The year ahead in real estate technology

December 11, 2017

While 2018 is already here, a lot of the work in the real estate industry is still a few months away, when the traditional buying and selling season begins. That span gives agents the chance to review some of the expected technology evolutions the sector will enjoy in the months ahead.

Tech has already significantly reshaped the ways in which real estate professionals do their work over the past few years, and that trend might only accelerate in 2018, according to Ashkan Zandieh, CEO and founder of the real estate tech research marketing agency RE:Tech, writing for Forbes Real Estate Council. Perhaps the most important of these is the blockchain, which can be used to aggregate and safely store data on all sorts of topics. This innovation has a practical application in real estate because the wealth of information about buyers, sellers, property values, sales and so on can be combined and utilized by real estate professionals.

An easy way to leverage data
When it comes to collecting data on potential leads, one of the tech options that is proliferating quickly these days comes in the form of chatbots on agents' websites or social media pages. These apps can collect vital data from would-be buyers or sellers about what they're looking for from a real estate agent and ferry that information through the proper channels to make sure it's actionable in a way that's intuitive for agents to handle.

Likewise, while no one is likely to believe they are talking to a real person when dealing with a chatbot, site visitors may nonetheless recognize the value of using it to whittle down the listing options that may be broadly available to them.

A major industry trend
Even as tech continues to reshape the real estate sector as a whole, a lot of the way in which agents do their work hasn't changed much, according to Real Estate Weekly. Nonetheless, more companies are now pushing to enter the real estate tech sector, which will only drive additional innovation that, in turn, will be put into regular practice this year.

While the business will still largely be about agents' ability to build and cultivate relationships with their clients, the tech revolution will probably change the way in which the information they use as the foundation of those relationships is collected.

"The real estate industry may have been slow to adopt new technology into its strategic thinking but that is changing fast and the real estate tech industry is maturing quickly," Filippo Rean, head of real estate markets at Reed MIDEM, told the site.

With this in mind, agents may need to be open-minded to ensure they can try out and potentially adopt the latest emerging tech options that can make their jobs just a little bit easier. Weighing the return on investment in any tech trend is a great idea, but in general, those agents who can stay on the cutting edge will be the ones most likely to see a boost in their real estate sales numbers.