Real estate innovation will impact almost 25% of businesses over the next two years. This phenomenon is known as ‘PropTech’ and has seen a sharp rise in funding. PropTech impacts everything from buying and selling your property to managing and improving it.
Like any other technology, the success of real estate technology hinges upon its users being open-minded and discontent with the current systems in place, thereby eager to adopt an innovative and cost-effective system.
Additionally, real estate innovation seeks to provide an efficient mechanism to facilitate transactions by employing cutting edge technology ranging from smart contracts to Virtual Reality (VR). Therefore, it minimises costs associated to property transactions such as conveyancing lawyer fees.
Real estate technology has many advantages such as removing the hassle involved in selling a property, and changing the status of property to a class of more liquid assets, which can be readily and quickly converted to cash.
Sellable is a start-up which is at the forefront of this trend, providing an unique offering to homeowners where they can sell their house and move out on a date best suited to them. Along with expertise in the traditional aspects of the industry, Sellable has a deep understanding of the wave of real estate innovation about to hit the Australian shores.
With the support of regulatory providers, the Australian property market is set to experience a wave of PropTech, with the majority of property startups focused on brokerage, leasing and property management.
Below are just three examples of some of the real estate technology-driven innovations that are enhancing efficiency and resulting in higher overall returns.
Virtual Reality Viewings
The real estate industry is due to experience a seismic shift due to widespread adaption of Virtual Reality (VR) which has two distinct user applications. It can be applied to make viewings more convenient for existing houses and it can be used to visualise houses that are yet to built. This can be implemented by 360° cameras (similar to Youtube's 360 to Facebook's 360 videos). As VR headsets are easily connectable with our smartphones, interactive 3D tours can be easily created.
How Virtual Reality Works
This technology works by capturing multiple 360° images (think panorama style) then puts it together into a tour, which creates the user experience that they are walking through the house.
Application of Virtual Reality in Real Estate
VR has also assisted our imagination by providing an opportunity for home builders to experience houses that are yet to be built. Enhanced technology such as computer-aided design (CAD) tools allow customers to view a room yet to exist. This model includes each item in the room and is to scale. Utilising HTC Vive and Oculus Rift people can now view the house. Similarly, Metricon is a construction company that utlises this technology and allows customers to view display homes located far away.
Virtual and augmented reality expert Patricia Haueiss puts all of this into perspective for us:
“VR empowers users to explore potential homes anytime, anywhere, at their own pace. Prospective buyers can easily customise their future rooms and discover their to-be-neighbourhood in VR from the convenience of their couch.”
Impact of Virtual Reality
An average home buyer inspects 12 houses before choosing the best property for them.
That is a lot of time home buyers, real estate agents and home sellers will save. The benefits of this for all those involved in the property selling process are abundant, though the biggest advantage is the convenience. Prospective buyers view a house at any time instead of taking time out of their schedules to do in-person inspections.
Additionally, virtual viewings are almost true-to-life definition and are effortless. Home buyers can view each property at their own pace, spending as much time as they would like at the property. It also means that less time is invested in unsuitable properties and they can pre-select their favourite potential property.
“Because it almost feels as real as being there, users become more confident in their decision making. VR is the hassle-free alternative that saves time narrowing down houses instead of physically inspecting them,” Patricia Haueiss.
Virtual viewings also allow buyers to see all corners of the property, which defies the common conception that listing photographs only capture the most beautiful aspects of the house. Through this, buyers can gain a holistic perspective of the property.
For agents and developers, having digital platforms for viewing means that they can reduce traditional real estate marketing budgets and spend less time creating print ads. Additionally, when we take a closer look into the sales funnel for real estate companies, 'warm' potential buyers who contact agents after experiencing the property in VR are more likely to convert and thereby drive sales. This technology enables agents to target a variety of buyer groups by altering the interior design to best suit the view's preferences. Lastly, staging costs associated with selling a property are no longer required, thereby reducing the overall cost of selling a home.
“Buyers who previously inspected and liked the property in VR are generally more likely to commit to a purchase afterwards," Patricia adds.
Viewing houses that are yet to be built will allow home builders to customise their future home and try different looks before they commit, so there are no surprises after the house is built.
Although this technology seems revolutionary, for prospective buyers to trust the VR experience over physically viewing the house will be a slow process. We have noticed this trend in the retail industry where shoppers were cautious and it took several years to adapt to online platform - they still need incentives such as free returns.
When this technology is widely adapted by the real estate industry it will not only provide an elevated viewing experience but transform the way in which properties are marketed.
Instant Property Valuations
Chatbot mania is widespread and many sites like realestate.com.au or Domain provide online valuations. But none do this though a channel that all of always have access to: SMS.
Using SMS, ensures instant feedback (we can provide a valuation less than 30 seconds after taking out your phone) and provides a 1:1 communications channel with potential customers, educating them about the Sellable service.
There are two technologies at play here: Natural Langauge Processing (NLP) to parse addresses and queries and an Automated Valuation Model to quickly generate an accurate price range.
Automated valuations are a revolutionising technology equipping home buyers and sellers with important information at their fingertips. This technology utilises data available including comparable sales and suburb specific data to formulate a fair quote for the property.
Property valuations are the initial steps for any home buyers and sellers. Despite its pivotal position in the buyer/seller’s decision-making process, valuations have always been time intensive, taking days to get results. Although web-based valuation tools such as Domain and Real Estate Australia provide valuations, they aren’t necessarily convenient.
There is no arguing that property valuations are important, as knowing how much your home is worth from a fair and independent valuator gives you the confidence to determine the sales price. The SMS based valuation system makes valuation processes available at your fingertips.
Give our Valuation Service a Try
Sellable is changing how Australians sell their homes. Sellers can now get an indication of the guaranteed sales price from Sellable by texting their residential address and receiving a valuation within 30 seconds.
This feature allows sellers to find out whether Sellable’s guaranteed price meets their expectations wherever they are and without investing too much time in the process (e.g. by taking and sending in pictures of the property).
You can try it out yourself: Simply text an Australian residential address to 0488 811 141 and get a response with our expected offer range in 30 seconds.
Sellable’s machine-learning-based algorithm is constantly evolving to take into account any feedback we receive - whether directly from our customers or the valuers we partner with.
Chatbots are predicted to support your local real estate agents’ role, providing customers referrals, advising on lending options and answering questions you might have. The use of chatbots is increasingly popular across different industries. Although the real estate and construction industries are traditionally more conservative, they are no exception. Domain introduced a messenger bot on Facebook in 2016, aimed at providing prospective buyers with property recommendations depending on price.
Now, chatbots are no longer limited to live chats. Instead, mortgage brokers can themselves look up referrals and calculate loans to be included as one customisable package.
Chatbots also allow brokers to be more independent as opposed to having to wait for third parties to collect the data, which can reduce delays and inefficiencies. In addition to this, chatbots today offer attentive and automatic follow-ups in case of no responses, which would have been time-consuming and tiring for small brokerages handling a large volumes of inquiries. They also save real estate brokers money as additional staff will no longer be needed to be employed for this purpose.
Having custom-built chatbots with clear objectives on the capabilities can optimise the efficiency of your day-to-day operations. It is likely that there will be a growth in chatbot adoption to convert prospects into real estate leads.
Technology and innovation are drastically changing the world and the real estate landscape is no exception. We are in a very exciting time and the face of real estate in Australia is likely to be left unrecognisable.
Looking to sell your home? Skip the hassle and get a guaranteed price offer on your home in only 30 seconds. We can even pay you out in as little as 7 days. Find out more at sellable.com.au.