What Is Augmented Reality?
Do you fancy playing Nintendo’s game Pokemon Go? Or used the IKEA mobile application? These are 2 examples of how Augmented Reality technology has taken over the digital world to heights.
The much-hyped AR technology has had a technological breakthrough in recent years and has witnessed many innovations. Snapchat Lenses are yet another example of AR technology implementation. AR keeps the real-world focus. It adds virtual elements to improve the user’s experience.
The AR technology superimposes a CG (Computer Generated) image of the real world for the user. For instance, the Pokemon Go game provided its users with superimposed images, allowing the users to catch Pokemon simply by looking at their smartphones. The game had 65 million users as it gained popularity.
What Is Virtual Reality?
If you have used VR devices such as Play Station VR (PSVR), you would understand how Virtual Reality technology completely provides an immersive experience by completely shutting you off from the rest of the world.
VR technology is a display technology to create a simulated environment for the user. The key players in VR technology include Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and so on.
Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality: Game-Changer For The Real Estate Industries
AR and VR technology has seen immense growth in recent years and is continuing to grow rapidly. According to recent Statista reports, by the year 2025, the total revenue in the VR/AR industry is estimated to be $2.6 billion.
Initially, the real estate sector has been using 3D Video and 3D Photography for creative interactions with their clients. They used to portray this technology for showing their clients the interiors of the buildings etc. Virtual reality, thus enhanced the viewing experience for the clients of real estate builders and agents, without the viewers having to visit the premises physically.
From helping the construction industry to market, improve and maintain sites to train the workforce on security, Virtual Reality is a game-changer for the real estate industry! Let us see how:
Why The Real Estate Sector Needs AR And VR Technology Implementation
Virtual and Augmented Realities are Immersive Technologies that can create a new reality altogether by leveraging the 360 space. These technologies save time and expenditure significantly for buyers, sellers, agents, etc. Technological advancements have contributed to the increased use of immersive UX (User Experiences), thus easing the process of selling and/ or buying residential and commercial real estates. Implementing these advanced technologies in Real Estate will ease both buying and selling of properties.
Related Reading: Check out how real estate technology helps predict property prices
AR And VR Technologies: Benefits In The Real Estate Industry
A recent survey by the National Association Of Realtors stated that 95% of users search the Internet before buying a property. The major benefits that can be leveraged out of AR technology are as follows:
Better Clarity Over Properties
Augmented Reality technology makes everything real and interactive with its ability to carry blueprints and images in real-time. AR mobile applications offer users a visual walk through the properties.
AR replaces traditional marketing techniques offered by realtors to reach out to potential buyers. In addition to saving cost overheads, AR technology improves brand loyalty as well.
A Better Reach-Out Platform
An AR mobile application on your smartphone offers a better reach-out than having to physically be present in worksites.
Offers A Global Reach
With VR, arranging virtual visits, showing users the properties virtually, and negotiating costs with the users are made easy, even to long distance buyers.
AR/VR technologies allow users to refine searches and avoid unproductive visits to any property. Let us walk through the key benefits that the technology of Virtual Reality has to offer:
VR technology allows people to visit properties virtually which not only saves cost but time as well. Putting on a VR headset, users get an immersive experience by having 3D walk-throughs of properties. There are 2 types of 3D virtual tours. They are as follows:
- Guided Visits – These are for existing properties that lets you capture a 360-degree video. Users can wear a VR headset or a gadget such as Google Cardboard to view the properties. This does not require any programming or complex rendering.
- Interactive Visits – Users can decide where to move within the property, by choosing specific hotspots in their field of view.
According to the statistical report by the National Association Of Realtors, 77% of real estate agents prefer to use virtual staging to help potential buyers to associate with a property they intend to buy. VR technology helps realtors to market-specific staged properties with minimal investment.
With the advent of technology, 3D tools are used to create a virtual representation of spaces with required furnishings. For this, the 3D photographs are taken and further staged with the help of a 3D scanner.
Architectural Visualization has become immersive with the advent of VR technology. Potential buyers can imagine how their future properties will look like. The 3-dimensional computer-generated environment helps realtors create full-scale models of buildings and properties. VR technology thus helps in pushing thresholds without the risks associated with time and costs.
Efficient Communication With Tenants
3-dimensional tours in real-time with tenants can help landlords and real estate agents communicate with their tenants effectively. The VR technology is found to be more efficient and productive in case of vacation rentals especially. This is because businesses that offer short vacation rentals have high turnover rates associated with it, compared to others.
According to a recent eCommerce statistic report, 77.24% of potential buyers who intend to buy online, abandon their idea of purchasing. This shows a lack of convincing customers to go ahead with their initial choices. Virtual Reality technology finds use in these situations with its immersive capability.
With the mobility element of the VR technology, around 24 million VR devices were estimated to be sold globally, according to insights from CSS.
With VR technology, after taking a virtual tour of the property, users can order from the virtual store as well.
Related Reading: Read on to know What Not To Do In Real Estate Business.
AR And VR Technologies – Future Game-Changer For The Real Estate Industry?
Immersive AR and VR technologies provide users the benefit of Analytics. This feature allows realtors to now derive critical insights and enhance the buying decisions of potential customers.
Providers of Analytics can offer web-page related KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). This includes page views and web sessions. Nuanced buyer behaviors can be better judged with data analytics.
To conclude, AR and VR technologies reduce unnecessary expenditures associated with staging and scheduling visits. It helps users visualize properties and reduces the overall costs.
Use of VR to support USA smart cities are forecasted to reach $330 million by the year 2024.
AR and VR technology is surely the next big technological breakthrough in the real estate industries. For more insights on how to transform your real estate business digitally with immersive technologies, call our strategists right away!
Can Smart Home Technologies Reshape The Real Estate Industry?
“Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home,’ sang American actor and poet Howard Payne back in 1822. He never could have imagined back then what a home, more specifically, a smart home could be 200 years later. From smartphones to smart homes, smart is the buzzword. Automation, ease, and freedom – that is what a smart home provides and that is what people are looking for today. In this article, we will consider how smart home technology is creating an impact on real estate now and will continue to do so into the future
What is Smart Home Technology?
Automation is a major factor in smart home technology. When your coffee pot goes off at a pre-set time or a sprinkler system goes on and off when you’re out of town, you are using automation. But “smart home automation” goes a step further in that it includes remote monitoring and programming. They become “smart” when you can control and communicate with several devices from great distances. With the rise of tablets and smartphones, you can now connect everything from phones, TVs, lights and much more. These are invented with the intent to make the home comfortable and safe. The question is, are common people interested in smart homes?
The Merger of Real Estate and Lifestyle
In this day and age, owning a home defines your way of life. When people invest in real estate, they look for comfort and security. Somehow real estate and lifestyle have always been intertwined with each other. And just as technology has had a positive and powerful impact in improving lifestyles, it has also had an impact on the housing sector. Now real estate is not only about owning a patch of land, but it is also no more about where you are located. Rather, it is more about what you can do within the given area on a more digital level. Would this have an impact on real estate?
According to the forecast by the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Home Device Tracker, the global market for smart home devices is expected to grow by 26.9% year over year in 2019 to 832.7 million shipments. As consumers adopt multiple devices within their homes, we can expect this sustained growth to continue with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9% over the 2019-2023 forecast period. And they expect double-digit growth in the market of smart homes.
Talking about Canada, for instance, IDC estimates that half of the Canadian population will be 55 and older in just one generation from now. And most of these potential buyers would prefer an age-in-place or an independent or assisted living environments, which would invariably lead them and their families to invest in smart homes.
Smart home services provide a whole range of benefits. Some are related to monetary benefits while others are related to comfort, all factors that would greatly impact real estate. This has bought some great benefits to real estate firms in closing deals and generating more revenue.
It is Easier to Resell a Smart Home
A vital consideration for an investor is the resale value of the property. The greatest impact home automation systems and devices have on real estate are that they increase the resale value. They usually raise the home value in terms of curb appeal. As smart home technology becomes more prevalent, home-buyers will see the benefits of investing in a smart home.
Adding home automation features and amenities can only do good. Along with location, market, condition, neighborhood, and age of the home, technology is also factored in when determining the market value of that property. Surely a home with smart home devices will have a greater value than a home that doesn’t.
Quicker Selling Time
The formula for selling your house fast is figuring out how to appeal to home-buyers. Multiple factors such as the location of your house, the condition it is in, the price and the features of the property can determine how quickly it will sell.
Marketing your home effectively, featuring smart home technology is another critical step in selling your home fast. A home buyer would be more inclined to buy a ready to move-in home than having to install smart home features after purchasing the property. Real estate listings with smart home technology upgrades sell faster than homes of a similar price per square foot.
Attract a Variety of Potential Buyers
Smart homes were believed to fit the lifestyles of the rich and famous or technologically gifted few. But now smart home products and systems are adopted by consumers across generations and communities.
According to statistics, the largest home buyers are millennials. Many of them are attracted to homes that have smart home technology features. Installing smart home products in a house can provide a millennial home buyer with a “wow” moment when they enter the home and thus improve the chances of attracting them.
The same research also says that single women are also investing in real estate. Installing a smart home security feature in a house can be attractive to a single parent who might be especially interested in security for their home and themselves.
Related Reading: Check out how Fingent can enable property managers, streamline their operations with PropTech.
Smart homes are now the norm. Home automation elevates the wow-factor of a real estate listing. The addition of smart home technology is very attractive to a potential buyer. And we can be sure that as technology continues to evolve, home buyers will continue to be attracted more towards smart homes because of the conveniences it offers.
Along with equipping homes with smart home technology, real estate firms can benefit from other technologies specifically designed to streamline the way they work and bring in business. Contact us for more information on that.
Adoption of Predictive Analytics
The Commercial Real Estate (CRE) industry is growing. New business models and competition, extensive use of technology, and changing tenant and investor expectations are redefining the face of this industry. Each year brings new technologies that alter the way agents approach their work. As investors are ready to change their business models with a tech-enabled ecosystem, CRE companies and agents will have to adapt to the new demands and technology trends. The market will remain wide open only for those who are ready to accept the change and adapt to new technologies.
Get to know how smart home technology impacts real estate.
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Based on the industry market research report on the state of the commercial real estate industry in the US, there are almost 1.3 million properties with an average sales volume of $55 billion. Over the past five years, the commercial real estate industry in the US has grown by 2.6% to reach revenue of $1 trillion in 2019. Moreover, it is estimated that the CRE industry expansion is expected to continue over the next five years.
“The CRE property values (specifically NNN properties) are unique in that the pricing is not driven strictly by the underlying real estate, but also by the lease terms and a single tenant’s credit rating”, says Camille Renshaw, co-founder, and CEO, B+E. This shows the relevance of analytics in tenant/property data.
Related Read: How Real Estate Technology Helps Predict Property Prices
Predictive Analytics Occupy a Pivotal Role in CRE
No investor cares about what the property meant in the past. They are keen to know about the future of the property or how its potential value will escalate in times to come. Here comes the significance of PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS, which uses past and present big data to make reliable, proof-based predictions about the future development of a property.
CRE is an industry sector that contains an abundance of data. Over the past years, analytics are slowly taking up its role among numerous listing sites. Its chief role is to provide both buyers and sellers more context about the property and its qualities. However, analytics that really benefits CRE agents is still a rare thing to find. This is where predictive analytics comes into place.
Predictive analytics tracks consumer (basically buyer/seller) behavior to understand the conditions in which they are most likely to buy or sell. This helps an agent to better utilize their time and resources, which in turn maximize the overall sales. It is expected that over the next few years the adoption of predictive analytics in the real estate industry will accelerate. Besides, studies also show that predictive analytics is one among the many real estate technology trends to follow in 2019.
CRE companies/agents can achieve clear and practical insights for different strategic actions that they must adopt by combining data from different sources and advanced analytics technologies. This includes predictions like analyzing the tenant’s benefits due to flexible leases, customer and traffic information for a retail center or staff usage information for office space, etc.
Features like heatmap analysis, property rental calculators, projected revenue charts, return during lease analysis are a few examples of predictive analytics that agents generally use to showcase how a property will perform in the future and its possible return on investment.
How Predictive Analytics Benefits the CRE Industry
Predictive analysis allows an agent to suggest the perfect property that matches their investor preferences, expectations, and goals. This saves time and risk by providing the investor with a reliable return on investment metrics based on past and present data as well as the future expected trends of their investment.
It also allows the agent not to have any specific financial background, as the analytics platform does its job to suggest a property that guarantees to provide its investors with positive cash flow and high return on investment.
It is possible to carve analytics, which can even identify the ability and education levels of possible agents from a list and suggest it to a CRE company based on use cases.
Many AI-based applications help its agents or even investors to get a detailed and personalized report by simply providing basic information like area, the fund available, risk level, expected CAP rate, etc.
In addition, such tools can even be customized for agents that will give them answers to queries like:
- Is this the right time to invest?
- What would be my ROI – maybe in the next five years?
- Neighborhood status and track record?
- How much is my existing portfolio worth?
Such predictive recommendation engines have proven to foster deeper engagement and increase ROI. For instance, Amazon’s predictive recommendations had a success rate as high as 60% in some cases.
As a CRE Company, What Must We Do?
Developing an enterprise-wide strategy and supporting it with a sound technology core has turned out to be important for a commercial real estate company. This must be supported by data gathering and analytical techniques. According to the CIO surveys performed by different agencies, only one-fourth of organizations globally across industries have currently in place an enterprise-wide digital vision and strategy.
A solid technology strategy that is spread across the industry stands as the first step towards effective technology deployment and integration. More efficient utilization of IT budgets and resources also needs to be considered. This will include evaluation of how data capturing is performed, use of predictive analytics, advanced tracking and reporting management AI tools. A well planned and phased deployment of technology will likely yield amazing results than waiting for your turn and jumping into the development and implementation process.
However, there are a few things that require consideration before starting to work with a PropTech company. A CRE company must admit the fact that, when starting off working with a PropTech firm, they must not consider them just as vendors of a product or service, as this can very well limit the range of benefits that the company can achieve.
Instead, try partnering with them on potential innovations. Identifying a single point of contact to take up conversations with PropTech and a coordinated approach supported by guidelines to evaluate the features developed must also be taken into consideration. In addition, make sure that the size, scale, maturity, level of innovation, and relevance to existing business is conveyed properly to the PropTech company.
Commercial real estate technologies are relatively new and most of the PropTech companies are only beginners in the CRE Industry. They tend to make decisions quickly compared to CRE companies, which can end up delivering wrong results or create anomalies in the process flow. A shared understanding must be developed by the partnering company to allow successful coexistence.
Related Read: Top Technology Aids To Accelerate Real Estate Growth
While delving into commercial real estate, having a solid technology roadmap in place is downright necessary. As a technology solutions provider and consultant, we can help find what’s right for you by outlining technology assets that uplift your business.
Did cell phones really help real estate agents? Yes, without any doubt. Cell phones did transform the industry by taking away all the limitations concerning mobility. Real estate agents were able to keep in touch with their clients irrespective of geographical barriers. Besides, agents can get in touch with their prospective clients while on the go and vice versa.
Technology has ushered in new possibilities in the real estate industry. Mobile phones constitute just one facet, whereas there lies a diverse array of technology tools and solutions capable of disrupting the real estate market altogether. As real estate is a people-focused business, more leads for a broker meant more sales. And real estate technology does bring in new ways to improve sales.
Being a real estate agent, thinking that technology will leave you jobless is entirely baseless. The truth is, failing to utilize the latest technologies will certainly make you lag behind and miss out on some of the huge benefits that await you. In fact, a recent survey by the real estate brokerage Owners.com reveals that home buyers are increasingly seeking technology-based tools from real estate agents.
With real estate turning more fast-paced and competitive, buyers are on the lookout for agents armed with real estate software tools to streamline the home buying process and help them make informed decisions quickly. In fact, the Real Estate in a Digital Age report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) identifies several tech tools like social media, MLS site, brokerage’s site etc. apart from cell phones and email as catalysts to produce quality leads in a real estate business.
Real Estate Agents Still Holds Significance
We all know that nowadays a majority of buyers are doing most of their home search process themselves. Different mobile apps, websites, and digital platforms open up a wide range of potential properties based on the buyer’s interest. There are even alerts and notifications for new listings that exactly matches a buyer’s interest.
In a majority of the cases, we find that the buyers are doing most of the legwork when it comes to actually search for property listings. But that’s just an initial search and occupy only a small portion of the overall buying process. Once they find their listing, the buyer needs to call in an agent to physically get into the home and inspect it or even to draft a proper offer for submitting.
Even though it is clear that while buyers are increasingly adopting technology-based tools, they still require the guidance of a real estate agent to minimize delays and seamlessly guide the buyer to the closing process. Relying heavily on technology may present a risk, particularly in commercial property sales where the buyers are trading in millions. An agent’s expertise is highly sought after to effortlessly navigate the buyer and settle on the best listings that will guarantee high ROI.
Technology-based tools allow buyers to take some steps or responsibilities of the agents themselves. They can find the listings and close in the process without the assistance of an agent. However, it will never act as a full replacement for the expertise of a professional realtor.
Related Read: Real Estate Industry in the Digital Era
Technology is still inadequate to deal with several tasks that come under the work process undertaken by a real estate agent. From consolidating the list of documents to getting around the loopholes in placing offers and drafting contract term and policies, the role of a realtor gains the upper hand and stays relevant where technology fails.
According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, buyers still prefer working with a real estate agent for around 87 percent of the time to find properties worthy for sale or purchase. Many home buyers still rely on the advice from a trusted real estate agent when it comes to acquiring, selling or leasing properties.
However, technology tools clearly lack the ability to gauge specific information concerning a property such as its future value. Experienced realtors, on the other hand, can easily assess whether a highly rated property do carry any expected value and thus guide the home buyer to make an informed decision.
Technology will actually allow an agent to do an improved business. It enables an agent to better engage with their customers, optimize their business and zero in on deals that earn them the most profit. Besides, technology makes realtors more efficient, which helps them serve a larger client base with utmost satisfaction.
Digital transformation is now a key aspect of every sector. And it has been there with the real estate industry for years. The biggest trend now is probably the change in the mindset of agents by embracing technology to serve buyers who are increasingly tech-driven.
Technology Helps Realtors Serve in Many Ways Possible
As a real estate agent, what should you do?
As an agent, can you think of doing large volumes in a traditional way? You will find that it is really hard to extend services to your customers. However, technology can help agents serve a lot more people at the same time. Selecting the right technologies will allow agents to become more efficient – to serve more buyers in less time, resulting in more revenue generated.
Using a property management software can also help real estate agents make the buying process of their clients easier. With mobile apps making a big impact on the industry, agents are provided anywhere and anytime access to data and reports thereby extending more opportunities to share with their clients. The evolution of mobile apps has made it easier for both agents and buyers to communicate efficiently, schedule showings and meetings, and moreover make the entire process simpler. Besides, most of the apps available now are trying to organize things easier for agents.
Technology gave agents access to a huge amount of real estate data. These data can support the agents to take better decisions and will eventually provide them more opportunities. With the entire world shifting to data-driven practices, leveraging big data from real estate dealings and applying machine learning and AI helps make better recommendations and crunch out valuable insights that provide agents an overview to make clear and accurate decisions, which bring out more efficiency and revenue.
Related Read: How real estate technology helps predict property prices
If the buyers are performing their own searches, they get a better picture of the market, making things more realistic about what their budget will allow. On the other side, sellers will come to know what their properties are worth. But, they still need assistance to accomplish their goal of buying or selling, which means that technology will continue to revolutionize the market. However, when it comes to decision making, the customers will keep their trust with a real estate agent.
Down the line, agents who admit technology as a tool that can be adopted as a new way of conducting business and building successful relationships will ultimately lead the way. The key thing is to zero in on the right technology means that reaps true value. Teaming up with a sound technical partner having deep expertise in crafting successful technology solutions for the real estate industry will help identify and deploy the right one.
Related Case Study: Investing in PropTech solutions aids real estate firms streamline and digitize their existing processes. See how we came up with an innovative web-based application for a leading real estate brokerage to integrate their processes around a single platform here.
[Courtesy – Saïd Business School, University of Oxford]