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3 Key Digital Trends Real Estate Businesses Should Look Out For In 2020

By Fraser Gillies

The real estate landscape has changed. 

Gone are the days where “For Sale” signs on front lawns best described successful PR practices for realtors. 

Today, technological shifts and changes in consumer preferences mean that real estate exposure is moving from the real world to the online world. 

The digital revolution is here and it’s not going away. 

2020 will be the start of a new decade and marks a significant shift in the profile of homebuyers. In 2019, statistics showed that millennials had 45% of the market share, and are securing stable jobs in greater frequency.

What does this say to all of you realtors? Well, you can start by making  the internet your primary resource when targeting buyers and sellers within the housing market. 

To do this, your real estate business must pay close attention to market changes and new technologies being used. To help you out, we’ve picked out three key digital trends that could be the difference between making or breaking your real estate business prosperity.

Augmented And Virtual Reality

It may seem synonymous with video games and the IMAX cinema, but AR and VR are steadily becoming part and parcel of the real estate game.

As immersive technologies, both AR and VR can give potential home buyers the feeling of taking a property tour from the comfort of their sofa. 

Holoportation, for example, allows you to move around a property and interact with its environment. This means realtors can take a prospective buyer on a virtual home tour from anywhere with an internet connection. A massive plus for real estate companies with a large number of foreign clients. 

Moreover, AR applications like IKEA Place can be downloaded straight to a mobile device, and give future homeowners an idea of what furniture may look like in their new houses. IKEA’s app takes a 3D photo of a piece of furniture and maps it onto a living space. 

Although it remains relatively new technology in real estate (AR applications only came into the retail market in 2017), VR and AR is going to play a big part in the future of the industry. 

According to Goldman Sachs, the VR market will be worth $80 billion by 2025, of which $2.6 billion will belong to real estate. On top of this, a RoOomy showed that 14.1% of consumers had involved AR or VR in searching for property.

CRM Software and Big Data Management

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a mainstay in the majority of successful businesses big and small.

In 2008 a meager 13% used cloud-based CRM software. By 2017, that same percentage represented businesses that didn’t use cloud-based CRM. 

The writing really is on the wall if your real estate business isn’t using CRM.

Salesforce’s acquisition Pardot reported that a mammoth 79% of marketing based leads fail to convert into sales for businesses without CRM software guiding its consumer interactions. The outlook for 2020 is that CRM is getting bigger and more sophisticated – realtors need to get on the train or risk losing out on a lot of potential clients. 

Software solutions specialist, SAP, has predicted companies operating their businesses through cloud CRM software will be increasingly likely to dominate their respective markets over the next decade.

For real estate businesses, managing your customers’ big data from one place is an absolute necessity. With cloud-based CRM, realtors are keeping on top of existing clients’ needs while targeting new leads on a large scale. Automating campaigns like email funnels and performing analyses on who views the monthly e-newsletter are just some of the tasks synonymous with CRM.If you’re looking for a CRM that’s tailored to Realtors needs, IXACT Contact has built cloud-based software that’s geared towards building relationships with homeowners.

Smartphone and Tablet Compatibility

Smartphones popularity for social media interactions is well understood – but what about their use for businesses?

Smartphones are more than just a tool for communication. 

Millennials are increasingly making up a large chunk of the home buyer market share.  This age demographic has a near ubiquitous relationship with smartphones and are already forcing realtors to pay more attention to mobile technology. In 2019, 73% of home-related searches came from mobiles, tablets, or app-based devices, a statistic that we will see increasing even further over the next decade.

Concerning mobile apps, industry trailblazers like Zillow and Bigger Pockets have paved the roads for other realtors to follow suit in 2020. Their apps are well established within the home buyer and seller communities, and will most likely encourage smaller realtors to catalog their own properties on a mobile app.

Hiring a mobile app developer is as inexpensive as $15 an hour, which will likely tempt real estate startups to create platforms on Android and iPhone devices.

Rounding up 

Our ever-evolving digital universe is slowly tightening its grip on business practice across all industries. 

The real estate industry is no different. PWC predicts that by next year, the global market will have grown to over $45 trillion in value.

Having a handle on what your competitors are doing, as well as what home buyers and sellers are doing, can be the key to creating a dynamite marketing strategy or an eye-catching PR campaign

2020 will draw a bright line between realtors who’ll achieve and realtors who’ll fade into the unknown. Follow these trends, and keep your ear to the digital grindstone, and guarantee that your company is the former rather than the latter.

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