Real Estate Futurist

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-12-30-35-pmBeing a business built around real estate, technology and data we are often looking into the future about what is next and making predictions. Over the last week and a half it seemed the future of real estate was coming at us at warp speed.  Three forward looking concepts stood out: 1) Long time broker discussing virtual reality (VR) in real estate 2) Two examples in two different states selling their houses without an agent or broker 3) Connecting with Rexchange, a startup that sells your home using sophisticated digital marketing and retargeting tactics at a reduced fee instead of the MLS.      

Looking at VR.  How far away are we from buying properties without ever setting foot in them?  I suspect close, very close.  Given the incredible experience that VR provides, a buyer is able to access the sights and sounds of being in a property and making a potential buyer feel as if they are standing in the home.  You can look but you can’t touch…but isn’t that what the inspectors are for? They are the experts so if they can touch, inspect and provide a comprehensive report, buying based on a VR tour may be all you need.  Not to mention if you are able to transact with VR you have time on your side, especially if you are looking at a property that is a great distance away.  All of the sudden buying real estate outside of your location seems that much more possible.  

The two other experiences from last week are highly social.  Everyone knows that social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, +++) are where people are spending time online.  So it’s no surprise that agents and sellers are posting listings online but is it prolific enough to make transactions happen?  The two examples I mention above were almost unintentional.  The seller in the first example decided to sell her property and felt a sense of urgency to take action right away.  Knowing that it was the the holidays she decided to list the property on Craigslist to see if she could get a feel for what would happen over this ‘slow time in real estate’, plus it would give her an opportunity to do some price testing before she met with her agent next week to formally set up the listing.  She went out high on price and also knew she’d be saving commissions if the property had any interest.  Whether the timing happened to be right or given the holidays more people had free time to spend online, she was flooded by replies, committed to a buyer in an hour, under contract in a day and is scheduled to close in less than three weeks beginning to end.

The second sellers knew they were in a hot market but also were feeling a sense of community loss because they were moving out of state and it was a big family decision.  They posted on the app Nextdoor that they’d be moving soon and would be listing their house in mid-January. The intention was not to sell their house but rather to let her close community know in case they new people hoping to get into the neighborhood.  And after all they did love their neighborhood so they liked the idea of others in their neighborhood knowing about the upcoming listing early.  There were many reasons they were nervous about listing their house, one of which was seasonality, January historically not being the best month to sell a property.

That coupled with the fact that they wanted to rent back until the school year was complete, it was bound to make the perfect buyer more difficult to find.  Within an hour she had 13 people reach out with interest via the app and a couple more that approached her in person and there were the cul-de-sac drive-bys. Being overwhelmed they replied that the house would be listed in 3 weeks and intended to be done with it…for now.  That was until a friend reached out who had been inside their house and said she had a buyer.  One of her colleagues was relocating and looking for a house that sounded like a perfect match.  Not to mention the potential buyers were a family moving cross country who also wanted to wait until the school year was finished to move, they just had to connect.  That’s went things got even more social.  Later that day, there was the ‘tour’ of the house using FaceTime, one more extended phone call and by the end of the following day they had accepted an offer.

Although the homeowner stories show a trend of selling your house without a real estate agent, we at Redi Match don’t think that the days of using an agent or broker are coming to an end.  Not by a long shot.  We do believe that there will continue to be more technologies and services coming to real estate and buyers and sellers will have options, many more options.  Additionally, the real estate professionals that you are used to working with may change or expand what they bring to the table.  Fee structures may change depending the services provided and time.  For agents and brokers they also have huge technology advancements at their fingertips, not to mention industry experience, relationships and licenses that remove a lot of the risk from buyers and sellers.  In our view, the influx of technology into real estate is going to open up with market for everyone.  With VR, agents can help clients in person buy properties far away.  The professionals maintain the relationships and help facilitate beyond the ‘referral’ system that exists today.  The future is here and it looks bright for real estate!

#VR, #virtualreality #realestate @rex_change

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