Technology is taking the real estate industry by storm. Although funding for proptech has increased exponentially, venture capitalists weren’t always interested in real estate. According to CB Insight’s “The Rise of Real Estate Tech” webinar, VCs invested just $20 million into real estate technology startups in 2008. A decade later, in 2018, that figure increased to $4 billion.
Proptech is breathing new life into an industry that was once lagging. More specifically, it’s impacting the way real estate agents work. Proptech calls for agents to upskill themselves, but as a result, it will help them sell properties better.
Agents should not fear that technology will replace them. Instead, they should embrace it and use it to their competitive advantage. An Owners.com survey revealed that consumers want their agent to make the home buying process more efficient through technology. When asked what their agent could have done differently, more than 36% of home buyers wished that the agent leveraged technology to streamline the process.
Agents can benefit significantly from keeping an eye on proptech trends and considering how they might integrate this technology on the job.
Here’s a look at the technology agents can implement now to change how they work with clients.
Chatbots engage clients 24/7 and encourage leads
There are certain times when agents aren’t available to speak to potential clients. Unlike agents, chatbots do not require sleep and are ready to engage with online leads, no matter the time of day.
According to Salesforce, 69% of consumers prefer chatbots for quick communication with brands. Agents can deploy a chatbot on their website to prompt clients to ask questions or instantly respond to queries on their behalf. Chatbots can assist in providing helpful information about a property, such as that related to lot size, number of bedrooms, square footage, and any other details.
When faced with questions that they can’t answer, chatbots can collect client information so that agents can take over and respond to more complex queries at a later time.
Chatbots will not replace real estate agents entirely. However, they make it easier for agents to address clients’ needs, qualify leads, and increase sales.
VR and AR enable remote property tours
Thanks to virtual reality, agents can give clients a property tour from across the globe. Agents can even allow prospective buyers and tenants to view a property that hasn’t completed construction yet.
Augmented reality allows agents to place objects in a home and better describe parts of the property more accurately so that clients can imagine the living experience from afar.
AR and VR make it easier for agents to sell to prospects worldwide. Agents can instill confidence in clients so they can make a decision knowing what they are buying or leasing exactly.
SmarterListings, for example, is a platform that brings together real estate agents and their clients to experience a property online. Ella, its AI-powered bot, can show prospects around the property when agents are away and showcase its essential features and amenities. The technology also records questions and feedback and gathers contact information so agents can follow-up with prospects when they’re available.
EyeSpy 360 is an additional tool that agents can use to create free virtual tours and show clients a property, whenever or wherever.
Data helps target potential buyers
Proptech provides more data for agents than ever. Agents can then use this data to make fact-based decisions quickly and accurately. They can also leverage it to target potential buyers.
For instance, MapYourProperty is a tool that provides real-time information on zoning, land use, and environmental sensitivities to assist agents in targeting potential customers and improving their sales efficiency. The all-in-one mapping and analytics platform allow agents to screen properties versus manually combing through and comparing jurisdictional impacts on a single parcel of land.
Drones are another way agents can accumulate data. With drone technology, agents can gather crucial data about assets and properties. Since drones capture high-quality pictures and videos with sweeping 360-degree views of properties, this allows agents to give clients a full experience of the location and its surroundings. They can also upload the images and video to their social media pages to promote listings and attract clients.
Property management software streamlines workflows
When it comes to property management, there’s a wide range of software options that agents can use to make their jobs as well as the buying process for clients easier. Technology allows agents to communicate more efficiently with buyers, schedule showings and meetings, and automate other daily tasks.
For example, PropertySimple Collections is a platform that enables agents to market any active property listing. They can group properties by location, price point, features, or any other details. Agents can also use the software to share listings to social media and drive traffic back to their portfolio or landing page.
Bringing new technology to real estate
Today’s real estate technology allows agents to streamline property management easily. It’s crucial that agents view proptech as a tool that will help them, not hinder them. Agents that want to remain competitive in their industry will need to keep up with proptech trends and find ways to implement them in their business. Those that fail to embrace it will miss out on its numerous benefits and risk getting left behind.