Technology is upending business models all over America. Taxi-cab companies now compete with Uber and Lyft. Your local retail stores are threatened by Amazon. And Airbnb and Vrbo are fighting tooth and nail with the hotel and motel industry.
Historically, one sector that’s been insulated from technology-driven change has been real estate industry. But even that’s beginning to change.
“The real estate sector is ripe for a technological revolution,” said Regan McGee, the founder of Nobul, which lets real estate agents compete for clients while protecting the clients’ private information. “Slowly, people in the industry are realizing how technology can make their jobs easier and better serve homebuyers.”
One area where there’s some exciting development is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to guide real estate investors. A recent study found that more than 100 real estate companies use artificial intelligence and machine learning to better understand the real estate market and select homes to buy.
Many potential game-changing technological advancements in real estate are like this, simply because the real estate industry is so data-driven. There’s a tremendous opportunity for advances in data analytics in this sector, and not just on the supply side. Real estate companies need to be able to track and follow up on leads. That’s why there’s been an upswing in the development of Customer Relationship Management or CRM technology designed specifically for real estate users. At this point, a real estate company really isn’t serious if it doesn’t employ a CRM.
Real estate marketing is also being affected, with realtors using ad tech to target online advertising to specific customers.
It’s heady stuff for an industry that’s notoriously set in its ways. But Nobul’s Regan McGee said the change is essential if real estate agents want to compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
“We all know that the housing market exploded last year, during the pandemic,” McGee said. “There is a tremendous demand for homes right now, and depending on the area, the supply might not be great. That makes it very difficult for agents to pair customers with the homes of their dreams. But technology – data-driven technology, designed with the customer’s needs in mind – has the potential to change this industry, and not only so the people in it are making more money, more efficiently.
“With technological advances in the real estate sector, we have the chance to better serve the home-buying public. And that’s an opportunity, I think, none of us in this business want to miss.”