Realtors know the best way to consistently close is to impress clients with strong first impressions on properties that fit all their needs. That's why listening and retaining information from clients is so important, and it's also why understanding and using the technological tools available to you is an essential strategy for realtors in the modern world. Real estate tech trends include both real estate marketing tools and online resources as well as technological resources that help you when you meet with clients. Here are some of the bleeding edge real estate tech innovations out there that we’re seeing in addition to apps for realtors and brokers.
AR had its big moment in the public consciousness when the hit mobile game Pokemon Go! became a phenomenon, introducing millions of people to the idea of a virtual world augmenting and accentuating our experience of the real one. In more practical uses, AR can allow you to put annotated information over key features in a home, so clients who use their phone cameras and AR apps will be able to read the notes on various features. It can also help guide clients around town. In fact, most of the current applications for AR outside of gaming involve things like landmark recommendations. Using that architecture to guide clients to and through homes allows you to make an open house into a much more informative experience for people who come through.
Automating your communication to take care of basic customer inquiries has been a trend for a decade or more, but the tools available for that automation keep changing. Context-specific automated replies through email and text were a huge addition to the communication management tools that professionals in many industries used to answer queries more quickly and triage problem-solving goals that required more attention. Chatbots take this a step further, providing realistic conversational prompts and responses to clients, answering basic queries, and essentially taking care of the basic queries that can be answered with information already available. They are getting more and more sophisticated each year, and this year they are finally starting to really take off as a resource for sorting queries and referrals in real estate.
Where augmented reality allows you to add information to real world locations to help clients learn more about a property and neighborhood, virtual reality lets you construct a digital environment and then put clients into it, to give them a tour of a location they aren't physically present in. You can use this to model properties using virtual tour software that already exists to provide a point-of-view experience in the form of videos and interactive web experiences if they have a VR compatible interface and export function, or you can look for an upgrade that lets you start to show off properties from the comfort of your office to take advantage of the trend. The key difference between this year's VR innovation and the traditional virtual web tour is the use of the immersive headset and control units that let clients really feel like they are in the home when they plug in.
There are two ways to leverage drones in real estate. The first is to create stunning profiles of properties with cameras mounted on drones. You can provide a guided tour uploaded to your website or social media feed to showcase a hot property, set up virtual tours for specific clients, or create preview reels of all the properties you're currently working to sell. You can also use the drones to provide a live experience, giving clients a chance to get a view of rooftops and other normally inaccessible parts of the property. This gives them a chance to get a great look at the entire home before making a decision.
Technological innovations have come at a blistering speed over the past decade, so there are sure to be even more ways to use these technologies coming soon, just like there were as social media and email marketing first took off. On top of that, these are sure to inspire new innovations that help you take the client's experience even further. It's hard to predict what the next big thing to change the game will be when you're in real estate, but if you use the tech tools at your disposal, you can create those lasting impressions that help clients really connect to the homes they're seeing, so they can see themselves in them. Remember, whenever you're adopting new tech strategies, you're still trying to satisfy the same old needs and fulfill the same goals you've always had. They're useful where they allow you to do it better, faster, or more completely, but the simple practices and processes like following up with clients and showing them how a home suits their criteria are still the heart of what's going on. The tech just makes it easier to really make a strong case for the best homes you've got to show.