WASHINGTON, D.C. — If you had a dollar for every time someone made a joke about real estate agents and their unwillingness to accept technology, you’d probably have a full piggy bank.
However, things have changed as technology becomes simpler to use, and agents are starting to get ahead of the tech curve instead of behind it.
Andrew Dorn, vice president for Move Inc./realtor.com, doesn’t see jetpacks or hoverboards changing the landscape of real estate in the next 10 years — instead, he’s looking at creative changes and progress in already existing technologies.
Yes, communication and predictive technology may sound boring, but you might be an industry pioneer after checking out some of the services on the horizon that he presented at Inman Connect on the Road in Washington D.C.
5. 3D Printing
There’s already an entire home in Amsterdam that was built exclusively by a 3D printer, which can create anything from bricks to human ears if you have the right the equipment. Imagine how easy some minor home repair would be?
4. Virtual touring cameras
Dorn believes there will continue to be less open houses and showings in the future, with agents and consumers embracing virtual tours to save time and money. With video and 3D tours already available on many listings services, Dorn believes companies like ALLie — a set of cameras agents can set up in a home that can be controlled and moved around by potential buyers — will not only be more convenient for agents and consumers alike, but also safer for all parties involved.
3. Wearable technology
Maybe Google Glass was just ahead of its time. At least, Dorn believes so.
“More and more things are going to move to this,” he said. “But I have no idea what our underpants will do 20 years from now.” Some of the future wearable products might make you need a new pair of your own, though, like Hexoskin, a shirt that monitors breathing and heart rates, calories and more to track health — or Cuff, wearable jewelry with smartphone capabilities.
Integrating technology into our bodies might sound scary, but it’s not that far away, especially in a country obsessed with efficiency. “Don’t be surprised if you’re able to answer a phone call that’s already in your head or wrist in the next 20 years,” Dorn said.
2. LED lighting
Although not the newest set of technology, Dorn believes LED lights can be a huge advantage for home sellers and real estate offices in the future. Thanks to the cheaper energy costs and longer lifespan, LED lights can make an office look modern and elegant to all visitors — and they can also turn nighttime home tours into magnificent spectacles if done right.
The color of LED lights can also programmed and controlled, changing with your current mode. It might seem like a small touch, but anyone who’s left a bar after 2 a.m. knows just how important the right lighting can be during an appraisal.
1. Holistic messaging
As cloud-based communication services and instant messaging apps continue to take over the day-to-day interactions of our lives, at least the future will probably hold a more streamlined version. Dorn believes SMS text messaging and phone numbers will soon be a thing of the past, with apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and more being available right next to phone-like audio, text and video chats on the same platform.
So instead of having to separately look at 20 conversations in your email inbox, 18 via texting, 12 through Facebook and eight voicemails you still haven’t listened to, you’ll have all of those headaches in one accessible spot.