Real Estate in the Digital Age
We live in a world that has become digitalized and are able to access and share information at the click of button. This shift has caused many things to change in our day-to-day life from small mundane tasks such as shopping for groceries to signing multi-million dollar contracts for our businesses, industries across the globe have automized their business models to keep up with public demand of fast, efficient, and easy service. The real estate industry is a prime example of how one traditional business, changed to fit the current digital landscape.
“In 1981, 22 percent of home buyers read newspaper ads to find a home and eight percent used friends as an information source. In 2018, 44 percent looked for properties online first.” In 2018 Less than 1% used a newspaper to find a house.
Sources: NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2019 & 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
We as investors and buyers now have a lot of different resources that can let us search by location and neighborhoods; Google Maps for example can let us jump to anywhere in the world and let us view homes and streets to see if a neighborhood is acceptable to live in. Most homes you can research online now also have virtual tours so buyers can look inside their favorite homes while narrowing down their search, this can save a researcher tremendous amounts of time.
Finding great off-market properties such as county foreclosure auctions, tax deed auctions, and wholesale properties have never been easier. A few decades ago, you would have to compile tons of paperwork and documents, go to the steps of the county courthouse and bid at a live auction, a huge amount of time and effort that often required a fulltime staff working under you. Not only was this a great inconvenience, but it was also geographically limiting to where you could find a good investment property.
The demand for fast, efficient, and easy service for investors to research and save time is why PropertyOnion.com was created. By narrowing down properties based on filtered searches such as city, bed, bath, sqft and with tools such as title searches. Investors are now able to compare, and contrast homes based on the criteria they’re searching for. These county auction and wholesale properties are NOT listed on the MLS so without a website like ours and computers in general, this large swath of discount real estate would go completely unnoticed. Deals that were once reserved for those “in the know” with some insider info only are now available to the general public.
In the eighties the top way get advice on a potential home was through an agent or expert who was usually referred through by friends, relatives or neighbors. Now home buyers can search for experts or ask questions in social media like real estate groups on Facebook or Linkedin or popuar website forums dedicated to niche’s in real estate. Websites like these have created a new medium to connect investors, buyers, and sellers, creating a community where information is shared and used for a common good. Networking in real estate has always been vital and this day in age it has never been easier to connect with someone who can help you achieve your goals.
Before the internet if you wanted to buy a house, you were glued to the classified section of your local newspaper each Sunday, perhaps catch a local community access real estate for sale show on Sunday mornings. There was no real way to understand the market you lived in and all the inventory that was for sale without consulting a local real estate agent. Most would even say you never were fully aware of the market trends until AFTER you purchased a home if at all. Now a relatively in-depth analysis of the local market can be done over a Sunday morning coffee & a laptop and a few websites by anyone.
The world we live in has changed; it has never been easier to access information. How we use it is so crucial for the longevity of the real estate industry. Processing the abundance of data and resources is a big responsibility and we need to use it for the common good to keep moving the industry forward. Holding a finger into the air you can easily feel the winds blow toward “disruption” in the typical real estate model as everything is moving toward automated digital sales and transactions. It feels as if this is enabling the consumer to have more control over their own buying and selling than ever before, hopefully this proves to be a good thing and not another real estate disaster in the making.