TMCnet Feature
October 14, 2021

How Information Technology is Impacting the Real Estate Industry



Advancements in information technology (IT) alongside the ever-evolving internet have changed the way brokers, agents, and lenders do business. Unfortunately, it’s one industry that has been slower to adopt than others. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, more real estate companies have had to adapt faster than ever before.



“PropTech” is the latest buzzword on the IT scene. Similar to the recently adopted use of “FinTech” in terms of IT in the finance industry, PropTech is meant to discuss anything related to technology in property management or the real estate industry.

With innovative advancements in PropTech, people have completely changed the way they are buying, selling, and renting properties. Not to mention how property managers are maintaining their units and working with their tenants.

So how exactly has the world of IT impacted the real estate industry?

Major websites such as Realtor.com, Avail, Zillow, and Apartments.com have completely revamped how the real estate industry is using the power of big data across its platforms. From basic demographic data down to expansive buying and selling trends within specific regions, these companies are becoming the main sources of information where realtors and investors are getting their housing market information. But big data is going well beyond that.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have made significant headway in terms of property searches such as if you are interested in buying a home with a private pool in Scottsdale, Arizona. According to Forbes, newer advancements are showing that AI can take it one step further by recommending more hyper-focused properties based on a person’s preferences, personality traits, and values.

And that’s not all. Virtual reality is taking real estate to the next level. With advanced technology in augmented reality, realtors will soon be able to send their clients through the homes virtually.

This takes away the need for the visitor to physically be on location – especially if they are located in a different part of the world and can’t easily visit the property. It’s also an incredible selling asset for realtors who are looking to sell properties that aren’t yet built. They can create pseudo digital versions for potential buyers to view before they are even created.

However, these advances are still in the works. So when you take the COVID-19 global pandemic into consideration, you have significantly more to consider. There was a huge amount that needed to change in order to successfully provide open houses or individual tours along with setting up the final walk-throughs and closings on home sales.

All of these had to be done while maintaining social distancing during the initial lockdown. Realty companies had to pursue technology in a way that many people hadn’t considered before.

Snapdocs, Inc. recently announced that they have officially launched Closing Quality Control, a solution that uses patented technology to eliminate errors in mortgage closings that can all be done remotely. Errors in closing documents have been one of the biggest issues in real estate and end up being one of the most time-consuming to fix.

On average, 60 percent of closing documents contain errors, whether they are incomplete, unsigned, or contain incorrect closing information. Through Snapdocs’ use of technology, they have been able to create a platform that provides error-free closing documents entirely online. This also saves a substantial amount of time with every party involved, as it usually ends up being a slow back-and-forth process.

On the other side of the spectrum, you have borrowers that are struggling to save after the pandemic for a downpayment on a home. The housing market, especially since the pandemic, has become incredibly competitive for buyers with high demand and a significantly low supply.

This means more buyers are having to pay substantially more than the market value. The higher the price, the higher the downpayment. However, the United States is still undergoing a significant unemployment crisis at about 5.2% according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

Thanks to technological advances by California Regional Multiple Listings Service (CRMLS), more people are able to discover resources that provide down payment assistance programs. As the nation’s largest and most recognized subscriber-based multiple listing services, CRMLS is now using its web-based services to aid homebuyers across the country.

While yes, these listings previously existed, if it weren’t for the use of CRMLS’ technology, significantly fewer people would be given the help they need to afford a home in this major time of crisis.

Aside from technological advances through big data and AI, the thriving world of technology in social media has also changed the way real estate agents and companies are running their businesses and building their brands.

Companies like Brand Caffeine are taking social media for the real estate industry to the next level. As a branding agency in New York City, they recently stated they are working with some of the top brokers throughout the city to grow their following and turn their content into viral content.

Liv Schreiber of Brand Caffeine was once a real estate agent but has since shifted by becoming a marketing guru for real estate agents around the globe. She now works with major brokers such as Brown Harris Stevens and Warburg Realty to curate unique content that generates million-dollar sales. By developing unique content, she is able to not only grow their following but change the entire game of social media marketing for real estate agents everywhere.

"Brands and influencers use unmatched individuality and UGC [user-generated] content to reel in customers,” said Schreiber, “Why should real estate be any different?"

There is so much more to PropTech that is changing the real estate industry every single day. Through the use of drones, 5G internet, and smart devices, we can only begin to see the world of possibilities.

As time continues, so will the industry. Hopefully, realtors won’t be slow to adapt to the ever-changing world of PropTech.



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