The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first time the real estate industry faced a bump on the road. It always seems to be on the list of industries that face challenges during a crisis. As the by-product of any global crisis is a recession, the real estate suffers. After all, who wants to buy a home when they are struggling to make ends meet? No wonder the homes for sale inventory reduced by 17% in April 2020 than in 2019! New listings came down by 40% than in the last year. Some areas experienced the crisis more than others.
For example, NYC experienced a sharp decline of 58% in pending home sales, while Detroit experienced a whopping 74% decline. Although pending sales are up now, the fear of COVID-19 and social distancing has reduced the frequency of property visits. In such a situation, digitization seems to be the only solution. If you are wondering what digitization has to do with real estate, scroll on!
The real estate industry will soon face a tech boom, thus taking operations, transactions, and marketing a notch up. In other words, everything is going to be online. While a sufficient degree of promotion and listing endeavors are already online, transactions and tokenization will be the next areas to be digitized. AI and IoT are going to take the front seat, taking customer services to the next level. It will help clarify several things that the investors had to visit the site to learn before. Even if the vaccination venture turns successful, it will take some time before things return to normal, and the rate of real-time property visits increases. So technology is going to keep the industry afloat for the time being.
Not only for buyer's service, but technology will also devise new ways to communicate with brokers, developers and learn more about the property without visiting the site. The photos and aerial videos are going to play a significant role in that. The requirement for professional property photographers will be mandatory now, more than ever. The developers have to ensure that the photos in the listing are of the best possible quality to trigger buying interest. They may also need to include aerial videos of the entire premises to give buyers, a 360-degree idea about the property, its environment, and locality at large.
With increased digitization, the brokerages and agents will no longer be the same as they are now. Brokerage companies will jump their operations in training their agents to adapt to the new technologies. These agents will work directly with the customers and help them throughout the buying process, using advanced technologies. In the last few years, brokerages have managed to get rid of their dependence on services like Zillow and developed their own lead-generation methods. Soon they will push the traditional system, as well as brands with outdated processes to the backseat. They may also automate the entire buying process, leaving the agents to focus on other business areas, like closing deals quickly, resolving buyer queries, and being with them from the beginning to the end of the deal. Lead generation, iBuyer services, renovation loans, marketing, and promotion, everything may be handled by the brokerage companies, thus enhancing their reputation in the market.
In this brokerage evolution, digitization is going to be key to all solutions. Without the use of digital technologies, it will be impossible for the brokerages to automate their processes. The agents need not lose jobs though, but in places where they are unreliable and not trusted by buyers, chatbots, and other automated tools may replace them.
According to experts, both commercial and residential real estate transactions of the future will entirely be digital. Advanced digitized platforms will be used to complete transactions, which will reduce both the costs and speed of transactions. Not only that, but the digital processing and storage of buyer data will also help combat future liabilities. Currently, property transfers are one of the most crucial areas of the real estate businesses. Imagine a world where property transfers can be done within minutes, thus benefitting the buyers, stakeholders, and of course, and the developers.
What about the security of transactions? As we all know the challenges of online transactions lie in less-secure payment gateways and the general threats of the cyber world, is it wise to make such big transfers via the internet? Technology is going to resolve this issue too. With the marriage of fin-tech and real estate, security will increase by leaps and bounds. Cheaper assets are already being transferred through secure wire payment gateways. Soon property transfers will also be digitized with more tech innovations, making them hassle-free and risk-free.
Significance of Videography
Real estate videography is a key side-effect of increased digitization in the industry. Buyers get a complete overview of the properties with tour-style videos and aerial videos. Further, developers employ drone photography to give the buyers an idea about a property's location and its environment. They are also opting for professional real estate photography services to improve listing views and generate more leads. At present, about 26% of realtors are employing drone property photography services to capture intriguing photos of the property and its environment, while 18% are planning to use them soon. It is because more than half of the buyers are keener to purchase a property based on their virtual viewing experience. Thus, realtor videos will not only spark buying interest but also help your business stand out in the competition.
You can create numerous videos of your property to enhance the viewing experience of the buyers. Tour-style videos will give them an idea about the exteriors and interiors of a property. On the other hand, drone videos will provide an overview of the location and environment. You can also create open-house videos, customer testimonial videos, and live videos of your team. The different types of videos will add an edge to your branding and promotional endeavors, besides increasing the buyer’s interest in the properties. As more and more buyers go online to search for properties, the real estate photos and videos will determine how well your business can meet their expectations.
Although it has already begun, online branding for the real estate business will reach a new level in the future. Even small-scale real estate developers will need to create a robust online presence to get on the radar of potential buyers. They also have to be active on social media and properly listing websites with high visibility. As a result, they will need some eye-catchy photos of the properties that they wish to sell. One may think of taking pictures of the property and its surroundings with a Smartphone, but it will be disastrous for the branding campaign. The buyers seek quality, and as they are unable to move out of their homes to visit the properties, they are more dependent on the images.
If you are a realtor who wants to make it big in the market, you may need to hire local real estate photographers for a change. They have the knowledge and expertise to make the images seem real and complete. You may also opt for drone photography to give an edge to your branding endeavors. Whatever the buyer expects from the property photos need to be met to offer an enhanced experience.
Property photos and videos will be the new digitized trends in real estate marketing. The more you excel in this field, the better and faster sales you will have. Not only the listings, but you will also need pictures and videos for your realtor website and social media pages. Digital branding is incomplete without images and videos that capture more eyes than mere descriptions. When the buyers are not able to get out of their homes, the images and videos will be their only source of information. Already, every business is going online or at least trying to improve their online presence. With new digitization trends knocking on the doors of the real estate industry, one must ensure maximum visibility by following them.
Wrapping it up
To summarize how digitization will change the real estate industry, one needs to understand how the pandemic will change the mentality of the buyers first. More people will get inclined towards online processes and transactions, virtual experience, photos, and videos to instill buying interest. They will no longer fall for tall claims or only descriptions to get an idea about a property. They will want a complete experience before they even consider calling the developers or the agent. Real estate companies will have to work on their digital side to get on the radar of potential buyers. They will have to create a strong brand presence online, be active on social media, and employ expert property photographers to meet the marketing requisites. Without such efforts, one may not even acquire minimum sales through traditional processes. As the world changes, real estate developers should also change their nature of operations to meet the current and future demands.