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The Future of Real Estate

February 10th, 2016

So, what is the future of real estate according to those in the know? A few of us from Sprinkman Real Estate recently went to New York for Inman Connect, the premiere real estate technology conference where world-wide leaders share just that – the future of real estate.

As a boutique brokerage that strongly believes in our tagline “Rethinking real estate,” we are excited about the ideas we walked away with that will help us continue to use technology to better serve and create real connection to our clients.

 Here are a few predictions and some trends that are already in action:

Growing demand for On Demand services.

future of real estate is on demand services

According to Kara Swisher of Re/Code, “On demand services are like assisted living for Millennials.” Funny, and true. Thanks to companies like Amazon and Uber, consumers expect immediate service. This will soon take the form of self-assisted showings without agents, start-to-finish electronic transactions (including mortgage lending and closings) and augmented and virtual reality tours of home and neighborhoods, which we are already providing thanks to our 3D Matterport camera. To give clients what they want (when they want it) we’ll likely see more agents form collaborative teams so they can respond to clients immediately, even if one agent can’t be reached.

Local knowledge will still trump all.

future of real estate is local knowledge

And it will be digitized. Google reported that “Near me” searches doubled in 2015. Sites like placert.com in the Netherlands use “soft data” from home sellers, like where to park to the best sushi places, that help create a richer story of the home and neighborhood alongside the listing, much like Amazon reviews. Relola allows agents who have viewed a home to leave notes about it online.  Agents with a firm grasp of what’s what in their area, and who share it transparently online in neighborhood specific pages and apps, will provide more value than the national companies that are good at data aggregation, but not local details.

Smart Homes will be commonplace.

future of real estate is the smart home

Smart home technology is no longer only for the wealthy and early adopters of technology. A survey conducted by Coldwell Banker and CNET reports that more than 1 in 4 Americans own smart home devices and nearly half of Millennials (18 to 34) have already adopted the technology. Most homeowners understand implementing smart technologies like Nest thermostats, security systems accessible remotely, heat sensing light bulbs that turn on when you enter a room, etc.,  not only appeals to buyers (81% of buyers are more likely to purchase a home with smart technology than one without), but also makes their own lives easier and more secure. Phones, along with on-site voice automation, are swiftly becoming the remote controllers of our lives. With driverless car technology already on our roads and the ability to send people to live on Mars, it makes sense that our homes will be fully automated, too.

Home search will be lifestyle centric.

future of real estate is lifestyle search

The days of searching for 3 beds, 3 baths are dwindling. The future of home search is moving toward how people actually live. Searches will be friendlier to organic terms like “no more than a twenty minute bike ride to work” and “I want my kids to be able to walk to this specific school and be no more than a mile from Starbucks.” Our team is already looking into an app that is working on the technology to make this a reality very soon.

Our biggest takeaway of the week was that service and relationships can’t be replaced by technology, but they can certainly be enhanced by it. The more we embrace the future and use technology to truly connect (versus creating content overload), the better home buying and selling experience we can create. Good to know we’re on the right track!