2020 was unpredictable and pushed us beyond our usual comfort zone. But at the same time, in the last 6 months, it pushed the digital transformation forward more than the previous decade did. Success in these circumstances awaits for those who can adjust right away and drop the old rules.
The customer-driven approach is ruling the world and that itself is a good reason to look up to the trends, but let’s sort it out in a little more detail.
Why is it important to keep track of the modern trends for the real estate industry?
1. Building the community. Today with a huge variety of brands the main priority is to build a loyal community, stand out from the competitors. And to achieve both of these points new approaches and top-notch user experience.
2. High competition. Competition is pretty harsh but focusing on modern trends and adapting can cause a big change in the relationships with direct or indirect competitors. Working on the special things that will help to adapt and create a better experience would be a push forward to stand out. And this step can shift the story around – the companies that chased the same audience for years become partners.
3. Data. Today it’s a vital part that drives business decisions. Companies do not generate a client database anymore. Interactions, social media, internal and external processes, mobile apps bring piles of unstructured data. It’s a very valuable resource when building the community and here is where Big Data, Analytics, and CRM come to the rescue. Those modern technologies are fundamental for marketing and overall company efficiency.
So as we see from the above integrating the new trends and patterns is fundamental for the brand to evolve. But here comes the question.
What we should expect from the upcoming 2021 for the Real Estate industry?
There are lots of new progressive trends but there are some that remain the same year after year. So let’s start from the obvious ones:
1. Responsive Website
A quality and responsive website is the best representation of the business nowadays. But besides the usual computers, the users are using their mobile devices more and more for research. So modern brands should keep the eye on mobile usability too in order to win the target audience.
Even the pretty basic website needs to stick to the fundamental requirements to be convenient for the users and then – to infinity and beyond. Now a mediocre website for a real estate company includes:
— property listing
— integrated mapping
— search option with customized filters
— high-quality images
— buy and rent cost calculators
— built-in or integrated CRM system
And if your current website does not check out all of these boxes – you need to consider its upgrade.
The purpose of all these requirements is pretty simple – to provide relevant information for the clients in the most convenient way. Get the qualified leads that already know all ins and outs after simply looking through the website. Besides that, the transparent structure Improved marketing campaigns. Growing brand’s own subscribers list for a weekly or monthly newsletter.
2. Real Estate Mobile Apps
Pretty much related to the previous point. The mobile applications are not for all. For many, a reliable and responsive website is enough but if you have interesting functionality in mind it might be a great base for the app.
3. Big Data
Big Data is a new ‘lifesaver’ for the Real Estate industry, companies no longer have to spend so much time gathering and formating the info. Big Data technology automates the analysis of huge amounts of information from many sources. This ability benefits both sides, for users, it means easy and convenient search and comparison. For brands – easy social media marketing and personalized approach.
Big Data in real estate helps to reduce financial risks too. It analyzes the owner’s information, condition of the object, renovations, and reconstructions done before. Then, a real estate agent gets the estimation of this property and gives the customer all the information and recommendations.
Earlier it took days to analyze the information and provide the best options for the clients and now just a few clicks. As the result is perfect timing for customers reaching out with an offer.
4. Custom CRM solutions
Like Big Data, CRM software meant to ease up the workflow and make it more efficient but in a different way. It keeps the client info and helps to manage relationships with the customers. So in the CRM, you have all the needed information about the particular case so the manager doesn’t have to keep it in mind. Besides that modern CRM systems cover all flow of interaction with the clients so the whole process is fully transparent with the team and no detail lost.
Outlining the CRM benefits, it enhances such processes like:
— Workflows with the options to tailor them to your specific business processes
— Safe Role-based space to access company data and avoid any leakage.
— Automated Data import from different sources and services.
— Real estate property and its features
— An automated drip and sales campaigns
— Transaction management across all stages of the sales funnel
— Reporting and task management dashboard for better goal achievement.
— Third-party services integration to exclude switching between different apps.
Overall the CRM systems are gaining popularity each day and there are numerous SaaS solutions too but it’s important to understand for more integrated and fully custom flow it makes sense to work on your own solution. It’s worth it in the long run.
5. AI and Machine Learning
Everyone is talking about it for a while but each day we’re closer to integrating these two in all industries. And Real Estate is not an exception. AI helps machines to perform complex and sophisticated tasks. This can fit any task starting in problem-solving, decision making to pattern recognition, and comprehension. Often, machine learning comes as the core approach used by AI. This type of software automates the tasks that are repetitive and time-consuming.
Using AI and machine learning is a win to improve your business performance. But what are the possible benefits for the Real Estate:
— Machine learning is already commonly used in chatbots that you can see on many websites. In the nearest future, it will be the new normal as it allows businesses to narrow down the efforts and at the same time get the more qualified leads (that already got all the needed info from the bot) in the end.
— AI can be used to streamline data management in real estate.
— The algorithms can be used in recommendation apps to identify the customer’s preferences and suggest objects based on the personal approach.
— Digital advertising can become much more efficient and targeted using AI. It can scan the data and identify the most popular types of real estate objects and recognize the patterns.
— AI can deal with large property management.
And much more.
6. Predictive Analytics
Sorting it out, Predictive analytics uses Big Data and machine learning algorithms to make the forecast for market trends. It bases on the old and current data, patterns to make them more reliable. And these kinds of predictions can be made for anything – like finding the best property to invest in, by investigating such parameters like – neighborhood and how it evolves, rental income, property value change by years, etc.
It can significantly improve the lead generation by seeing the customers’ patterns and spotting the ones that are already interested but ‘not sure’. Then the managers can reach out to them with a personal, on-point offer.
Other use case – property owners can get a prediction about the overall renovation value. Such algorithms can analyze how much different renovations would cost and how much it will scale the price of the property. Simply said it can predict if it can be a good investment. And the list of use cases goes on.
Don’t be misguided by the stereotype that blockchain is only about cryptocurrencies. Overall Blockchain handles two tasks: data storage and serves as a digital registry for transactions and contracts.
All Real Estate processes like buying, selling, and estimation can be confusing and fragmented. Blockchain technology can make this process more efficient. Let’s see how:
— The transaction process is more efficient. Excluding all the third parties like – agents, notaries, etc.
— It brings high data transparency of documents and events during the purchase. All of them can be tracked, contracts become readable, and registries cannot be changed afterward.
— Real estate investments become more accessible. Customers or companies can buy or trade only fractions of a property. Blockchain also makes the transactions of ownership fast.
8. Cloud Computing
In simple words – Cloud computing is calculations done in the cloud. Now modern SaaS services work and store data in the cloud and it’s not big news. It helps them to make access easy and fast. For the Real Estate it can suggest benefits too:
— With improved estimation speed and quick response, customer relationships will become more professional and will build trust.
— Reduced IT maintenance costs on server hosting.
— Real estate companies can get more scalability without adding extra infrastructure.
— Continuing service despite the unexpected disasters for a physical office.
9. Virtual Tours
Photos can be misleading, from them it’s hard to understand the room’s placement. Is it necessary to go and see a property IRL. to get a realistic impression? With modern technologies, the answer is – no.
Even though Virtual Tours technology is not particularly ‘new’, before it was janky and still left a bad impression. But now after some time of perfecting it, the clients can be fully satisfied with their virtual room tours. In the pandemic time, it is even more preferred than ‘classic’ in-person tours.
Besides that, it saves time and minimizes in-person property showing to actually interested customers. And it’s a big deal for both sides, customers have an opportunity to look through many options and narrow down the ones they actually like and for agents, it saves time to focus on really interested clients and other tasks.
Virtual tours are also a great option for international buyers that want to invest so can open new client segments.
But besides the property itself, the neighborhood means a lot too. And gladly now there is an option for this too. Many saw the drones more as entertainment but they actually have numerous use cases. Now they themselves or the great aerial footage are used to ‘sell the lifestyle’. Buyers can get a tour to highlight local businesses, schools, and amenities. Then, if buyers can picture themselves living in the neighborhood, an indoor property tour is arranged.
This process can help the customers to imagine if they can live in this neighborhood and make the right decision in no time.
The best thing that your real estate business can do to prepare for 2021 is to get agile. Being ready for the possible changes in the future is always putting your business ahead of the competitors. Pandemic showed us how Digital Transformation is actually important so the right thing to do now is to look at things that you can improve and work in that direction.