Technology disruption has been buzzing around the real estate trade journals recently – including NAR’s RealtorMag and Inman News. They’ve been looking at what’s coming, how it will disrupt your business, and what you can do to embrace it.
AI is not just sentient machines like Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey – it’s also the way that Google identifies which links to serve up, how Gmail determines which emails are important to you, and how Amazon learns what products you might find useful. It’s having a tool that scans through incoming bids and contracts to flag specific items you need to focus on. It’s aggregating your customers’ searches to identify factors they haven’t told you about. As the technology matures, you can expect to see opportunities for virtual assistants who will help you run your business with less stress.
Viktor Weber, the author of the NAR & Inman articles, freely admits that “the real estate transaction process is very emotional and buyers and sellers still crave human interaction” which means that you’re probably not going to see robotic agents anytime soon. But you can expect robots to replace jobs in construction and in real estate photography/videography. Much like the promise of Amazon drone deliveries, drones will be able to be programmed to fly around and inside a home, capturing pictures for listings and virtual reality tours. They will also be able to scan square footage, render floorplans, and utilize deep learning technology like Google had developed to identify which pictures and video snippets will be most likely to create an emotional response in humans.
Another promised construction side disruption on the horizon is 3D printing. While it has been used to build roads, jet engines, and even homes, it still has years of development before we start seeing a majority of products being printed at local fulfillment centers to reduce shipping costs/time.
We’ve previously demonstrated how virtual reality is changing the buyer’s side of real estate. As robotics lowers the price of virtual home showings pushing them into the mainstream, you can expect this will reduce the time buyers’ agents will spend travelling to homes with clients. We’ve already seen this trend downward with videos helping buyers to identify whether a home will be right for them, but being able to see what the floors would look like at different times of day, or what the walls would look like with Nimbus Cloud instead of Frosty Margarita will take the experience to a whole new level.
Online Real Estate Auctions
This disruption is already available, but you can expect it to grow as inventory improves. Some houses don’t fare well while others spend mere hours on the MLS. This is where real estate auctions come in – helping sellers and their agents get the listing to move. Online offerings like Auction.com, Hubzu.com, and Micoley.com provide agents with opportunities beyond the traditional listing process to close listings in a timely manner.