THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE

 

It’s a laughable understatement to say that we live in a disrupted world. From
the way we consume information to the way we consume food, it seems that
almost every facet of our lives has been touched by and changed by
technology and the internet. Real estate is no exception.

In fact, it is set to become one of the most disrupted industries in Australia
and New Zealand, with over 80% of real estate jobs at risk of digital
disruption by 2032 compared to the under 45% of Australian jobs at risk in
general. So what does this mean for the buyer, vendor, or even renter of
property? Well, let’s dive in and find out…

More Informed Buyers and Vendors

Long gone are the days of almost zero transparency between real estate
agents and buyers and vendors. Thanks to technology and the internet,
buyers and vendors of properties have a world of data and information at
their fingertips to use for their benefit.

For buyers, the use of real estate apps and online property portals means
that they can search for properties that fit their specific needs and budgets all
on their own. Without an agent, they can be informed on the potential sale
price of a home, the price trends in the area, the sale/rental history of a
property, and so much more. What this means for the overall industry is that
buyers are becoming more aware (and therefore, more realistic) on what
kinds of properties their budgets allow. Additionally, once their property
search is complete, buyers can even shortlist the homes they’d like to see and
schedule inspections all from the comfort of their smartphones.

For vendors, the accessibility of this data means that they are more attuned
to what their properties are worth. On top of having their properties
professionally valued, vendors can leverage the price trends of their suburbs
to their advantage. Besides that, having this information in their arsenal only
makes it easier for them to sell their own properties. With smartphones that
have cameras that can rival professional photography equipment and writing
apps like Grammarly that help make anyone sound like a professional
copywriter, creating an enticing and attractive listing comes down to just a
click of a button.

Virtual Reality

With the consistent meteoric rise of Virtual Reality (VR) in both personal and
commercial arenas, it comes as no surprise that the real estate industry is
beginning to adopt this technology.

The most common use of VR in the real estate space is virtual property
inspections. Buyers were once expected to spend time (and money) visiting
each and every house on their list before making their final decision, but
thanks to VR, buyers can now virtually visit dozens of properties without ever
leaving their homes. Offering more than just stagnant photographs, VR allows
buyers to experience immersive, three-dimensional walkthroughs of
properties, almost as if they were there in person.

Besides basically giving buyers the ability to teleport from property to
property, VR accelerates the buying decision by eliminating the need to
travel, helping buyers visualise each property and thus creating an emotional
bond faster, and by offering a global reach to help long-distance buyers
review properties from anywhere in the world.

Agents Be Gone

Born out of the need for economy and autonomy, an increasing number of
homeowners the world over are opting for private sale real estate options
much like buyMyplace. The latest reports from the US show that a whopping
25% of vendors sold their homes independently or with minimal help from an
agent.

With the average Australian real estate commission rate hovering at 2.41%, it
comes as no surprise that Australian homeowners are following suit in an
effort to regain control of their properties and cash in on agent commissions.
With online platforms like buyMyplace, Australian vendors selling a property
valued at $600,000 are looking at an average savings of over $13,000 (if they
were to use buyMyplace’s Basic Campaign costing only $695).

Besides the obvious monetary benefit of selling their own homes, vendors feel
that the motivations behind some real estate agent sales may not be in their
best interests. With some agents pushing for the quickest sale possible,
vendors who go at it alone are incentivised solely by trying to get the best
price for their properties. Add to that the fact that they know their homes
better than anyone else and can reap the rewards of numerous other
benefits, why would they pay a premium when they can be their own real
estate agent?

Artificial Intelligence

Before you barricade yourself in your home with scenes of iRobot flashing
before your eyes, you need to know that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already
everywhere… including in real estate.

While AI may not seem a good fit with real estate at first glance, when you
take into account the amount of data being collected by real estate sites and
agents on a daily basis, AI starts to make more sense in this space. In real
estate, making a sale means finding buyers exactly what they are looking for,
AI makes this process a lot easier. By sifting through information at a rate
unimaginable to the human mind, AI increases the relevance of property
recommendations and searches thus fast-tracking the entire buying process.

On top of that, there are already AI chat bots being used in this space to help
with 24/7 customer support. AI bots have been used by many property
portals to answer a myriad of frequently asked questions without the need for
human interaction. This means that buyers and vendors can have their
enquiries answered in a matter of minutes at any time of the day.

Millennial Homebuyers

The myth of millennials preferring avo toast over owning their own homes
can finally be put to bed as more and more of them enter the housing
market. With even the youngest of this generation reaching their midtwenties,
it’s no surprise that they are getting ready to embark on the journey
to getting their first homes.

This is great news for property vendors and investors as this younger
segment of homebuyers are more likely to opt for less expensive fixer uppers,
and are more inclined to purchase properties in up-and-coming
neighbourhoods.

Additionally, as younger millennials are making the move into their first
homes, older millennials are already beginning to size up; selling their starter
homes for bigger properties as they begin to expand their families.

With so many millennials already in the property market, it comes as no
surprise that they are turning to technology to both buy and sell real estate.
From shopping around on online real estate portals like RE and Domain, to
selling their homes using online players like buyMyplace, current millennial
habits could be painting a picture of the what future of real estate is set to
look like.