Technology has always had a close relationship with real estate as agents leverage it in various forms in their job. However, technology is changing so rapidly that what was popular yesterday may not be popular tomorrow. Despite this, some real estate technology applications are persistent. Their implementation today is likely to stick around for years, possibly even decades.
But what technology trends that exist today will still be around for the next five or ten years? We asked nine members of Forbes Real Estate Council their opinion on which of today’s tech trends will be here for the long haul. Here’s what they told us.
1. Continued Evolution Of Investor Management Systems
Investor management systems and investor portals will continue to evolve to create a more seamless experience for those in private real estate. Investors will be able to view their real estate portfolio like logging into their brokerage website or app to look at their stocks. This will increase transparency and make private deals more appealing to a broader investor base. – Kent Ritter, Birge and Held
2. Automated Smart Technology
Automated smart building technology for mixed-use buildings that make prospect touring, move-ins and maintenance touchless is here to stay. All the access entry will be automated, including elevators that are able to be opened and called from a mobile app. Thermostats, appliances, lights, leaks, open/close sensors and more that automatically adjust, update and send maintenance requests are now widely available. – Sce Pike, IOTAS, Inc.
3. Closing Process Digitization
One trend that’s here to stay is the digitization of the closing process. Every aspect of our lives has become modernized, and the real estate transaction is next. Advancements in areas, such as e-recording documents, remote online notarization (RON), e-signatures and secure online escrow deposits, along with the automation of manual processes will make the archaic real estate transaction as seamless as ordering groceries online. – Andrew Zankel, Core Title Services
4. Growing Use of Kiosks
In the self-storage industry, the use of kiosks has grown exponentially with the onset of Covid-19. Already a mainstay at many facilities that run unmanned, they will now become a necessity if facility owners want to remain competitive. This, combined with the ability to reserve a unit and pay rent through a smartphone app, is certainly not a trend, but has now become the norm for this simple transaction. – Scott Meyers, Kingdom Storage Holdings
5. Virtual Tours And Floorplans Becoming The Norm
Virtual tours, walkthroughs and floorplans are now imperative and will be a staple in an agent’s arsenal and listing offering. Make sure your photographer offers these features and package deals. Also, be prepared to do video showings and YouTube videos for your buyers. Site unseen offers are on the rise! – Coni Dean, Venture Realty & Investments
6. AI-Powered Chatbots Becoming More Widespread
Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence will be the future of real estate transactions. Transactional chatbots are the core method of handling customer inquiries for e-commerce, banking and digital apps. They are gaining popularity in real estate through conversational SMS and Facebook Messenger. Transactional chatbots provide a quicker and more reliable service than traditional phone or email communication. – Chuck Hattemer, Onerent
7. Growing Popularity Of iBuyers
iBuyers or companies that make cash offers at below-market value in exchange for flexibility are becoming more popular, especially due to the volatility in today’s economy and people having to switch jobs more often. Because of this, traditional agents will have to do better at conveying their value-add, like being able to fetch a higher price and having a more personal approach to the process. – Ron Costa, The Eighty Two Group
8. Increased Importance Of Social Media Platforms
Commercial real estate has not even begun to tap into the power behind social media. We will see social media platforms becoming even more important to conducting business. The data, analytics and insights are extremely valuable and they speak directly to the wants and needs of the core audience. – Carrie Bobb, Carrie Bobb & Co
9. Expansion Of Short-Term Property Management Platforms
Short-term property management platforms and software (i.e., Airbnb) will become more popular. The implementation of these platforms has completely upended the hospitality industry and has provided an opportunity for savvy multifamily owners to capitalize on the shortcomings of traditional hotel brands. Debt markets are finally catching up and will soon allow owners to leverage assets based on short-term income potential. – Alec Miller, Schiff Capital Group