When technology saw the cumbersomeness of a typewriter, it gave us a laptop. When technology saw how limited the landline was, it gave us the Smartphone. When it saw our curiosity about the infinite universe, it gave us telescopes to look beyond the stars. To say technology makes things better is not an accurate statement; it makes things, industries, and lifestyles progress and enter the next phase of their lifecycle. Real estate is no exception.
In just a span of 20 years, technology has become an integral part of every aspect of the global real estate industry. Everything from home buying to selling is easier, faster and better. So let’s go ahead and take a deep dive into 4 ways in which technology has changed Canadian real estate forever.
VIRTUAL VIEWING-Welcome to The Matrix!
Covid-19 hit all forms of industries and businesses hard, but real estate kind of took the brunt of the hit because of the lockdowns. See a big part of buying or selling a house is for the potential buyers to have a walk around the property and get hands-on experience that is why we have concepts like open houses. But during the lockdown, this was not a possibility, so buyers and sellers alike stopped looking for each other while the realtors were left wondering if they should change professions.
Enters technology, with virtual viewing and a free ticket into the matrix. It allowed homebuyers and even renters to take virtual tours of the property they might make their home in during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Every detail of the property was on full display, making the experience exactly like a physical visit. Fast forward to 2023, and the lockdowns are gone, but the VR has stayed particularly in pre-construction transactions.
DIGITAL MARKETING-The Social Network
Back in the day advertising your property for sale or your services as a realtor was like making an attempt to solve a paradox. Methods like flyers, billboards and newspaper ads were reliable but expensive on the other hand word of mouth was free but unreliable. Factor in the fact that real estate is a highly competitive market, and not being able to market your product or services is a death sentence in this line of business, and you have the recipe for countless sleepless nights.
Or so it would have been if technology didn’t intervene with digital marketing. Social media has become a big part of our lives, and with its advancement advertising your property or your expertise as a realtor is now nothing more than a matter of a few clicks. The competition is still there, yes, but now you are on an equal playing field, making it an absolutely fair game.
MLS LISTINGS- Everything everywhere, all at once
If the last point concerns realtors and sellers, this one entirely concerns the buyers. Lets it put it this way-try imagine a world in which the internet doesn’t exist, I know it’s horrifying but try anyway. Now let’s say you have to find the home of your dreams in this world; how many homes do you think you will be able to survey while taking off from work, travelling to different locations, all the while spending money on gas/transportation before you actually find it? Whatever that number is, add about a million (over 6 million if you use The Canadian Home) to it because that’s how many you can survey right from your home by using just one of the many MLS listing websites available.
By changing just one thing, technology outright erased many of the costs involved in the home-buying process and, at the same time, increased your options exponentially.
MOBILE APPS- Real estate unchained
For the longest time, Canadian real estate has been a thing of tradition but now the tradition is being set aside by the latest Canadian real estate apps. Everything has a designated time and place and a process to follow. You cannot just leave and pick up where you left off, or at least that’s how it used to be until, just like every time, technology swooped in and saved the day again. Buyers and sellers can find properties, monitor their deals, and stay in touch with their brokers from the convenience of their mobile devices. Customers may now electronically sign contracts, speeding up the buying and selling process dramatically from the days of pen and paper.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
On March 22, 2023, Openn NA, a North American Prop-tech company, officially launched in Canada in collaboration with Canadian Real Estate Association (“CREA”). This venture aims to revolutionise Canadian real estate by introducing transparency in the offer process of real estate transactions for buyers, sellers and realtors. This signifies that the real estate governing bodies in Canada understand entirely the profound effect technology has had on the real estate industry, and they believe that the future is intertwined.