiency in 2019, every sector is placing an emphasis on their use of technologies and the real estate industry is no different, with everything become significantly more aligned with digitilisation. Who knows what is yet to come, but it will certainly be intriguing.