In years past, buyers and sellers of real estate did things the old-fashioned way by meeting face-to-face. However, as technology has found its way into the world of real estate, the business has changed dramatically. Whether contacting a client about a possible buyer or using a mobile device to look at a specific property, technology is being used in ways never before seen in the real estate market.
As real estate professionals rely more on mobile devices, they have less reason to be in an office much of the day. As a result, many documents such as leases, mortgage contracts and others are being transmitted electronically to and from buyers and sellers, creating a paperless office. According to industry experts, this trend will continue as more real estate firms design smaller offices and emphasize the use of technology with their agents.
Rather than having to go from property to property to conduct business, more firms are using property management software to simplify the process. Software from such companies as Rentec Direct now allows for vacancies to be published online at rental websites, tenant screenings prior to placing them into a property, the receiving of rent payments via ACH, management of property fees such as utilities and landscaping, and much more.
While larger real estate firms use cloud-based systems with their agents, smaller firms generally do not. However, that is changing as smaller firms realize the convenience of having access to all documents no matter where a broker or agent may be located at that moment. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average real estate firm employs 15 people. By utilizing cloud-based services, smaller firms will then be able to better compete with larger firms by offering many similar services.
Used for a number of various applications today, 3-D printing is making its way into the real estate world as well. A concept that could revolutionize urban construction methods, it’s already being used to do such things as print PVC pipe for plumbing systems and customized trim around windows and doors.
While there seems to be no end in sight as to how technology will be used in the world of real estate, the real task will be in having everyone in the business well-trained and educated as to its various uses. Whether it’s using a tablet or a 3-D printer, the 21st-century world of real estate is forever changed.