Just a decade ago, few people could have predicted the substantial influence real estate technology would exert on the industry. The real estate industry had a reputation for being staid and tech-phobic, doggedly tethered to its manual way of doing things. Unlike other industries (healthcare, hospitality) that embraced technology with open arms, the real estate industry opted to wait – until disruptive innovations made “waiting” an impossibility.
As real estate rips the last page of another calendar year, practitioners and consumers look to the new year ahead with curiosity and anticipation. Will emerging technologies upend how we view real estate transactions? How will advancements in marketplace technology affect the consumer experience? And what big-picture changes are on the horizon?
No one can tell for certain. Nevertheless, this article aims to highlight some trends to watch in 2023.
Blockchain Technology Working Its Way into the Transaction Process
Blockchain technology is most closely associated with cryptocurrency, but the emerging tech has applications beyond the Bitcoin market. The concept of an immutable, decentralized and transparent ledger is eminently useful to real estate.
Already, companies are experimenting with blockchain smart contracts to minimize certain costly go-betweens in the transaction process – like lawyers, notary publics and escrows. Storing real estate transactions on the blockchain may also minimize fraud risks (thanks to its public immutability). Will 2023 finally be the year that a broad public embraces blockchain technology in real estate?
Real Estate Digital Marketplaces and the Rise of the Informed Consumer
This one is all but a sure thing, thanks to the massively popular digital marketplace Nobul. Recently topping Deloitte’s “Fast 50” (the 50 fastest-growing tech companies), Nobul is on a hot streak that underscores consumers’ desire for choice and transparency.
According to CEO Regan McGee, Nobul is “all about transparency and empowerment for homebuyers,” enabling buyers and sellers “to openly see the transaction histories, pricing, reviews and services of real estate agents.” Armed with these insights, consumers are more informed than ever, which will have positive knock-on effects in an industry once defined by opacity.
Immersive Technology Facilitating Remote Sales, Competitive Marketing
The global pandemic catalyzed immersive technology’s influence in real estate. But even as the pandemic slowly wanes (depending on whom you ask), virtual and augmented reality remain.
Chiefly, immersive tech has staying power because it benefits both the consumer and practitioners. Consumers touring a home using AI get a clear picture of a prospective property from the convenience of their home devices. (Incidentally, this remote convenience might be helping spur sight-unseen sales). Meanwhile, practitioners leverage an engaging way to market a property amid intense competition.
AI and Machine Learning at the Heart of Everything
Lastly, let’s give a nod to the “big picture” trend in real estate – a trend that’s slowly snowballed over the last half-decade. Artificial intelligence and machine learning used to sound like science fiction to most industry professionals; now, these emerging technologies are a necessary part of the daily routine.
Increasingly, investors use AI/ML to vet investment opportunities, developers use the technologies to accurately pinpoint up-and-coming areas, mortgage experts use algorithms to determine creditworthiness, and practitioners use AI-enabled programs to generate leads. There’s every indication that this trend will reach a crest in 2023.
No one knows what real estate’s future holds. But going off advancements in the last few years, these speculations seem likely. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, investor or agent, keep an eye on these trends in 2023.