Although we have seen agents adopt VR, the news has been around large brokerages such as Engles and Volkers offering VR rooms to clients. Most agents and brokerages can see the value in having buyers experience the property before actually touring the home. It is also a huge benefit to those looking at properties in a different town/country.
With cost-effective services such as Matterport, VR enhances an agent's marketing campaign for a property. With high-performance headsets, the rise of VR games, and lower cost headset options, we predict to see continued growth in VR.
In 2018, we predict further exploration of Augmented Reality (AR) in listing as well. Every buyer's agent has heard, "I wonder how my table will look here." This is a question that could be answered with AR. Although the explosion of AR in real estate is likely beyond 2018, it is still a technology to watch closely.
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
You can barely turn a corner without reading some article about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. Some early adopters have made a lot of money with cryptocurrency, and new adopters remain hopeful. Bitcoin has been the main topic of conversation in 2017, but, as speculators jump to other forms of this currency, we predict other forms of cryptocurrency will begin taking off in 2018.
The big question is will people be buying homes with cryptocurrency in the future? There is no doubt in our minds. Will this be widespread in 2018? Unlikely. There was a sale in Texas in 2017, so we will likely see more in 2018, but we don't anticipate this will be a game-changer this year.
Smart devices in one's home is not a new concept. The Nest Thermostat has been around for years and remember the lights you turn on when you clap? We anticipate that this technology will continue to grow in 2018 and more homes will become automated.
Giant companies like Google and Amazon have developed devices to simplify your life at home, and we think others will follow suit. In 2018, we will see more homes that are automated and have advanced technology built right into the house.
We also believe smart features to homes could provide a great ROI for sellers as more buyers are looking for these features in a property.
Automated Real Estate
In today's society, everyone needs everything now. As time marches on, the gap between when a lead comes in and when an agent needs to respond is closing rapidly. Some ISAs are expected to reach out to the lead in less than 1 minute.
Given the pace that is required, automation in your real estate practice will become increasingly important. Startups leveraging automation in real estate are starting to take off as we see agents demanding more complex/automated CRM services. Furthermore, with all the social media channels that an agent is expected to maintain, a lead can come in from anywhere. Automation helps avoid any leads sneaking through the cracks.
This could also lead to a further rise in on-demand real estate agents and brokerages.
It sounds like a broken record when trainers are pushing the importance of video in 2018, but the numbers don't lie. YouTube is the second largest search site, and Facebook has hinted that most of their content could be on video in the next few years. So, if you aren't using video, get on it ASAP.