Technology is already having a significant impact on real estate. Online listings give sellers the ability to attract buyers from across the globe and out of market buyers can gain more comprehensive information about a property than ever before. Instead of having to go out and look at dozens of homes physically, they can quickly narrow the field online to just a few of the most desirable options. But listings are not the only way that technology is affecting real estate. Here are three technologies that are poised to have a significant impact on real estate.
- AR and VR
At the moment, buyers can browse thousands of listings online and look at dozens of photos of each property. When they find one they like, however, it is still challenging to get a sense of the exact proportions and layout without physically walking in the space. That may all change soon, however, with virtual reality walking tours. Soon, buyers in Japan can tour a property just as easily as someone right down the street. Also, augmented reality programs will allow potential buyers to take guided tours without an agent present. An AR guide can point out any architectural features and even answer questions.
Any time property exchanges hands, it generates an enormous number of fees thanks to the vast amount of parties involved. Some unscrupulous lenders can even tack on garbage fees. At the moment, closing costs can run anywhere from two to five percent of the value of the property. These fees, in addition to the time it takes to complete a sale, diminish the value of property every time it is bought or sold. Blockchain is poised to change all of that. Blockchain has the potential to generate smart contracts, which narrow the parties involved in the transaction down to three: the buyer, the seller, and the blockchain. Soon, buying and selling a home may be no more expensive or time-consuming than leasing an apartment.
- Fractional Property Investment
Real estate is generally considered to be a very stable investment, but the upfront costs are high. Fractional investment platforms allow even those of the most modest means to make investments that were previously only available to the wealthy. Instead of pulling together thousands of dollars from a few investors, fractional investment platforms pool a few dollars from thousands of investors.