According to TechCrunch, "The next generation of real estate technology companies is taking a more expansive approach, dismantling existing systems and reimagining entirely new ones that address our growing demand for affordability, community, and flexibility. The next frontier in real estate technology is as boundless as it is exciting."

Websites, social media, and mobile devices are now among the primary ways consumers search for properties. The broker is still a key part of that process, but accounts for 86% of searches versus 93% for online searches.

What does that mean for you as a real estate broker or investor?

Those professionals who are ahead of the curve and utilize technology to work, buy, and sell more intelligently will have a distinct advantage over their competitors — and will be able to spot trends and deals before they even happen.

Real estate technologies offer four distinct benefits:

1. Day-to-Day Efficiencies

Whether it's being able to plan your annual goals or schedule more accurately, communicate with your team, or cut down on paperwork, every hour you save can be recycled into deal-making and business-building. Additionally, as digitally fluent millennials accumulate wealth and become clients, you will be expected to speak their language.

2. Market Intelligence

More than a third of real estate investors plan to buy more real estate within the next 12 months and many intend to increase their spending over the prior year.  Having an intuitive and immediate source of facts and trends to guide decision-making is a necessity. Investors with a technology advantage may spot the best deals. Brokers with digital savvy and the right platform can earn client trust by presenting the most current facts about neighborhoods and properties.

3. Better and Faster Decision-Making

Whether a house-flipper needs to estimate repair costs before making an offer or a multi-family home investor needs to set rents, technology can provide the most accurate and granular information and prevent costly errors. Because the right commercial real estate technology aggregates data from a variety of reliable sources and makes it all available in one location (along with easy-to-scan graphics), investors and managers can save hundreds of hours in research and calculations. According to Jonathan Schultz of Onyx Equities in an interview for CREtech, "The one big plus has been the cloud has enabled all our information to be de-siloed, which has given instant access to information that was otherwise hard to retrieve."

4. Smarter and Faster Marketing

Building brand awareness with a powerful online media placement or communicating with thousands of prospects with a few keyboard touches are the new realities of real estate marketing. Social media reaches more than 600,000 people on LinkedIn alone. Relationships today are forged and built on screens — large (desktop) and small (mobile and voice).

What's next? Drones, virtual reality tours, and the Internet of Things for homeowners and building managers are just a few of the newer ways technology is changing the real estate industry.

That doesn't mean real estate professionals should chase every tech trend. Focus primarily on those investments that will:

  • Give you a competitive edge on data and trends — potentially saving you thousands (or even millions) in miscalculations
  • Save time in your day-to-day activities
  • Expand and professionalize your marketing quickly and efficiently

As with your real estate investments, be patient when evaluating the ROI of your technology spend. The savings or profit can come from any or all of the above sources, and Propstream has the tools to meet your needs. The fact is, Proptech (the use of technology in real estate transactions) is here to stay, and it's valued as an $18 billion industry.  Your real estate technology investments today are almost certain to pay off.

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