The march of technology is unstoppable. Every day there are new ways that emerging and disruptive tech is changing every aspect of our lives. One particular area where such innovations are, perhaps quietly, making a lot of difference, is the real estate and property sector. From blockchain to apps, online comparisons, and augmented reality, new tech is slowly bringing this somewhat stagnant market into the 21st century.
It’s now possible to look around properties without leaving your home. This is due to developments in the fields of virtual and augmented reality. Virtual reality gives prospective buyers the chance to explore properties via computer or mobile through “walk-throughs’ that take place on-screen. People can visit any time of day or night and spend as long as they like in the virtual representation of the property.
AR is being used to take this one step further. By creating an AR layout of the property, the user can experiment with different kinds of decor and furniture, removing previous visualization barriers. For example, they can put their own existing furniture into the prospective property to see if it is suitable for their tastes. This empowers buyers to make more informed and concrete decisions.
Searching for a good mortgage deal can be one of the most time-consuming parts of the process. Figuring out what you can afford, comparing offers, and looking for the best rates can be incredibly stressful and includes a lot of manual work.
Thankfully, there are a number of sites like Trussle which provide online mortgage and remortgage comparison services. This means users can input all their data and financials and with the click of a button, offers from leading providers are displayed all in one place. This is a significant improvement on the old way of doing things which involved meeting brokers and wading through pages of paperwork.
Another way technology is aiding the financial aspects of moving house is through the convenience offered by money managing apps. More and more people are opting to use online banking apps instead of conventional banks. This means they are in total control of their money and can make transfers with a swipe of a thumb and facial recognition authorization.
The buying process
We’ve all heard of blockchain, but how is this technology infiltrating the property market? Smart contracts are bits of blockchain code that facilitate self-executing actions in sequence, based on the satisfaction of predetermined criteria. Simply put, you can create a property selling/buying smart contract that involves all stakeholders such as buyer, seller, lawyer, real estate agent, surveyor, and mortgage provider.
Steps of the process can be created including the submission of the survey, transfer of deposit, contract signing, release of funds, and completion. But each step cannot be accessed until the previous one has been completed. Smart contracts have the power to significantly simplify the process, saving time, money, and eliminating human error. Furthermore, every step or transaction is immutable, meaning there is no room for confusion or tampering. Blockchain is being widely adopted, not just in private real estate but in the commercial market as well.
The way things are going, it’s likely we will see human mortgage brokers becoming less common. Similarly, the role of the estate agent may change to become more of a facilitator and less of an integral part of the buying process.
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