Today’s property market is very different from the one that existed a decade ago, and the next few years will incorporate more changes which will transform the way flats are bought and sold.
Torbjorn Dimblad, CTO of OKAY.com talks us through the technology that’s currently defining the real estate industry – helps us understand what we can expect in the future.
Compared to other industries, real estate has been fairly slow in adopting new technology, but that is changing. The emergence of mobile, advances in analytics and predictive intelligence, and new camera and image rendering technologies are all being successfully applied within real estate to allow people to make more informed decisions about property. Better information makes the whole process more efficient and transparent for both the buyer and the seller.
The sophistication of image capture, for example, has made a huge difference, with features like ‘virtual tours’ now common for property listings in many markets. This will naturally improve over the next few years through the use of 360-degree cameras, drones and 3D imaging. When you combine rich imagery with all of the information that is publicly available online; historical property transactions, current available units, as well as local district information on schools, transport, recreation and businesses, you have a far more comprehensive picture about potential properties before you go on viewings.
Using images and audio to get a sense of space is second only to seeing a property with one’s own eyes. OKAY.com has closed several transactions for clients overseas by touring a property using Facetime which I believe predicts how virtual tours have evolved. Beyond 3D imagery, we will begin to see video combined with voice and interactions that provide specific information during the tour. As virtual reality headsets become more commonplace over the next few years, virtual tours will become even more immersive for potential clients.
Mobile traffic now dominates the online experience, with mobile-based searches now exceeding those coming from desktops. We see this with our own mobile traffic growth so sites must take a “mobile-first” approach to their interface design. Going forward mobile devices will represent the primary medium for virtual tours and we will see exciting ways in which movement and image rendering will be combined.
Data driven insights ensure that clients make more informed decisions. At the same time, the entire real-estate process becomes more efficient. Clients are better matched with agents; property suggestions accurately meet the client’s criteria and proactive alerts keep everyone informed about market developments.
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