It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a large impact on many industries in 2020, including the real estate industry. And while other factors have also served to influence changes in industry trends, advancing technologies and the digital transformation have likewise played an important role. The impact has been felt all over the United States as the real estate market has faltered in some areas and risen significantly in others.
Real estate trends and technologies in 2021 will undoubtedly seek to provide solutions for the many new challenges faced by professionals in the real estate market. Consider the following emerging trends and statistics — you’ll quickly realize that you must also change your tactics and real estate marketing strategies to efficiently meet new consumer expectations as well as take advantage of new technologies.
Social Media Marketing
Over the past decade, the real estate industry has utilized technology and social media platforms to some extent, but social media marketing is fast becoming the norm for many working in the real estate market. With so many more individuals engaged in remote work from home, those interested in home buying are seeking more information about the housing market and real estate agents online.
Consequently, real estate agents are striving to build a stronger online presence and engaging their audience via social media platforms. In fact, real estate social media marketing is one of the largest and most lucrative investments an agent can make in today’s competitive and unstable housing market.
Erica Langendorff, a Marketing Manager for Warburg Realty, says that you’ll get the best results from your social media marketing efforts if you “focus on authenticity, engagement & thought leadership.”
Amazing pictures and video walkthroughs are doing a lot to sell a house these days, as well as cutting down on the time that is wasted showing homes that don’t appeal to the buyer. And virtual tours are almost a necessity in the age of Covid, where homeowners are reluctant to allow others into their home, and home buyers are wary of visiting other homes.
Being able to showcase a home inside and out, and from an aerial perspective that further reveals the surrounding area and community, with the prospective home buyer viewing it all from the comfort of his or her own home, is another popular real estate industry trend that also works heavily in conjunction with online marketing strategies. Real estate video marketing results in a strong ROI and is ultimately beneficial to the home buyer as well, making this real estate trend one to watch in 2021.
Advancing technology is fueling the way for many emerging real estate industry trends, but it is also making it easier for cyber criminals and scammers to engage in real estate fraud. Wire transfers in particular, often used for earnest money deposits and closing costs, are heavily subject to fraud, with thousands of consumers victimized just this year to the tune of over $220 million. In fact, The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center states that real estate scams have increased over 1,000% since 2015.
The real estate industry is a growing target of cyber criminals because of the amount of money involved in real estate transaction, as well as the amount of personal and financial information that is passed to the parties involved via email. In a recent CNBC article about real estate wire fraud, Steven Merrill, the FBI’s financial crimes section chief, states that “The ones [markets] that are most lucrative are the ones that they’re probably going to target.”
To mitigate the risk of wire fraud but still maintain the convenience of an electronic money transfer, many professionals in the real estate industry are switching to an ACH money transfer system. ACH money transfers are routed through a clearing house first, where it is subject to a lot more security regulations before being received by the recipient’s bank.
Additionally, some ACH transfer systems, such as paymints.io, are geared specifically towards the real estate industry, providing increased encryption and bank-level security, as well as advanced identity protection and real-time tracking. Paymints.io is a secure, compliant, and fully electronic solution that eliminates the need for borrowers, buyers, sellers, and real estate agents to write paper checks or engage in risky wire transfers.
According to the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group, millennials have been the largest demographic for home purchases over the last two years, and they are predicted to be the largest in 2021. Subsequently, real estate professionals have shifted their focus from marketing towards multiple generations and demographics, and are instead concentrating primarily on millennials.
As millennials are also quite tech-savvy, they are seeking homes that offer modern conveniences in the form of advanced tech as well. And real estate agents that can market themselves to millennials using some of the above-mentioned technology trends will also see themselves in a prime position for future success.
While this list of real estate industry trends is by no means complete, it does showcase a strong movement towards a complete digital transformation for the real estate market. In-home viewings may soon become a thing of the past as many become more comfortable with virtual tours, and even virtual real estate closings are becoming something of the norm as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the industry to revise the way in which closings are handled.
And while many of these trends evolved as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, they may endure even when the pandemic is under control, since convenience, technology, and being able to do more from home are some of the new consumer expectations that aren’t likely to dissipate any time soon.
After the chaos of 2020 is behind us and the dust has settled, it will certainly be interesting to see how the real estate industry performs in 2021, whether interest rates will rise high once again, and how much the digital transformation will really change the way homes are bought and sold.
Keep up to date with the latest information on real estate industry trends and technologies by visiting online forums and blogs that offer a wealth of useful information and resources.
To learn more about how using paymints.io can be safer and more secure than a wire transfer, as well as especially convenient for both you and the home buyer, schedule a free demo today!