Digital transformation can easily be brushed off as a “buzzword” for those not in the know, but it’s happening in the real estate industry right under our noses — and failing to see the potential of emerging digital solutions will only leave you further behind. If you’re holding on to tradition with both hands, it’s time to let go and see how real estate’s advancing tech can give you a jumpstart on the competition.
Digital transformation is defined as the integration of digital technology into the fundamental areas of a business or industry, thereby transforming how services and value are delivered to partners and customers. In the real estate industry, digital stands to transform all the internal, marketing, and consumer processes that have been largely unchanged up to this point.
Countless digital solutions are transforming real estate, but according to the National Association of REALTORS® President, John Smaby, one of the biggest is blockchain. “America’s 1.3 million Realtors® will be some of the first professionals to fully adopt this technology and … NAR’s efforts continue to ensure that REALTORS® will be involved in discussions on blockchain regulation at every level across the country.”
Not only is blockchain technology set to transform the day-to-day activities and interactions of real estate agents — it’s also set to redefine real estate investments and legal proceedings.
“Tokenization” means the digitization of a real estate asset, turning a property or other asset into a tokenized securities offering (TSO), also known as a security token offering (STO) or a tokenized asset offering (TAO). All of these represent the same concept, which is a legal and regulated digital representation of a real-world asset that investors can trade globally as blue-chip stocks. With TSOs, investors can finance, recapitalize, and liquidate opportunities in all new ways.
So, what powers tokenization and why is it becoming an option now when it wasn’t in the past? The answer is blockchain. The distributed ledger that is blockchain technology has unlocked the ability to secure identical copies of data through a network managed by stakeholders. Unlike a centralized database, blockchain has no single point of failure, and accessing or altering data without authorization is impossible.
Using blockchain, investors can own tangible assets in a completely digital manner, facilitating touch-free settlement and ownership. This same technology has implications far beyond investing, though, with many solutions developing in tandem with these to facilitate real estate transactions large and small.
Most agents are familiar with the consumer-facing technology that’s taking over listings — like virtual reality (VR) walkthrough experiences and special cameras that create a more informative and immersive online listing to attract buyers. Not only will using these technologies help you sell homes faster, but it will also help you secure more sellers who want an agent that utilizes these tools.
3DVista is just one solutions provider transforming the real estate space by recreating the buyer experience. Currently, it has over 10,000 customers across 70 countries, offering real estate agents the chance to create virtual tours and live-guided tours alongside mobile app experiences and more.
Competitors of 3DVista are also pioneering in this area, each putting its own spin on high-tech tours by promising more immersive experiences to customers or a low-code/no-code experience for the agents utilizing them. In every case, these solutions are proving to be in high demand as agents continue to develop their processes to meet the increasing expectations of today’s tech-savvy, experience-hungry buyers.
Adopting high-tech customer journey tools gives way to countless opportunities, and it starts with the massive amounts of data real estate professionals can unlock and gain insights from once they start adopting some of these solutions.
Consider how long the average client browses homes online, on their own, before they ever reach out to an agent. Consider how many homes they look at and rule out, on their own, before asking their agent for more information. Consider how many agent profiles a buyer sees on their way to contacting one, and it becomes clear how many opportunities you’re losing without even knowing it.
Implementing an integrated marketing and sales stack that links to your CRM means more chances to connect with a potential lead long before the competition can. These tools combine features like omnichannel marketing and retarget marketing, personalized messaging and drip campaigns, chatbots and automated responses, and AI-powered insights that tell you when you should reach out and how.
These tools along can help a real estate agency build a bigger business, but it will only prove successful in the long term if combined with the adoption of other digital solutions, like speedy settlement processes.
The real estate settlement process is notoriously time-consuming. Human error, lost documents, countless amendments, and endless friction creates frustration for vendors and buyers. It also happens to remain largely paper-based, representing a major hurdle — and opportunity — in the digital transformation of the industry.
Many agents have jumped on board with e-conveyance, while others cling to paper, citing how it’s always been done that way. But change is coming. Revolutions in settlement are creating a streamlined process for all involved while offering secure and compliant real-time tracking, quicker transfers from client accounts into and out of escrow, and fully cloud-based portals where no apps or downloads are required to get the job done.
Sound too good to be true? This solution is already at your fingertips. Paymints.io offers this exact experience, with added features and a fully white-label dashboard to help you further customize your customer experience.
The digital transformation of real estate has already begun, and there’s no ignoring it. Agents who fail to adopt these emerging technologies will only end up falling further behind while their competition gains a stronger footing. Clients are flocking to agents and firms that can offer them these cutting-edge technologies and experience, so give yourself an advantage and become an early adopter.
While it’s always intimidating to ditch the way you’ve always done it, those who recognize these technologies as an opportunity will soon reap the massive rewards that are bound to follow. Stepping into the digital transformation in real estate is easy with the right tools. Paymints.io can help you up your game while improving client experience with speed and convenience that will set you apart from the competition. Schedule a demo today!