While the property industry has been slower than others to adopt digital technology, a prop tech survey carried out in 2019 found that 58% of real estate companies had formulated a strategy for digitization, a rise of 6% from the previous year. This figure is likely to have increased again over the past year, as the property industry has been compelled to embrace digital technology in order to continue offering buyers, sellers and landlords a comprehensive service while still remaining competitive. It’s now widely recognized that the pandemic has increased the value placed on digitization in the real estate industry. At first, scaling back in-person dealings may have felt like a compromise; however, online viewing and automated transactions have been seen to actually enhance the process of buying a property. From checking a property’s history online to securing a digital loan, the digitization of property has provided flexibility, allowed greater transparency, and enabled simpler and faster negotiations.
Digital Home Loans
Consumers are increasingly relying on their phones to manage various aspects of their lives, and research has shown that up to 80% of homebuyers discovered their next home on a mobile device. Digitization has spread to all aspects of home buying, and through the use of property apps and social media, potential buyers can sort listings by features, research a local area, and take a 360° virtual tour of a property. Now, with mobile-optimized services, potential purchasers can also choose to finalize their home loan via an app on their phone. Through digital platforms, the application process for a home loan is streamlined, and can be completed much more quickly. Without traditional overheads, online financial institutions can offer borrowers appealing rates, while still providing call center support for less straightforward issues.
While virtual property viewings have been available for some time, they have become an essential element of property buying over the past few months. As well as enabling real estate negotiations to continue despite restrictions on in-person interactions, virtual tours increase the conversion rate of online properties by 20% and help them sell for more money. This is partly because many more people from anywhere in the world are able to undertake detailed remote viewings, greatly increasing the chance of sale.
Remote Property Management
The need for digitized property management has increased over the past year, as it has been more difficult for landlords to access their properties. An increasing number of proptech platforms allow for remote home management, which can help landlords to set up tenancy contracts and, once tenants have moved in, deal promptly with any problems in the property. As well as dealing with household bills, landlords can maintain appliances and, when necessary, organize repairs to the property.
While the property industry was already slowly adapting to the digital age, the pandemic has accelerated greater adoption of digital practices and strategies. Rather than compromising the value of in-person interactions, online platforms have enhanced many aspects of buying, selling and renting property.