Real estate technology, often called proptech by those in the industry, is having a banner year in 2022. The industry, once infamously inured to a low-tech way of operating, is beginning to come out of its shell. New practitioners are embracing the suite of modern technological offerings with open arms. Meanwhile, long-time industry stalwarts are warming to the idea.
Why now? Why is this long overdue shift happening currently? Why, as the title of this article presents, is real estate technology skyrocketing in 2022? Let’s take a closer look.
Real estate technology is gaining ground because it’s finally shifting power to consumers. Sure, prominent real estate websites like Zillow still take money from realtors for leads (essentially making users the product), but new marketplaces are changing that dynamic.
Nobul, a real estate digital marketplace, helps consumers by enabling them to see the transaction histories, pricing, reviews and services of real estate agents. After a buyer/seller inputs their preferred criteria, agents can compete for the consumer’s business.
Founder Regan McGee shared that “we are seeing a huge increase in the use of our platform as we are witnessing industry-wide acceptance of new technologies”. In his interview with SuperbCrew, he explained that the company “brings choice, accountability and transparency” to the real estate industry.
Real estate technology is skyrocketing in 2022 because technology in general is surging. According to Statista, internet penetration (i.e., the number of regular internet users) is close to 95% in North America – and closer to 100% among people aged 18 to 49. Meanwhile, smartphone penetration hovers around 83% in America across demographics.
As more people rely on their phones and computers to complete routine tasks, it stands to reason that more real estate consumers will do the same. Recent statistics bear out this assumption; the New York Times reports that an increasing number of consumers say they are willing to buy their homes online.
Modern consumers have become accustomed to convenience. If you want a taxi, you open Uber. If you need groceries, you open Instacart. And if you want to invest a portion of your latest pay-cheque, you can tap E-Trade, Fidelity, Robinhood or the 50 other investing apps on the market.
As the latter example demonstrates, consumers are willing to entrust even significant transactions to tech companies. So, it’s no surprise that proptech tools like e-signing, digital home valuations, online listings and fast pre-qualifications are gaining ground. They add convenience to the real estate buying/selling process.
Another potential reason for the surge in real estate technology is the rise of sight-unseen sales. Since the pandemic’s start, experts estimate that remote sales rose significantly, whipping several local markets into a buying frenzy.
And naturally, sight-unseen sales require digital solutions. Augmented reality and virtual reality home tours have skyrocketed in popularity since 2020. And large online real estate databases like Zillow posted record numbers of visitors.
Hopefully, this article explains why real estate technology is gaining traction in the industry. Next time you consider buying or selling property, don’t be surprised if you come across innovative new technologies.