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It's easy to take technology for granted when it so thoroughly permeates our daily lives. But once you step back, you realize how technological advancements have simplified several daily processes. Hailing a cab, grabbing the newspaper and ordering breakfast are all easily accomplishable with a few taps of a mobile app. And that's just the morning.
Technology is seeping into big transactions, too - processes that normally require immense effort, energy and time. In specific, real estate technology (proptech, for short) is improving the homebuying experience by delivering choice, transparency, convenience and engagement.
Below, discover how proptech companies are helping elevate the consumer experience in real estate.
Finding an Agent with Choice, Control and Confidence
The first step many homebuyers take is looking for a real estate agent. At one time, this was a frustrating exercise in grasping at straws. Real estate agents kept their prices opaque, their sales histories hidden, and their listings inaccessible. Worse, it was tough to compare agents qualitatively because of a dearth of verified reviews.
Nobul is addressing those issues. The real estate digital marketplace puts consumers in the driver's seat, allowing them to search for agents according to personal criteria. A homebuyer can search for agents based on verified reviews, sales histories, location, etc., and then the shortlist of agents compete for the homebuyer's business.
Speaking to BNN Bloomberg, founder and tech maverick Regan McGee calls it 'the world's first true digital open marketplace.' Moreover, McGee says the company is 'building a full eco-system, end-to-end real estate, consumer-centric. Buyers and sellers never pay us anything. They never see an ad.'
Easily Applying for Pre-Approval
Next, a homebuyer might apply for pre-approval. Once again, this used to be a taxing endeavor, fraught with physical paperwork, protracted timelines, and several visits to the bank.
Thankfully, technology has streamlined the process. Homebuyers looking for pre-approval can now submit financials and employment proof online (either through mortgage brokers or directly to banks). The whole process is highly automated and takes minutes rather than weeks. Some experts suggest that the mortgage approval process might see another leap in the coming decade as lenders leverage AI-supported bots.
Part of what Nobul did as an end-to-end real estate platform was to simplify how homeowners communicate with agents. The company built a direct communication portal into their site, allowing consumers to 'browse properties, share listings, swap pictures (and) book tours' in real-time with their agents.
These dedicated communication channels are a marked improvement over the old mode of client-consumer contact. Before proptech revolutionized real estate, buyers had to play phone tag or wait on email correspondences, potentially missing out on a time-sensitive opportunity in the meantime.
Engaging Home Tours with Immersive Technology
Convenience isn't the only 'x factor' proptech has up its sleeve. It is also improving the home buying experience with engaging, immersive technology.
In the early days of the pandemic, several agencies looked to augmented and virtual reality proptech companies as a contactless solution for property tours. Even as the pandemic slowly fades into the background, agencies continue to use these technologies to offer engaging showings. With AR and VR, consumers can tour several properties in an afternoon from the comfort of their home computer.
These are just a few ways real estate tech enhances the home buying experience. This list could have easily included digital contracts, blockchain-enabled transactions, data-driven risk analysis and more. From a consumer's perspective, it's exciting to see a once-stalwart industry embrace consumer-centric technology.