In the past two decades, real estate has matured significantly. Granted, it took the industry a comparatively long time to modernize (it was stubbornly resistant to technological adoption until recently), but innovation is currently reshaping how we buy and sell properties.
Now that the proverbial floodgates are open, industry spectators wonder where real estate will go next. What will real estate transactions look like in a decade?
That’s the question this article aims to tackle. Using current trends and emerging technologies as our guide, this article forecasts a few significant changes on the horizon – some of which are already underway.
The Rise of AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are currently on the bleeding edge of real estate. Some investors, developers and real estate professionals have dabbled with the emerging technologies, but their adoption is far from widespread.
That will probably change. As CNBC points out, “Real estate companies are increasingly using artificial intelligence in every aspect of buying, selling and home financing.” Companies are using AI and machine learning to deliver accurate property valuations, generate leads for real estate agents, tailor mortgage types to individual borrowers and more. In ten years, real estate professionals expect to see AI and machine learning play a significant role in transactions.
Digital Marketplaces: Consumers in the Driver’s Seat
Nobul’s recent popularity has caused a great deal of excitement in real estate, especially with consumers. The real estate digital marketplace flips the agent-consumer dynamic on its head, placing consumers in the driver’s seat. Buyers and sellers can list their criteria, find relevant agents and initiate conversations with agents who compete for their business. It’s a total reworking of the old system, where agents played their cards close to their chests, and consumers had to take a leap of faith.
“This is the way that the whole world is going,” says Nobul CEO Regan McGee. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, McGee argues that no companies have done for real estate what Uber and Airbnb did for the transportation and hospitality industries. But that’s changing. And in ten years, you can expect to see consumers in the position of power.
Engaging Marketing with Drones and VR
In another interview, Superb Crew asked Regan McGee what he thought real estate might look like in ten years. The proptech innovator predicted that we’ll see further use of drones and virtual tours.
It makes perfect sense. Digital real estate transactions are on the rise (with both local and remote buyers). And digital listings benefit from immersive, comprehensive advertising. As the industry continues to move online, you can expect to see drone footage and VR experiences weave their way into online listings.
Blockchain and Fractional Ownership
Real estate transactions may look a lot different in the event of widespread blockchain adoption. But it’s too soon to tell whether the technology will be the new norm in banking – or a flash in the pan.
If blockchain takes off in the next decade, so will “fractional ownership.” Touted as a complete democratization of real estate investment, fractional ownership entails buying small shares in a property over the blockchain. Rather than a single investor owning a property, several collaborative owners each own a portion of its value. Under a fractional ownership model, investors can treat real estate like any other share.
The future of real estate transactions is bright. Digital marketplaces pose an unprecedented opportunity for consumers to seize control; AI and machine learning will elevate every step of the transaction process; drones and VR technology will improve online listings; and blockchain may usher in a new era of fractional ownership.