Digital Real Estate - Will COVID-19 force the Real Estate Industry out of analog?
Covid has made ripples in everything we do. What is changed is staggering. The real estate industry a commonly analog market, even is experiencing changes.
It seems like all industries have had to shift their practices in some form or another to digital interfaces. From groceries and automobiles to wine and online degrees, many have made the leap. These services create a space where the customer feels a sense of control and convenience. With the aftermath of pandemic, could we see a huge shift in how the Real Estate Industry interacts with its customer?
The Growing Digital World
For a while now we have been edging towards a very digital world. With blockchain and the Metaverse stirring up way more drama then it should. And the countless other innovations that keep changing how we do things. Rembever when people would go to places to pick up food? Or when you had to go inside of a store to shop for things? While some of these changes are daunding and even worrying to some extent, it is in human nature to innovate and create.
While this innovation was on a slow and steady pace before, COVID filled it up with rocket fuel and sent it to the races. And markets like real estate has started to become more digitalized.
For example you can now tour a house all in 3d from the comfort of your desk. And drones record amazing angles of entire properties. It is a fasinating time to be a real estate professional.
Lets Get Digital
As most Real Estate Professionals know, a lot of our industry is analog. Curbed states that “the traditional real estate transaction is an antiqued process that relies on redundant paperwork and in-person meetings for things like notarizing paperwork, appraisal, inspection, and final walkthroughs. None of those elements allow for easy social distancing.” However, digital technology can offer a solution. The Real Estate Industry has resisted going digital. COVID-19 has caused a shift where it almost seems to mandate the change.
There are lots of different indicators that show the rise of tech in the real estate industry. Let's take a look at some of the more important ones that indicate the more change.
People use the web: It can be shocking but lots of people use the internet on a daily basis. For work, pleasure, or to buy homes! Sites like Zillow are worth billions and have a large amount of transactions flowing through daily. The fact is 97% of home buyers use the internet in their search.
Video Sells: Just like with how people use the internet to guide their home search. The use of high quality media in home listings is likely to help you sell more. We talked about how important media is in our "Consumer Trends 2022" blog if you wanted more info on the subject. But stats show that listings with video attached have a 403% increase in inquiries.
Social Media Is Taking over: As professionals and sales people and well, people people. It's impossible to fully void out social media, even if we really want to. According to Nar, over 50% of realtors use Instagram which is vastly under the 90% that use Facebook. But as you can see the numbers don't like. If you don't use social media you are giving away business.
SEO is King: Not to break into another can of worms but SEO or search engine optimization rules the internet. Even if its behind closed doors. Simply put SEO is how you rank on google. All those people on the first page on any Google search, is exactly this point in action.
How? This is because each referral creates its own page and you are linked to it, giving your name more authority and trust. Learn more about SEO in our first of many blogs on the subject here --> "What Exactly Is SEO?"
Emails Are Changing The Game: While emails may seem old and outdated, they still prove to have a high return on investment. To be more specific 36$ on every 1$ spent.
What Can I Do To Digitalize?
As far as showing homes, many Realtors have started using digital technologies. Some have used sites such as a Zoom showing or 3D home tour. There are many services out there such as Matterport that offer a 3D experience. Matterport promises that their “powerful all-in-one 3D data platform” turns any space “into an accurate and immersive digital twin.” Fortunately for the real estate industry, digital technology can solve these problems. The industry has been slow to adopt these technologies, relying on old methods, but COVID-19 has turned digital technologies from a novelty into a necessity, and it could end up being what finally forces the real estate industry into the digital age.
But if starting to use a 3D tour software seems overwhelming, do not worry. There are a bunch of other smaller things you can do to start digitalizing.
Start A Email Campaign: Email is not useless. Emails can keep clients engaged and so on. There are also whole hosts of programs out there tailored to this specific objective.
Make A Website: Wait, don't fret. Its actually so easy a child can do it. A basic website that is. The more complex the more help you would need. But places like Squarespace makes hosting a site so much easer then it ever has been.
Make Social Accounts: It doesn't have to be all of them. Pick one or two you like the most, or hate the least, and run with it. This also opens a whole host of networking opportunities for you.
Join NuOp: Lastly and by far the easiest thing to do, is sign up for NuOp. Its free, and not only do you get access to high quietly referrals instantly, you also grow your SEO. So you can take out two birds with one stone. You also get access to powerful tools that make your b2b referral game the least painful its ever been.
COVID has done a lot to the world, most of all changing how we operate forever. Many people are still recovering and markets stabilizing and adapting to new business operations. And the real estate industry, a long time analog process has started to change. We don't know what the next few years will hold, but getting ahead of the waves now can only be beneficial.