The Future is Now
How Technology is Shaping the Housing Market
As COVID-19 swept across the United States, technology enabled us to communicate with friends and family. We have yet to fully grasp what effects the situation will have on the real estate industry.
Over the last 20 years, immense strides have been made in creating protocols for record-keeping in real estate. This began with the digitization of documents and document transfers between client and agent, as well as agent and brokerage, allowing agents and consumers to sign legal documents from their offices and homes. Additionally, real estate technology companies and brokerages have invested billions of dollars on the next wave of tech developments, which are designed to give consumers more control as they search for a home or try to sell their own.
Gone are the days of the real estate agent serving as a gatekeeper between the consumer and available properties. With the rise of online consumer sites such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, some brokerages are now perfecting algorithmic learning to empower clients to find their ideal home through the use of online tools, apps and websites. Algorithmic learning helps the various tech platforms define the features of a home that the consumer is interested in (whether they’re conscious preferences or not) and suggests and matches other homes with similar features. These features could be as broad as a single-family vs. multifamily home, or hyper-specific preferences such as fireplaces, granite countertops or newer construction. The more the consumer engages with the technology, the more accurate and personalized the platform becomes. This learning, along with high-definition pictures, video walk-throughs, and 3D home tours, makes house hunting an enticing activity.
Coldwell Banker was one of the first real estate brokerages to utilize predictive analytics to increase the effectiveness of their real estate agents. The CBx Technology Suite can predict homeowners who are more likely to sell based on factors such as equity, longevity of ownership, and average years of turnover in certain neighborhoods. This technology also can predict potential buyers, allowing agents to find targeted marketing solutions for home sellers.
In 2017, Keller Williams announced plans to spend over $1 billion on technology developments. Since then, the company has released “Command,” a proprietary technology platform for their agents.
“Our technology is created to save our agents time and money,” says Ashley Lucente, Keller Williams’ director of technology and agent services in the Merrimack Valley. “It organizes every component of a real estate transaction in one location instead of traditional unorganized third-party technology. This ultimately allows our agents to spend less time searching through their laptops and more time focused on getting into their respective communities to show homes and help their clients.”
Keller Williams has also designed a new consumer app for iPhone and Android platforms. “The new Keller Williams phone application,” Lucente says, “will allow homebuyers to search in specific neighborhoods, receive insights to the local community and overall culture, and create collections of preferred homes that will train the artificial intelligence to notify consumers of new homes that match their specific wants. It also has great tools for sellers, including home valuation calculators and buyer insights.”
Are the days of real estate agents over? Has technology completely overtaken the real estate industry? The answer to both questions is no, but it certainly has changed the way real estate transactions are handled. The various technological tools are keeping the industry moving, which in turn helps the American economy and the housing market stay afloat as much as it can in these uncertain times.
MLS Property Services, https://blog.coldwellbanker.com/the-real-estate-brand-harnessing-artificial-intelligence-machine-learning/