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Tech Shaping the Real Estate Industry in 2021

Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels

Slowly and quickly, the world of real estate is being shaped by technological advances. Even websites and tech that people have accepted for years at this point is gaining more and more mainstream usage, especially with many of the pushes of the COVID-19 pandemic moving people to more virtual experiences. Even tech like FaceTime, Zoom, and other video chatting services allowed home sales to proceed with virtual tours and showings in a way that would have been very hard to manage even 15 years prior. 

Here are just a few of the places where technology is moving from the area of ‘new innovation’ to accepted strategy in the world of real estate. 

Homesharing Short-Term Rental Sites

While Airbnb and VRBO have been on the scene for many years, their ubiquity has increased due to the seasons of social distancing. Avoiding a potentially crowded hotel and instead renting a guest house or private apartment in someone’s home became a major trend in short-term rentals last year, according to the Homelight Agents Insights Survey. 

As a result, the tech of easy, app-based homeshare bookings has actually shaped the world of real estate: the market interest in ADUs, or accessory dwelling units, has mushroomed in the past two years. People are looking at their homes not just with an eye to renting a room out long-term but instead to listing that room on a flexible homeshare rental website. 

Online Home Sale Listing Sites

The ability to quickly search for home sales online has had a major effect on, above all, the speed of the real estate sales during this year’s sellers market. First, there are a variety of ways to sell your home quickly to a company, bypassing the normal sales process.  

If you want to follow the normal process, however, being able to evaluate photos of a listing, notice estimated values from data-based companies, and even request a tour all from a website or app has meant that many homes spend only a day or less on the market before multiple offers are ready to be reviewed. This speed sometimes benefits sellers, but when buyers end up regretting their choices and backing out, it can also be a double-edged sword. 

These sites offer an unprecedented amount of information to potential buyers, from walkability scores to school system ratings, and they also offer some of the fastest and easiest connections to get a real estate agent and get started with the purchase process. Gone are the days where you needed a recommendation of an agent from someone by word of mouth; the data can now tell you some of the most effective and productive agents in your area instantly!

Online Mortgage Brokers Relying on Data To Offer Great Rates

With more and more online banks and online mortgage companies, another lightning-fast part of the process these days is actually the pre-approval and home loan underwriting process. Just a few details are enough to get a pre-approval letter, and proprietary tech undergirds many automated underwriting algorithms, allowing them to generate more sophisticated offers and loan terms with less and less human evaluation needed. As a result, there are great opportunities for qualified borrowers when they check both brick-and-mortar banks and online lenders for potential loans.

These, and many other invisible impacts from a world driven by data, are continuing to find efficiencies in the real estate business. The business of buying and selling homes continues to evolve with the arrival of new tools and is likely to continue seeing innovation and broad uptake.