Not too long ago, real estate saw a huge wave of change. For the first time in history, people started making their own "fix and flip" companies in spades. People were beginning to get into developing, and it was no longer a "boy's club" of property owners or a large spread of single-property landlords.
Real estate disruptors now take a wide range of different forms, many of which only recently started to get the attention they deserve. Want to know who's changing the way real estate is being handled? Watch for these trendsetting business styles below.
If you haven't noticed, the internet made buying things a cakewalk—no matter what that thing is. With the case of iBuyers, people are now using sites to bid on homes through sites that allow people to bid on homes instantly. The future of real estate tech can be seen in iBuyer companies, and it sure is bright!
With iBuyer auctions, the home is held up for sale as-is. People who want to invest in it get to bid online. The house goes to the highest bidder, giving people a better way to deal with a need to liquidate a house quickly.
This gives sellers a more transparent platform than what you would usually find in a "cash for homes" business model. From there, the homes are rented out, flipped, or otherwise turned into investment projects.
Did you ever notice how there seems to be an app for everything? We've all noticed it. We live in a techy world. Tech-enabled brokerages understand the need to market homes differently and do so through a wide range of different means—including things like offering VR/AR house tours and streamlining listing services.
One of the more popular ways these brokerages have been gaining traction is to use their tech to reduce the amount of labor that is used in selling a home. By reducing labor costs, brokerages can pay realtors a salary or a flat fee, which, in turn, means significant savings for shoppers.
It seems like passing savings onto homebuyers is the new "it" thing in the real estate world. This is even true when it comes to the ways that buyers' agents are offering up their services. One of the hot new trends is to offer a buyers' rebate.
These are rebates taken out of the agent's commission, paid in cash to the buyer at closing. The idea behind this is simple. Giving cash back at closing can help sweeten the deal of hiring a specific agent, and also act as a straight discount for a homebuyer.
Since tech reduces the labor, a real estate agent has to do. This ends up being less of a pain for the agent than one would expect it to be. After all, they're saving time so they can take on more clients. By passing savings onto real estate buyers, both the realtor and their clients win.
Rent Payment Apps
For most of us that rent homes or apartments, paying rent means that you will need to mail an envelope with a check to a specific place. Or, it means that you will literally have to walk to the rental office to drop off your cash. It's a hassle, and real estate innovators realized that.
One of the newest real estate tech advances to happen should have happened ages ago. It's the use of rent payment apps to turn your monthly check into a two-minute errand that you can do from anywhere in the world.
In the world of COVID-19, people aren't exactly thrilled to go out and meet people. The desire to have virtual tours rather than attend open houses is a real one, for both buyers and sellers. Thankfully, real estate tech made it possible through the use of VR tours.
The concept is simple. A realtor goes through the home and takes a video using a specialized camera. This video turns into a VR/AR tour of the home that someone can see through an Oculus Rift.
You've already heard about real estate brokerages using virtual reality to give "cyber tours" of a person's future home, but truth be told, most buyers find that to be unnecessary. They still generally want to see a home in person before they buy it.
Drone photography, on the other hand, has proven to be a vital marketing tool for homes that have a particularly large build. This type of photography uses a GoPro hooked to a drone to take aerial shots that show the size of the house, as well as the layout of the surrounding area.
The result? Some seriously impressive visual marketing work.
Security Deposit Replacement/Guarantor Companies
Last (but not least) on our list of disrupting businesses is the new practice of bringing guarantor companies to the United States. A guarantor is a person (or business) that guarantees that someone won't skip on rent. These companies also offer a service that replaces security deposits or provide alternatives to them to ensure a lower move-in cost.
If you don't make the minimum rent or if you leave an apartment in shambles, these companies will step in and cover the costs. It's just that simple, and yet, it makes a world of difference.
In cities like New York, the amount that landlords can ask to cover such unforeseen issues is limited. This leads to higher rent prices and higher move-in prices. Having a company as a go-between offers extra coverage while giving renters an easier time.