Industry Focus: Residential Real Estate Technology

Are you interested in real estate, while also searching for a job related to technology? If so, the residential real estate technology field may be just where you need to focus your attention. With the many recent startups in the real estate industry, companies in this field are in search of IoT vendors, service providers, platform providers, and software developers. If these job positions sound interesting to you, let’s continue and introduce you to what residential real estate technology has to offer.

The Impact of Technology

Technology is effectively changing many parts of people’s lives, from the way they communicate with others, to the way they find a home. Companies and realtors use technology to increase efficiency of estate transactions. The residential real estate tech market includes innovations in various categories such as mortgage tech, virtual viewing, and property-management software, among others. However, adopting technology for technology’s sake is not the best move. The key is in choosing the most appropriate tech tools for the real estate business and combining them with efficient and organized processes.

The Introduction of Technology in Residential Real Estate

Residential real estate has always been a relationship-based industry. People who are trying to find the perfect home to raise a family want to cooperate closely with their real estate agent to find the most suitable property. Agents tend to have engaging personalities and a large range of personal networks in order to develop new business. However, with the infiltration of technology in every field, people are starting to look for a more automated process for investors, brokers and property managers.

Tech companies such as Zillow and Trulia aim to open up real estate to buyers without a realtor being involved. However, there are also some startups beginning to automate processes for investors, brokers and property managers. Technology is introducing predictive analytics, machine learning, transparency, and digital media into the real estate market.

How Did Technology Change the Traditional Home Buying Process?

Purchasing a home used to be a complex process, and it inevitably involved a group of people such as brokers and agents who know their way around the industry. As the real estate companies with innovative automatized methods have become more popular, the process of buying or renting a home has become more accessible, leading to a high impact change in the residential real estate industry. Besides making the process of finding a home easier, the increased access to information gave consumers the opportunity to become more knowledgeable and, therefore, it gave them more power regarding buying homes.

Residential Real Estate Tech

Occasional Opposition to Technological Change

Currently, one of the fastest-growing sectors is multi-family real estate (i.e. apartment buildings). However, the multi-family sector has shown to be the most resistant to technological change. An old guard of landlords and owners, combined with the relationship-driven nature of the business, showed resistance to innovations that have influenced other sectors. On the other hand, a large range of developments in the past few years have brought some changes to this sector.

Rising Demand for Online Interfaces

Today, few house hunters turn to the newspaper classifieds, most relying on the internet. This shift has created a demand for easier online interfaces, including email facilities through which to exchange rental contracts and leasing information, for example. Also, there has been a change in the habits of landlords. A new generation of digitally oriented professionals has only one way in mind, and are already excluding outdated strategies. The new generations are making residential real estate technologies an essential part of the business.

Next Bangalore Initiative

Besides simplifying the process of finding a perfect home, technological advancements will help residents and families to live safely and happily. Next Bangalore is an initiative organized by the MOD Institute in Bangalore and Germany’s Next Network. It aims to create a community vision for the city’s Shanthinagar neighborhood. A website has been set up through which residents can submit and debate ideas with more traditional forms of engagement, including events and an exhibition space. The initiative helps residents to create a vision of what they want their area to look like, as well as to share their everyday needs and problems.

The digital technology of The Smart City works to improve citizens’ quality of life and economically sustainable development. The services are reinvented and enhanced through a more efficient use of resources and more economic and environmentally-friendly practices.

Residential Real Estate Startups

Within the context of energy management, it should also be mentioned that Sopra Steria, a European leader in digital transformation, offers digital solutions to its real estate and energy customers that allows them to address energy efficiency challenges.

Some smart buildings and neighborhood initiatives include projects that expand the use of high-efficiency heating and cooling (using biomass; solar thermal, ambient thermal and geothermal heat storage; cogeneration and district heating). Other projects support the construction of nearly zero-energy buildings and positive energy buildings and neighborhoods.

Tech startups are attracting attention in the industry since they are reshaping residential real estate:

  • Listing & Search Services – Include startups that help users search for residential real estate.
  • Marketplaces – Startups that provide matching residential real estate buyers with sellers, among other services.
  • Virtual Viewing – Startups that enable virtual property viewing.
  • Tech-enabled Brokerage – Startups that employ in-house brokers with their own listing services.
  • Leasing-Management Software – Companies that provide tools to brokers and owners and streamline the leasing process, among other services.
  • Mortgage Tech– Includes mortgage lenders as well as software services that aggregate data for borrowers and lenders.
  • Agent Services Companies that build products for real estate agents, such as helping agents to manage their clients.
  • Property Management – Startups that offer tools for property managers, landlords, homeowners, and tenants.
  • Sales and Marketing – Startups that provide predictive marketing, CRM (Customer relationship management), as well as other sales and marketing services, to real estate professionals.
  • Investment – This category includes crowdfunding platforms that allow investors to participate in debt and/or equity financing for real estate.
  • Property Information – Startups providing information and data-driven insights about residential properties.
  • Agent Matching – Startups that connect users directly to qualified agents.
  • Broker-Free List & Search – List and search startups that connect customers straight to the property owner, eliminating the need for a broker.

Residential Real Estate Tech

Job Opportunities in Residential Real Estate Technology

Innovations in residential real estate don’t just provide opportunities for brokers, tenants, and landlords. They also open many doors for future graduates interested in this industry. With more than 200 smart city projects across the globe, there are huge opportunities for IoT vendors, service providers, platform providers, and consulting companies. Thus, for all those interested in previously mentioned fields, employment opportunities are rising.

University programs

Real estate has stopped being just for brokers. Technology is creating new job openings in the industry, which include educational knowledge from software development to online marketing. Therefore, universities offering and providing students with expertise in these fields will be in high demand. Examples of universities offering dedicated programs are:

Bachelor Programs

Masters Programs

The changing Real Estate Industry

In recent years, real estate has evolved from an independent business to a team initiative, with many of the highest earning agents attributing their success to the team. Supporting teamwork will lead real estate agents to provide better customer service, to optimize marketing efforts and to get the motivation to perform at their best. Taking this into consideration, being cooperative and a good team member will be one of the key elements to securing a job in this field.

Technology as a game-changer for residential real estate

Innovation is a key component to the success of any business, including residential real estate. The introduction of technology can be a game-changer for many real estate companies. While some may say that the real estate industry is one of the slowest moving industries when it comes to technology, during the past few years the development of the market has proved the contrary. Also, signs point to continued growth throughout the coming years.

Technology has impacted on many aspects of the real estate industry, from buying, renting and selling, to analyzing, investing and financing. Accepting technological developments can enhance the industry and pave the way for future improvements. New innovations are emerging each year, creating competitive advantages for businesses. Healthy competitiveness will help the industry to strive to be better and to include more technological startups.

To stay on top of industry developments we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You will be informed of all smart city news and events happening near you, as well as new insights as we post them to our website.

If you liked this article, you might also be interested in the impact of Smart Cities on Commercial Real Estate.

Theresa Kern
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