Anyone who has been through the process of buying a home knows that it can be an emotional process. There’s excitement, anxiety, stress, and fear. It’s unlike anything else in the sense that there’s so much at stake. So, when you understand just how important the home buying process is, you can also recognize the valuable role technology plays in making it more efficient and rewarding.
4 Trends Having a Big Impact
It’s difficult to separate real estate and technology these days – especially when it comes to the home buying process. From getting approved for a loan to making an offer on your dream house, technology is there every step of the way.
Let’s check out some of the top trends to give you an idea of what the state of the industry is like in 2017.
1. Website Search Tools
It used to be that a homebuyer had to tell their agent what they were looking for and then wait for the realtor to send a few listings their way. Thanks to advanced websites, today’s buyers have much more control over the process.
Take the Morgan Lane real estate website as an example. It has a map search tool that lets buyers search specific areas for homes that fit their criteria. It also has a mortgage calculator tool that gives people a ballpark estimate of what they can expect to pay each month for different loans. Features like these are becoming more commonplace in the industry and ultimately benefit realtors as much as they do clients.
2. Augmented Reality
One of the neater trends in real estate technology has to do with augmented reality. Realtor.com recently released a couple of tools that make finding information about a particular house or neighborhood as simple as holding up your phone’s camera and snapping a picture.
The Sign Snap tool provides details about a home when you take a picture of a real estate sign as you drive by. The Street Peek tool lets you gather important details about houses in neighborhoods you like, even if they aren’t on the market. Pretty cool!
3. Virtual Staging
Over the years, research has shown that staging a home is highly effective in terms of getting a higher list price and reducing the amount of time a property remains on the market. But staging can be expensive and time-consuming. Thankfully there’s a solution.
Virtual staging has become more popular in the last couple of years. Tools like VisualStager let you upload a picture of a room, populate it with different furniture, and then convert these images into listing photos that can be shared with potential buyers.
4. Online Sex Offender Registry
When moving to a new neighborhood, you want to make sure your family is going to be safe. Thanks to online sex offender registries, such as Family Watchdog and NSOPW, this is easier than ever. With just a few clicks, you can learn all about a specific neighborhood. Maps will show you where sex offenders live, what crimes they committed, and when they were last convicted. While not a perfect solution, these tools can provide considerable peace of mind.
Technology Has Its Place
Clearly, technology is having a big impact on the home buying process. However, it’s impossible to replace the role of individuals. No matter how advanced technology becomes, homebuyers still want to work with qualified real estate professionals who know their local market and have years of experience. For those in the industry, the key to being successful is to rely on your natural skills, while simultaneously leveraging new technologies whenever possible.