What’s new in real estate tech

Larissa Gardner
4 min read

Agents and property managers (PM) alike are adopting all kinds of new technologies to get the edge over their competitors and streamline the way real estate is bought and leased in Australia.

New technologies are freeing up agents and PM from a lot of repetitive paperwork and less than exciting admin work, allowing them to focus on more important tasks like prospecting and face-to-face relationship building.

Here are some of the latest emerging tech advancements that may be worth investing in and exploring in the real estate industry of the not too distant future.

Virtual reality inspections

The next logical step in advancement from 2D listing video tours is immersive 3D virtual reality (VR) property tours. Thanks to amazing VR technology like Scann3d’s Matterport camera which can scan a house in 3D and convert it into a VR tour within an hour, homebuyers and renters can get a feel for the size and layout of a home without having to attend a physical inspection.

Think of the potential benefits VR tours can offer clients. VR would give buyers greater reassurance when buying off-the-plan property and give overseas and interstate buyers and renters the chance to ‘walk around’ a home when they can’t make it to the physical inspections. Consumers only need a smartphone, a VR headset and they’re free to tour the space at their leisure as many times as they want. 

 Image: Laurent Villeseche, Herald Sun
Image: Laurent Villeseche, Herald Sun

Virtual staging

Most agents and PM are probably savvy to the struggles of drumming up interest for dull, unfurnished properties. Rather than hiring a costly home stager to bring in furniture or if you don’t have time to stage the home before listing photography is due, professional photographers can now dress vacant homes with virtual furniture to make the home more appealing in marketing materials.

The photographer shoots the property as usual and then cleverly uses 3D images of furniture to stage the home. They can even add reflections and shadows from furniture for heightened authenticity.

Adding furniture to a vacant home will heighten its appeal to buyers and renters in advertisements by showing them the scale and functionality of each room. It can also be beneficial to have a home virtually staged to draw in interest if a property has run down or out of date furniture that detracts from the home and may put off some buyers.

 Image: Property Digital
Image: Property Digital

Online rental applications

The technology saving PM loads of time and headaches are free online rental application forms (such as tApp and 1form). Online application platforms like these streamline the process of finding suitable tenants by allowing you to compare applicant details side by side and notify successful/unsuccessful applicants in bulk.

Gone are the days of trawling through piles of paper rental applications on your desk and manually entering the details of every successful tenant into your property management system. These handy platforms allow you to import new tenants’ details straight into your property management software and you’re good to go.

Digital signboards

Show your clients and passers-by that you’re at the forefront of real estate technology by installing an HD digital signboard. Ideal for premium listings, busy foot traffic areas and slow car speed zones, you can deliver all the information buyers need about your listing in an eye-catching visual and audio display.

Best of all you can update your property sign remotely (i.e. auction date, upcoming inspection times and sale outcomes), they’re weather and vandal proof, and surprisingly they come at only a slightly higher price than a regular static sale board.

 Image: Campaign Track
Image: Campaign Track

Drone videos

It’s becoming increasingly popular for agents to showcase the best aspects of their listings via drone shot video and photography. Not only is drone captured imagery very cool, it can be used to immediately show buyers where the home sits on the block, unique property features (i.e. swimming pool, tennis court, garden etc.), the size of the land, proximity to neighbours and neighbourhood amenities.

Before booking in a licensed drone operator check out samples of their work, make sure there are no visual obstructions directly over the property that would prevent good footage and ensure you’re clear on what you want to capture from aerial shots of the property and its surrounds that can’t be achieved with standard photography.

Live streamed auctions

Many agents are increasing their auction audiences and getting more bidders by live streaming their auctions online. This gives curious, shy and international buyers the ability to tune in and bid from anywhere in the world.

For example, Ray White have been running professionally produced live auction streams since 2014, which allow for live online bidding through a PC or iPhone using the AuctionEar app. According to the Australian Financial Review Ray White have streamed over 700 auctions online where 17,000 buyers have bid from all over the world, for properties ranging from $265,000 to $5.45 million.

Inspection apps

Put away your clipboards, pens and paper this weekend, and let free open for inspection apps (like Open House ID and RealtyMate) streamline the whole process for you. With these apps you can enter or scan in visitors details (bonus: it will auto fill people you’ve met before), export visitor details in a CSV file, SMS or email visitors and vendors post inspection updates and sync new clients with your CRM.

Think of the time you’ll save from not having to laboriously take down contact details, freeing up more opportunity for engaging and useful conversations to qualify potential buyers at inspections.

Early adopters of these kinds of technologies will reap the rewards in not only the time they save, but through the new business they’ll attract from being ahead of the curve in new real estate tech.

For more ways to save time at work check out these eight productivity boosting tools for agents.

Larissa Gardner
Larissa Gardner is the Marketing Manager at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website homely.com.au. With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, homely.com.au helps millions of Australians find their next home.

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