Technology is changing the world and the property industry is no different. The traditional high street estate agency is being joined by online-only companies or firms that adopt a new hybrid model that blends online and offline elements. There has also been a change in the way properties are marketed to people and even built. What this means is that no property franchise can afford to stand still.
It’s safe to say that the internet has instigated the biggest change in the way estate and letting agencies operate, with many property searches now starting online. As more and more online agencies have emerged, questions are being raised about the importance of maintaining a high-street presence. Purplebricks, the online estate agent, and Yopa, the fixed-rate online estate agents, have really challenged traditional agents. There are also several agencies that don’t have an office presence but will send people to accompany you personally for viewings or meetings. The idea is that these hybrid companies provide the best of both worlds for the client and business owner. However, some ask whether doing away with the human element means people won’t get the same level of service during what is often one of the most stressful periods of their person’s lives.
Technology has also changed the way properties are marketed, sold or let, which is creating innovative opportunities for companies to think outside the box. One of the most exciting examples is the use of drones. You may have heard about drones being used by the emergency services and for parcel deliveries but they’re also being adopted in the property industry. For example, Stuart Carpenter, a property agent at estate and lettings agency HomeXperts, has used drones to take higher-quality aerial photos of properties. The use of drones in the property industry is only set to increase but of course, like with any technology, it’s important to be aware of the relevant regulations and best practice. For example when it comes to using drones in a congested area, you must now gain permission from the Civil Aviation Authority.
Another interesting piece of technology that’s set to be adopted by the property industry is Virtual Reality (VR). The gaming industry has been using VR to offer players a more immersive experience for a while now. And it’s just a matter of time before the technology changes the way people view properties too. People are now able to go on a virtual tour of a home without stepping foot in it, which could encourage them to book an offline viewing for properties they’re seriously considering. It also opens sellers up to an internal market of potential buyers or renters who might be shopping from abroad.
And technology isn’t just disrupting the way properties are marketed: it’s changing the way they’re built too. Thanks to advances in 3D printing, it’s now possible to custom-build and 3D print entire houses. Russian construction company Apis Cor reportedly printed and painted a house onsite in just 24 hours and the company is anticipating that this could be the way forward for building affordable housing in the future.
With this in mind, I hope you’re looking forward to viewing your 3D printed home with a virtual reality headset in the near future. One thing’s for sure: anyone working in the property industry will have plenty of tools at their disposal to offer an innovative service that’s on the cutting edge of the latest technological advances.
This article comes courtesy of HomeXperts, the estate and lettings agency founded by Sussanne Chambers.