Drones showing aerial views of properties for sale and microchips inside sale signs detecting prospective buyers are some of the technology trends that will highlight the real estate industry in 2017.
In 2016, the US real estate industry barely moved in the wake of a real estate bubble, tighter credit, and reluctant builders.Fortune magazine said that these trends are about to change this year. There will be looser lending standards, though mortgage interest rates are expected to slightly rise. Builders will be encouraged to boost inventory due to “higher wages, looser credit, and increased demand from buyers.” 2017 will also mark the continued rise of medium-sized cities and stronger investments from foreign buyers, mostly from Asia.
Technology is expected to play an important role in the renewed strength of the global real estate industry. Know 6 emerging trends in real estate technology.
Drones helping market listings
According to tech experts, more real estate agents are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to provide potential buyers a comprehensive overview of properties. The aerial images and video footage of homes, nearby amenities, and surrounding areas is especially helpful for buyers based abroad. Drone manufacturers are coming up with better features including high-definition cameras and the ability to control the UAVs with smartphones.
“For most apartments or homes, drone photography is an extravagance. However, it does hold very real appeal to anyone attempting to sell industrial properties, large tracts of land, large estates, or especially photogenic properties,”FastCompany.com noted.
The rise of smart cities
According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the number of interconnected devices will likely rise to 34 billion by 2020 from 10 billion in 2015. The Internet of Things (IoT) or the interconnection of devices is at the forefront of technology trends in the real estate industry. There will be more smart cities that use IoT in improving traffic monitoring, road and lighting management, and integrating communication systems.
“The key link between technological advances and real estate investment performance is productivity. IoT can upgrade efficiency in several ways. Deploying sensors throughout the city helps save time and money by targeting capacity use of transportation systems, lighting, overall energy demand, parking availability, and even necessary pothole repairs,” noted PwC in its2017 Emerging Trends in Real Estate.
The world is preparing for Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is the integration of digital information with live video to enrich user experience. One of the latest AR trends that went global is video game Pokémon that encouraged millions of people to go outdoors and search for video characters. Real estate companies and agents are using AR to level up virtual tours. This technology projects a digital image, such as the interior of a house, on the physical world. The image can be modified for day or night views, or to generate interior or exterior simulations.
“Prospective purchasers or tenants can customize the experience by visual ‘what if’ alterations. As a marketing tool, it is a definite enhancement,” according to PwC. AR will change the way the industry conducts site visits and market properties.
Guided tours by beacon technology
People have been talking about beacon technology lately. “Beacons allow for background positioning and detection, giving new power to a phone that can make it truly ‘smart’,” TechCrunch.com explained. In real estate, beacon transmitters are installed in “For Sale” signs to help agents detect a prospective buyer. The buyer can get all the information he’d need on a particular listing via an app. The beacon can also give buyers a guided tour to a property.
Eco-friendly homes and energy-saving devices have been dominant trends in recent years. Developers are responding to calls for energy efficiency in the midst of overpopulation and consumerism. The US Department of Energy developed the Home Energy Score, a national rating system that reflects the energy efficiency of a home. The agency provides recommendations on how to achieve a high efficiency score and save money. Some of these suggestions include the use of advanced house framing, cool roofs, and passive solar home design.
In the Philippines, DMCI Homes pioneered Lumiventt Technology, an architectural innovation that allows the natural flow of air and sunlight.Prisma Residences’ Sky Patios showcase the benefits of Lumiventt. “There are Sky Patios as well as garden atriums located in every five floors, and single loaded corridors and breezeways that all in all create a spacious, breezy, and bright environment,” according to DMCI. Brixton Place, another resort-style condo community by DMCI, is also designed using Lumiventt Technology.
Pockets of nature in urban spaces
Studies show that living near green spaces promotes human health. Parks and open areas in cities offer opportunities for physical activity, stress management, and social interactions. More local governments are recognizing the benefits of green spaces, thus the increased efforts to incorporate these in urban planning. Real estate developers are also infusing landscaped areas and indoor gardens in newer projects.
Vertical farming introduced by tech entrepreneurs is making a buzz on social media. Grove Labs, a US-based startup, designs sensor-controlled gardens that allow households to grow vegetation indoors. With the use of energy-efficient LED lighting and automated systems, the cost of growing fruits, vegetable, and herbs is drastically reduced. Aquaponics enables households to grow food in limited spaces in cities. PodPonics, another US start-up, uses custom-built software to grow greens in small shipping containers or “pods.” The software controls the supply of water and schedules LED lighting to save on electricity.
The real estate outlook for 2017 is more vibrant compared to the past year. Whether in the US, Europe or Asia, property buyers are more willing to purchase and developers more keen to boost inventory. Tech trends will play a role in the growth of the real estate industry. IoT will continue to power cities and real estate projects, builders will give emphasis on energy efficiency and green spaces, and real estate agents will be maximizing new gadgets to level up customer experience.