When asked to consider which industries have been subject to the greatest amount of disruption by emerging technologies, few people tend to mention real estate.
However, the $8.9-trillion-a-year global real estate market has undergone a fundamental transformation over the past decade, thanks to the willingness of the industry to embrace new technologies and the digital revolution.
Both plucky tech startups and Silicon Valley giants have made inroads in real estate, using their technology and expertise to boost sales, deliver new customer experiences, and speed up the process of building, buying, and selling. Here’s how.
1. 3D Printed Houses
One of the more recent developments that stands to have the most fundamental impact on the real estate industry is the emergence of 3D printed homes. Only a few short years ago, the notion of using 3D technology to rapidly mass-produce houses was a fringe idea, derided as twee and expensive. However, such initiatives are now becoming the norm, with hundreds of thousands of quality houses being printed every year at a fraction of the cost of traditional homes. 3D printing is now being touted as the ideal solution to increased demand, meaning that it will likely skyrocket in the years to come.
2. Virtual Real Estate
Arguably the most visible way that technology has transformed real estate is the fact that the entirety of the process of buying and selling a home can now be done online, from anywhere in the world. Recent estimates show that over 90% of people now search for homes online via real estate websites. Combine this with the fact that many leading agencies now conduct house viewings over VR and AR platforms, while e-signing technology allows contracts to be signed safely and reliably without ever leaving your living room, and it’s clear just how tech-ready real estate has become.
3. Free Online Remortgaging
The process of remortgaging a home, which countless homeowners go through every year to secure better interest rates or to raise some cash from the equity of their home, was once a bureaucratic nightmare. However, the entire process can be completed conveniently online at virtually zero cost, with digital remortgaging platforms like Trussle negotiating new mortgage deals on behalf of homeowners at the click of a few buttons. Conveniently informing customers about all their options and providing in-depth comparisons between them before asking them to choose, if they so wish, such services are likely to become an increasingly central part of the global real estate market in the years to come.
Once upon a time, the business of real estate investing involved flying to conferences and trade fairs, cultivating contacts, and gathering expertise. Today, all of that is available to anyone with a laptop and a WiFi connection. Online real estate investing platforms such as Fundrise can connect anyone with real estate developments all over the world that they can freely invest in with just a few clicks. Meanwhile, real estate crowdfunding platforms such as Housers allow people to pool resources to invest in projects that they would not be able to afford on their own.
These are the tech trends that are currently dominating the real estate industry. Whether you’re an investor, buyer, or seller, staying on top of real estate tech is key to success.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!