The popularization of disruptive technologies for commercial use has initiated a rush for digital transformation in companies from different industries and segments, including the ones in the traditional real estate industry.
Artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality, and blockchain, to name a few, are being used by these companies to streamline operations and enhance customer experience.
At the end of the day, investing in digitalization is positive for both, companies and customers.
In this article, you will learn the importance of digital transformation in the real estate industry and the signs that your company should consider an upgrade in its operation.
How can digital transformation change real estate?
Digital transformation is essentially the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business. The goal of doing so is to improve business operations and deliver value to customers.
In real estate, companies invest in digital transformation to enhance the information flow and communication between brokers, agents, landlords and tenants.
Other benefits of digital transformation in real estate are:
- Earn time to focus on the core activities of the business
- Help stakeholders in making better decisions
- Stay ahead of the competition based on accurate market predictions
- Reduce human errors during the operations
- Keep an organized working environment
- Improve customer service and satisfaction
An example of a real estate company that has implemented innovative technologies in its services is Realtor.com. Their mobile app has an AR feature that shows users a particular property’s price, square footage, etc., by simply pointing a smartphone at the building.
How do I know the right time to invest in the digital transformation of my real estate company?
Do you feel that you don’t have enough time to focus on the core aspects of your business? That communication between customers and agents isn’t efficient? That you spend more time than you would like to with repetitive daily tasks?
Answering yes to one or more of these questions is a strong indicator that your real estate company needs digital transformation.
To help you make sure that now is the right time for digitalizing your processes, check out these other 7 signs.
Traditional advertisement is the focus of your marketing strategy
Traditional marketing channels such as television, billboards, newspapers, and magazines are important to promote services and products in real estate. But did you know that 95% of property buyers used the Internet to find homes in the U.S. in 2021?
The bottom line is, if you are not online you are losing money.
But how to stand out among all the noise on the internet? Definitely having a social media presence and listing properties in online marketplaces is not enough. You should offer something more to your audience if you want to call their attention.
So, why not use VR to enhance your online marketing efforts?
This technology comes in handy for customers to better know the properties they are interested in before scheduling a visit. This is a true time saver for buyers, sellers, and agents.
By using VR, realtors can create a “digital walkthrough” of the property. Basically, buyers can check it from the comfort of their homes, which eliminates geographical boundaries and avoid unnecessary appointments.
The real estate app Yaza launched during the pandemic a feature that allows real estate agents to record 3D virtual tours of properties. Once recorded they can send the material to potential buyers.
According to statistics from Financial Times, approximately 20% of homes were sold with the help of VR between 2012-2015 with an expected surge to 30% by 2023.
So what are you waiting for to start using VR in your marketing strategy?
Your agents spend a great amount of time searching for the best deals for their clients
Time is money, and one of the most time-consuming tasks in real estate is helping sellers and buyers to secure the best deals. If this activity takes most of your time, sorry to say that but you are losing money.
Luckily digital transformation in real estate is here to help in streamlining this process.
For this purpose, brokers and agents can use data crunch tools to assist them to find properties matching the customer’s requirements.
If you are wondering what data crunch is, here is a simple explanation. It’s the automated analysis and process of vast amounts of data with the purpose to create a comprehensive and understandable model.
Basically, real estate companies can use data crunch to search and import property data from public records and create a model to help clients in selling and acquiring properties.
You have a hard time matching buyers and sellers
It’s frustrating to arrange appointments to show properties to tenants that aren’t a good match for your clients. Wouldn’t be easier to have all the information regarding potential buyers in one place? This way you can easily contact only the profiles that are most likely to close a deal.
This is possible if you have a platform where tenants can create their profiles, and share information about their property preferences and more about themselves. On the other hand, landlords can publish their properties and only contact potential buyers that match their prerequisites.
This is exactly what Miet-Gesuche is doing in the German real estate market. Agents promote properties online on multiple websites, and buyers interested in buying them should register on Miet-Gesuche in order to continue the negotiation.
This way all their information is stored in one place, and all communication between tenants, landlords and real estate agents happens is centralized.
Got interested in this solution for your business? Contacts us so we can discuss how to implement a similar platform for your real estate company.
You feel that you lack data when making important business decisions
It’s normal for managers to make business decisions based only on their market experience. But this can be a problem in a dynamic industry such as real estate.
Property transactions are complex, they involve many variables and stakeholders. So, to avoid setbacks it’s wise to use analytical tools to source data and property information, identify potential buyers/sellers, generate digital marketing campaigns and determine listing prices.
Your CRM for example is a great source of data. It contains valuable information about current and past customers, their purchase behavior and preferences. Use it to gain insights on how to improve your service and to better understand the dynamics of your local market.
Real estate companies can also sign to analytical tools like Toucan to gather important data on their market. This type of tool is used to identify trends, predict customer behavior, generate comprehensive reports on important KPIs and monitor assets.
You still rely on paper and pen to close deals
The traditional flow to close a real estate transaction is very inefficient. It involves uncountable visits to the bank, appointments and lots of paper.
Nowadays a technology called blockchain is promoting digital transformation in real estate. With it, it’s possible to sign documents online with the same level of security and trust as a paper document.
Blockchain works as a system to validate online transactions. It’s safe because of its decentralized nature in which different computers in a network are used to record the transaction, preventing fraud this way.
Smart contracts are blockchain applications that record contract conditions as computer code. This speed up the process and remove the need for bank verifications and middleman are no longer required.
And the best part is that it reduces costs.
Accenture predicted that blockchain implementation could reduce the costs of real estate transactions by more than 50%.
But how about the validity of esignatures? Don’t worry, they are legally binding.
Everything points that online contracts and esignatures are to become the norm in the next years. So better you start studying how to implement this in your company.
You struggle to manage multiple tools at once
Usually, real estate agencies use more than one tool to manage their business. CRM platforms to handle clients’ information, software to communicate with customers and potential customers, cloud-based applications to store files and marketing tools to promote their business. Not to mention all the listings they have in different online marketplaces.
Maintaining this structure is overwhelming. Especially if the tools are not connected and you have to access each one of them separately to source the necessary data.
Wouldn’t be easy if you can manage your business from just one platform?
This is possible thanks to API. Which is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. You can streamline your business management by connecting all your isolated software into a centralized tool. Things are way easier the fewer tools you have to manage.
Communication with your customers is inefficient and time-consuming
Communication is central when dealing with buyers, sellers and agents. It should be fast and personalized. But many real estate companies can’t deliver a proper customer experience because they are either focused on other core aspects of their business, or they receive more inquiries they can handle.
Hiring a customer support specialist is an option, but it’s an extra cost, not to mention that this person needs to be trained and mistakes can happen until they get used to the job.
To keep things simple and deliver a fast and personalized experience to tenants and landlords, you can implement a chatbot on your website. This technology uses AI to simulate a human conversation with your website visitors.
A chatbot can be trained to answer the most common questions a client has regarding your company and services. And the best part is that it works on a 24/7 basis. This is perfect to handle multiple inquiries at any time of the day and week.
In real estate, chatbots can be used to assist customers in finding the right property, making bookings, doing financial transactions etc.
At the end of the day, your clients will be happy by receiving instant assistance and you will have time to work on more valuable tasks.
Digital transformation is changing the way real estate businesses operate for the better. New technologies are available in the market to streamline their workflow and enhance customer experience.
If you identify the following signs in your business, time to consider investing in digital solutions for your company:
- Traditional advertisement is the focus of your marketing strategy
- Your agents spend a great amount of time searching for the best deals for their clients
- You have a hard time matching buyers and sellers
- You feel that you lack data when making important business decisions
- You still rely on paper and pen to close deals
- You struggle to manage multiple tools at once
- Communication with your customers is inefficient and time-consuming
Do you need help with the digital transformation of your real estate business? Feel free to contact our team of tech experts and we will be happy to assist you in taking this important step.