by Bryan Zupan
on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 at 12:45pm.
Real Estate in the Digital Age
By: Pooja Doshi
In this day and age, there is hardly anyone without a mobile phone. The world we live in today is mostly run by technology.And the home buying process is certainly no different. Nowadays, there are apps like Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, etc that allow you to shop for a home with the touch of a few buttons and without even leaving the comfort of your couch. According to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS® report, 44% of home buyers looked for properties online before going out to see a physical open house (Real Estate in a Digital Age, 2017).
Having the ability to search for homes and neighborhoods is a luxury in a sense because trust is then established with the apps that home buyers or renters are using to search for their dream home. And while the initial process may start online, home buyers are now tending to turn to trusted real estate agents in their region after they have selected a handful of properties, narrowed their choice, and already become pre-approved with a lendor. Most people are well educated about the home buying process and apps have made it easier to become well informed about the market before speaking to a home seller or real estate agent (Real Estate in a Digital Age, 2017).
Technology has become an important asset for realtors in general. Over 90% of real estate firms have websites that drive traffic to their listings and overall listings in the regions they serve. The most popular tool nowadays is the free market analysis that can be conducted in a buyer’s area to compare properties (See SIG’s free market analysis tool here). This tool is very useful in providing property validation and an accurate price estimate for the home you are trying to sell. Another tool that is popular are mortgage calculators - calculating how much you can afford without the need of running a credit check and affecting your credit score. These mortgage calculators are used to figure out monthly payments of a home mortgage loan, based on the home’s sale price (See SIG’s Mortgage Calculator here). These tools and websites are also sure to be mobile friendly as the typical buyer or renter uses a mobile device to search for properties online and even book their appointments to view the listings. In a recent survey by the National Association of REALTORS® where they surveyed the percentage of respondents among those who used mobile devices, the National Association of REALTORS® found that 58% of millennials and 46% of Generation X found their home on a mobile device compared to 33% of Younger Baby Boomers (Real Estate in a Digital Age, 2017).
A pictures says a thousand words as most people hear. With websites and mobile apps offering photos and virtual tours of homes for sale and rent, the home buying journey has become less stressful because of the educational component that has been built into the digital platforms. By 2050, I imagine that buying or renting a home will be as easy as a “Buy now with 1-Click” option built into an mobile app.