3 Real Estate Industry Tech Trends for 2015

Posted by Amrock

The real estate industry isn’t always known for its tech
savvy. Technology has become more prevalent in the industry in recent years,
though. More agents are listing homes online, complete with virtual tours, and
various aspects of the real estate closing process are being completed
electronically.

As we move into 2015, you can expect to see technology used
more in the real estate industry. Here are three real estate industry tech
trends likely to gain ground in the coming year:
 
1. Mobile Devices
Become More Prevalent in House Hunting

 Listings have been online for years. However, as the
demographic for house hunters begins skewing younger, mobile devices are likely
to become a major part of shopping for a home. Millennials might not quite be ready to buy homes, but there are some
indications that some in the younger generation could start thinking about home ownership in 2015.

Last year, a report from Millennial Media and comScore
indicated that only 44 percent of online content is consumed on desktops. Mobile-only
users are growing at a pace nine times faster than new Internet users, and
desktop users continue to decrease. This trend is making its appearance in
online real estate searches as well.

A joint study by the National Association of REALTORS and
Google
indicates that 89 percent of new home shoppers use a mobile
search engine. Not only that, but about 45 percent of homebuyers use their
mobile devices to ask for more information about listings. A partnership between Uber and Trulia only
further emphasizes the integration between mobile apps and real estate apps.

All of this means that your real estate website should be
more accessible to mobile users. Mobile is the wave of the future, and it’s
already the platform of choice for today’s homebuyers.

2. eRecording
Continues to Expand, Along with Title Production and Closing Integration

As of November 1, 2014, the Property Records Industry
Association (PRIA) reports that more than 1,200 recording jurisdictions use
eRecording in real estate transactions. This only represents about one-third of
the recording jurisdictions in the United States, but eRecording is growing at
a rapid pace, increasing by more than 20 percent between August 2013 and
November 2014, according to PRIA information.

Not only is eRecording becoming more prevalent, but the
process is becoming increasingly integrated with title production and closing
integration. Companies like reQuire and SnapClose offer technology
solutions that integrate every aspect of a real estate transaction. Title
companies can use these technology offerings to perform searches as well as
complete all of the paperwork associated with title production.

Programs designed to streamline the process from start to finish
offer title companies and closing agents an easy way to communicate with
lenders, buyers, and sellers, connecting all the parties, all while managing
the process. When combined with eRecording, the process is even easier to
manage, including for those buyers and sellers whomight be separated by
thousands of miles. With new closing compliance disclosures and regulations
going into effect, look for more proprietary programs and retail platforms
designed to streamline the process and help those in the real estate industry
better manage their transactions.

 3. Drones for Real
Estate Photography

The world seems obsessed with drones. A number of videos are available showing images captured using drones.
This technology is something that is likely to be adopted by the real estate
industry. According to Zillow, drones might be very useful in real estate photography
for the following reasons:
●    
The ability to get high-quality, elevated images
inexpensively, without the need for helicopters and planes.
●    
Showing homebuyers what the entire property looks like,
as well as the neighborhood and surrounding area.
●    
Allowing homebuyers to visualize the walk to school or
the drive home.

There is still a debate over the use of drones, and there
are privacy concerns, but by and large Zillow points out that there are plenty
of people eager to use them more, and they could take real estate photography
to the next level.

It’s already becoming popular to show 3D walkthroughs of homes and include video
tours of homes on listings. As more homebuyers want the “real” experience of a
home without actually going to the home to check it out, these technologies are
likely to grow in popularity and use during the coming year.

Bonus: 3D Printed
Homes

It looks as though the 3D printing industry is picking up steam. It’s
true that 3D printers have been around for years, but they are just becoming
popular. Now, it appears that it’s even possible to use 3D printing to create
homes. According to reports, a Chinese company called WinSun has been printing homes,
including a five-story apartment building and a luxury villa (complete with
decorative elements).

While this technology for homes isn’t likely to take off in
2015, it’s not inconceivable that 3D printing could provide inexpensive real
estate options for more buyers in the coming years.