The real estate industry has developed a reputation for not being as fast to adapt to technology as others over the years. Despite the occasional hesitancy to leverage technology, it has transformed the real estate industry as of late, cloud communication platform company Dialpad writes. The company shared five key tech advancements and trends that every real estate company should know in order to stay ahead of the times.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay
AI isn’t just a high-tech computing concept. It helps real estate companies and systems leverage data. Approximately 97% of homebuyers use the Internet to look for homes, according to the National Association of Realtors and 30% are open to buying or selling property online, per Zillow. The desire and willingness to search for properties and handle transactions online has made the need for quality real estate data more important than ever. Thriving real estate companies will put data to work for them as it can create more narrowed-down searches, find interested buyers and predict properties’ value in the future.
The future is cloud-based
Currently, 80% of top real estate performers are using some version of cloud technology, according to cloud services provider RapidScale. Since cloud services hold data on a remote server, rather than locally, real estate companies can access and share that data from anywhere at any time. It’s an ideal situation in an industry that is becoming more mobile.
Working through the cloud also allows real estate companies to offer better services and work more efficiently. Real estate agents can answer client questions even when they’re not at the office. Companies can also share documents almost instantly with the cloud—there’s no need to go back to the desk computer to save and send files. The cloud also allows for additional bandwidth and security to store documents.
Virtual showings and open houses are on the rise
There’s been a rise in videoconferences amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual interaction trend has now led to more virtual showings and open houses, Dialpad reports. Virtual showings are live events where the buyer and agent meet on a videoconference platform and “walk” through the house. The agent can answer any questions about the property during this time.
Meanwhile, virtual open houses are a similar concept, but the agent will show the property to a group of potential buyers. Typically, the agent will do a live walkthrough and answer questions at the end of the open house. A Boston-based survey revealed that 94% of respondents said they’d be willing to take a virtual tour. Approximately 30% of respondents said they’d consider purchasing a house from a virtual experience. Virtual showings and open houses have become more popular because they save time—no one has to leave their home or office to see a property, and lets agents show a home to more prospective buyers.
Tracked and transcribed conversations drive sales success
Telephone calls remain the best way communicate when conducting real estate services. There was time where it was difficult to catch all of the key details during a client call, but cloud-based voice systems have solved that matter. These systems can provide automated call transcriptions that are easy to read through and search for important information. Many of these systems also offer, call tracking, according to Dialpad. The technology can highlight essential call elements, alert agents to customer needs and share next steps.
Using tech to transcribe calls can also help agents offer more personalized service. Adding a personal touch is becoming increasingly more important not just in real estate, but all industries—more than 90% of customers prefer to buy from companies that recall their preferences and offer recommendations tailored to them, according to an Accenture study.
Secure communications is the gold standard
Technology has helped advance the real estate industry. But as easy as tech has made it to share data, it has to work even harder to keep that information safe.
“Real estate has always been about accessibility, responsiveness, and trust,” Dialpad writes. “Now that companies are more connected than ever before, security and privacy have become a vital part of the mix.”
A McKinsey 2020 survey showed that 80% of respondents would not work with a company if they thought their data was vulnerable. Real estate clients share a lot of confidential information like financial records and they need to be assured it’s safe in their agent’s hands. There’s now a lot of technology available that can give clients peace of mind. For example Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems send calling data over secure Internet channels. Digital phone systems can encrypt data, unlike analog systems. It’s expected that similar security will be applied to other communication channels like email and document sharing going forward.
“As technology advances, you can expect to see improved access to things like AI, cloud computing, and VoIP calling,” Dialpad wrote. “As these technologies become more standard, clients will start to get used to that higher service level. Real estate companies will need to step up their game and adopt those advanced tools to stay competitive.”
View Dialpad’s full “From AI to the Business Phone: 5 Trends for Real Estate Companies to Know” report here.
Joe Dyton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.