Part Ten: Real Solutions for the User Experience
Author: Jeff Agyemang
Dated: Wednesday, January 2, 2020
The Mobile Age of Real Estate has come into affect with one purpose in mind: to improve the real estate experience. And although over the course of this series we have discussed some of the challenges in the real estate process, and the technological solutions aiming to solve them. We haven’t put as much time into what this realistically means for consumers. Will transactions really be smoother? How will more information affect the decisions of buyers and sellers? What effect will new technologies have on home/rental prices, if any? It’s almost like were left with more questions than answers.
What I have been discussing in this series is digitizing the real estate industry. In theory it sounds great. A transparent marketplace featuring all available information on the product and environment, how to seamlessly go about acquiring the product, and professional guidance available at a whim, all on the user’s terms. It’s all great in theory, but its practical application depends on user adoption. Home buyers really could see better access to affordable housing through more developers adopting modular/manufactured home building. Enhanced transparency, including tools to help consumers better interpret information, can both improve decision making in the market and the services offered by real estate professionals.
We live in a market economy, where the marketplace determines whether a product or service has value. Adoption of new real estate technologies, both by industry professionals and consumers, will show us how close we are to a digital real estate market. It’s fun to tour a home using VR but can that experience spark enough of an emotion in enough people for it to become the norm of real estate showings? The real estate process is an emotional experience and sometimes buyers need to see the physical property before any decision can be made. VR wouldn’t interest this group, but maybe a showings on-demand alternative can. How about if a buyer wants more control over the negotiation process? They’ve got the option of using the Reali app to place their offer and have it reviewed by a professional before it’s sent out, or can go to On The Block Realty and start using their auction platform to bid on qualified homes for sale. Whatever works for them!
And that’s a huge plus of the Mobile Age of Real Estate. It caters to different markets of buyers and sellers, renters and landlords, investors and even nosy neighbours. It’s about convenience and getting what you want, when you want. The mobile age will improve the experience of all parties involved in transactions and those just looking to get in the market. Shorter learning curbs, and more educated consumers, will force realtors to offer more value or risk obsolescence. An agent can’t just reduce their commission or offer “free home evaluations” as an incentive for people to reach out. Real value needs to be offered by professionals because the mobile age will expose those just looking to make a quick buck as a realtor. It helps to level the playing field.
There will be a lot of hits and misses during this transition in the real estate industry, and I for one will be loving every second of it! I founded House of Trade™ for the purpose of keeping consumers informed as to what is happening in the world of real estate and especially in the Greater Toronto Area.
Everyday brings a new opportunity to cover something exciting happening in the industry. The Mobile Age of Real Estate is here, and we’ll be bringing you the goings on within the industry as it happens… that’s Real Estate in Real Time!