Is the real estate market moving online?

The advances in technology over the last 30 or 40 years have literally changed the face of many industries and continue to do so. One sector which appears to be relatively untouched, on the surface at least, is the real estate market where personal relationships between buyers, sellers and real estate agents are seen as pivotal. However, there are signs that the real estate sector will be embracing technology in the years to come creating significant efficiencies for the new wave of online estate agents.

Relationships will always be important

In reality the real estate market is built upon personal relationships and contacts. In years gone by there were many situations which saw attractive investments snapped up by well-connected investors before they even reached the public arena. This will continue to a certain extent, as will the importance of people to people relationships, but it is the transfer of data and research that will revolutionise the industry going forward.

Research is the key

At the click of a button it is now possible to research not only a potential purchase but also the surrounding area, the history of prices in the region and potential local economy changes going forward. In years gone by this type of data was collated by third parties at considerable expense and indeed many investors seemed to skip this particular action. The situation today sees anybody with an Internet connection able to go online, dig deep and find more information than was thought possible 20 years ago.

There is an argument as to whether people actually need to visit properties in the modern day but in reality there is nothing better than seeing a potential property investment in real life.

Viewing from a distance

There will be many occasions where investors are not able to visit a particular property and therefore they will depend upon remote access. This remote access has taken a significant step forward with the introduction of a variety of drone experts who are now able to fly small aircraft over properties, the local area and also focus on particular parts of a property. It may not beat a physical viewing, there are some drawbacks but when you also take into account real-time remote web cam access to the inner workings of a property, what more do you need?

There are very few properties where a potential buyer does not have an array of questions to ask and again these can be answered via the telephone, email or one of the many online communication services such as Skype.

Is the industry really changing?

It may take some time for the industry to fully appreciate new technology, new viewing trends and the new way of doing business, but there are certainly changes coming through. The more that the sector embraces new technology the more efficient it will become, the lower the running costs and the more cost savings which can be passed on to customers. There will always be a place for real estate advice, for personal viewings but the ability to do the majority of the research ground work before even approaching a real estate agent about a property will save so much time.

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