The Look Out: Real Estate Tech 2018
Each year begins with a resolution—one that aims to improve or create better solutions in response to both present and future opportunities and/or challenges. In 2017, the real estate industry focused on data and tech driven ones which led to several key accomplishments, as noted by Forbes:
- The expansion of Compass which uses technology to merge the concepts of a listings service and a broad, extensive network of agents
- Expansion of real estate tech to markets beyond the U.S., such as the United Kingdom where companies like RightMove and Zoopla are growing, according to CB Insights
- Startups like Castle which aims to ease the process of property management for both landlords and managers, especially in a market that sees a surge in rentals among millennial buyers
With the shift towards property data and technology, 2018 aims to create bigger and better solutions. Inman covered these in their recent article, naming trends such as the adoption of artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies and mobile apps.
Adoption of Artificial intelligence (AI)
The use of AI algorithms has been a huge discussion among real estate experts due to its promising potential of “chatbots” that can respond to the keywords that users input in an agent’s website or blog.
Andrey Nokhrin, the CEO of FLIPT, discussed his opinion on future possibilities for real estate driven AI, in addition to chatbots.
“Realtors are starting to use AI to target their advertising,” Nokhrin said. “It can show ads to homeowners going through life-changing events: those who’ve changed their status from married to divorced or who posted a photo showing that they are pregnant or graduating. Marketing budgets go further because more leads are generated, and they are more targeted.”
Norkhrin further added that through AI, real estate search engines can form effective suggestions for properties or neighborhoods, thus automating and streamlining the process further. There’s also potential in utilizing AI to create a 360-degree virtual tour experience as a cost-effective way to present homes to prospective buyers.
Bitcoin in Real Estate Transactions
Bitcoin has been the source of news and online discussion in an age where the shift towards digital is apparent. Despite the risks involved with the use of cryptocurrencies, there have already been moves to enable bitcoin purchases in the market. Luxury agents began stating their bitcoin prices for some properties while a Bitcoin-only property purchase occurred in Texas.
Even organizations are seeing the value of Bitcoins and blockchain technology. The National Association of Realtors agreed that these “can speed up transactions by allowing property and title docs, insurance information and many other items required during the mortgage and closing process to be accessed more quickly and reliably than ever before. With that being said, the International Blockchain Real Estate Association (IBREA) has been formed to create and implement standards for the reliable use of blockchain and Bitcoin technology for real estate transactions.
In today’s smartphone-dominant environment, it’s become a widely established consensus that there is an app for just about everything which adds greater convenience to our daily tasks. Switching from desktop to mobile, however, can limit functionality with the mobile interface sometimes offering a more “basic” version compared to the full-screen desktop experience. As agents aim to work from anywhere—including outside their offices—app developers are now coming up with updates that can help them stay organized without compromising the app’s functionality and ease of use.
These are just some of the changes to expect in 2018. With today’s evolving and competitive market, experts are looking forward to more trends that can arise within the year. The possibilities are endless, and finding ways for real estate to adapt to the current times is all part of the excitement.