Five Technology Trends

It used to be that owning and managing a property simply meant washing the windows, tending to the facade, and keeping the lobby clean. Not anymore— with new real estate technology, you can now do more with your property than ever before. New devices make it possible to keep your building safer, cleaner, and smarter. Technology is transforming nearly every industry and real estate is no exception.

Here are five new trends in real estate technology:


1. Artificial intelligence

From chatbots to data analysis, AI is everywhere these days. Don’t worry, it’s not the scary robots you see in science fiction movies, but instead, a powerful force to make your property smarter and more connected. The huge amount of data collected every day through internet searches, social media, and connected devices is incredibly valuable, but its sheer volume is overwhelming. AI can quickly comb through these data to identify trends such as forecasting future movement. In real estate, this means potentially predicting trends that impact housing/rental prices due to neighborhood growth, which can lead to more accurately priced inventory.

AI can also be used to pinpoint prospects who could be potential buyers for a particular unit and reach out to them with a personalized sales pitch. Artificial intelligence has the unique ability to streamline processes, allowing us to focus on the creative projects we’re better suited for.


2. Smart intercoms

Forget the old intercom systems that make you try your luck at ringing a resident in the building and hoping they are home. It is clunky, time-consuming, and unreliable. New technology allows landlords and tenants to turn their smartphones into mobile video intercom systems. That means that no matter where you are, you can see who is trying to get into the building. It’s easier and more convenient to welcome visitors, and it’s safer to control who has access to the building. It also allows property owners and managers to easily track who is coming to ensure the safety and security of all tenants. Since these devices are also connected to the internet, they connect with other smart appliances and devices within a building: automatically calling the elevator, turning on the air conditioning in the unit, and preheating the oven.


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3. Virtual and augmented reality

Imagine being able to view a property without actually setting foot inside of it. Virtual reality (VR) transports people around the world so they feel like they’re somewhere else. This has huge potential for real estate: buyers can use VR to walk through a property like they are there, even if they are on the other side of the world. Companies are already creating virtual home tours and also using VR to showcase the neighborhood, allowing prospects to walk down the street. Virtual reality is making the world smaller and opening the door to viewing and purchasing property around the world.

In a similar vein, augmented reality helps people see virtual additions to their current location. This technology doesn’t transport you to somewhere new, but rather adds things to your current view; it’s the same technology that puts digital creatures in your house on Pokemon Go. It’s already allowing property owners to see furniture in their homes or view renovations before actually making them happen. Augmented reality showcases a property’s potential and helps people make decisions before taking action.


4. Blockchain

With hacks and data breaches on the rise, trust is becoming a huge concern these days. Blockchain is a distributed ledger that allows transactions to happen between two parties in a verifiable and permanent way.  Popularized with the growth of bitcoin, blockchain transfers data and personal information through a series of dispersed ledgers to keep it secure. When used for large transactions like selling real estate, it greatly reduces fraud and allows customers and realtors access to more kinds of data once they prove they are whom they say they are. Though still in its infancy, the technology could revolutionize how we negotiate and pay for real estate.


5. Apps

Today, everything is connected. It makes for smarter homes that are easier to control. Instead of waiting for a business to be open to make a phone call and wait on hold, people can now use apps and chatbots to communicate with companies whenever it is convenient for them. These apps can even speed up how quickly real estate is purchased and projects get done. You can use an app to find the perfect home, chat about financing, and learn about renovations and projects you’re interested in. It also makes real estate move faster: if there’s a hot property, you don’t have to wait to talk to someone and schedule a time to see it— you can simply use an app and bot to find the answers you need to move the transaction along.

Thanks to new technology, real estate will look completely different in the next few years. These trends will lead to more efficiency and an industry that keeps properties moving along safely with happy owners and tenants.

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John Tamn


John Tamn

I enjoy writing about real estate, property management, and PropTech. I live and work in New York City.