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Technology has had a deep impact in the lives of every American. Thus, it should come as no surprise that it has also become interwoven into the fabric of almost every aspect of everyday living. This includes the buying, selling, and management of residential, multifamily, and commercial real estate. With a market valued at over $40 trillion, making it the single largest domestic-owned asset, the real estate sector has presented challenges when it comes to incorporating recent technological advances into its daily operations. Even as certain aspects of the market have fully embraced tech, others have struggled finding their way in this new world.

Lining Up Buyers and Sellers with Brokers

If you’re searching for the area of the real estate market where tech has had the greatest impact, look no further than the residential sector. Brokerage apps now allow you, as a broker, to both proliferate listings to a mass audience and give your buyers a resource to use when evaluating their purchasing options. While a number of these apps have been introduced in recent years, those that have risen to dominate this particular tech space include:

  • Hightower
  • Compass
  • Redfin
  • CompStak

These differ from traditional realty websites in that while realtors tend to limit their financing listing to regional lenders with whom they have established relationships, these new brokerage apps allow users access to the newest real estate technological tool: online mortgage services. New services such as Rocket Mortgage by Quicken allow prospective buyers to submit applications, get prequalified, and research their financing options in a mere matter of minutes.

Smart Assistance for Startups

Commercial real estate is another area of the American realty market that has also made great strides in incorporating technology. Yet along with using the tools listed above to help tenants locate space to lease, the CRE market has also adopted a new approach to helping businesses, particularly startups, support their operations. Incubator organizations and city-sponsored co-operatives allow small businesses access to operational space while also providing technological and support services. These allow. These services give those running startup companies the chance to focus on their businesses rather than worrying about how they’re going to afford their overhead. Typically, the costs for rent, staffing, and IT are spread out across the members of the incubator, or are covered by a sponsoring institution.

Underutilized Resources for Rental Property Information

However, one segment of the real estate sector that has shown to be lagging in embracing tech is multifamily rental housing. This may seem somewhat surprising to you given that it represents the fastest-growing segment in the market. Yet the chief complaint that many tenants across the country share is that they’re still unable to pay their rent electronically. This seems surprising given the capabilities of online property management systems. Even these tools, however, are viewed by industry insiders as being underutilized. The hope is that property owners simply aren’t aware of their capabilities, and that as they’re discovered, the potential these systems offer in capturing and sharing tenant data will allow the multifamily sector to catch up with the rest of the market.   

It is said that technology is at its best when solving issues related to matter, space, energy, or time. Where it falls short is in dealing with problems of the human mind. Perhaps nowhere has that been more evident in its integration into the real estate sector. However, if the early success that technological updates in certain real estate markets have shown as anything, it’s that once tech does finally establish a firm foothold in the real estate industry, it will rapidly change it for the better for both clients and brokers.

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Julep