Six Hot Trends that are Super Cool for Consumers!
- Virtual Experiences – The trend is to showcase properties while delivering consumers
an engaging experience that also saves them time. In addition to creative videos, this includes 3D touring, virtual reality, drone photography, virtual staging and even hologram projection of furniture into rooms. 3D tours enable viewers to virtually walk through a property while using their computer mouse to “go” anywhere in the home. The tool also creates a virtual doll house that lets buyers float through the floors and get an overall feel for the layout, orientation, and flow. Inman News recently talked about virtual reality tours that use special goggles to create an experience close to being there in person as well as gear that projects holograms of furniture into a space to visualize it “for real”. Last, but not least, busy or far-away consumers can benefit from a live virtual tour via Skype.
- Social Media Exuberance – Okay you might have guessed this one, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. Social media can provide a much richer perspective and bring added value beyond what a typical website can offer when evaluating a potential Realtor. Does the agent share useful information and resources? Do they have a strong presence on multiple platforms including a blog? Do they leverage this presence to promote client listings for maximum internet exposure? Are they creative, resourceful, knowledgeable, personable? Do they share insights from past customers? What do they do in their spare time? Many consumers are looking into these types of questions with a simple online search or searches within social media platforms.
- Mobile Optimization – Everyone’s on the go! The trend is for people to consume web content on their mobile devices. Statista.com predicts a 57% increase in global mobile web traffic per year through 2019. The most recent click reports I received from my e-newsletter show that readers opening the email on a mobile device versus a computer range between 50-70%. So more and more real estate websites and blogs are becoming mobile friendly and optimizing for the best mobile experience. Mobile apps are also on the rise. William Raveis provides a comprehensive Real Estate App. The company has also released a Mortgage App that enables home buyers to start their pre-approval process right from their phone! And hot off the press is the Raveis Open House App that lets guests type in their name, phone, and email and then request a complimentary home value report, mortgage pre-approval and Local Housing e-Newsletter for the town of their choice!
- Mortgage Magic – Instead of misery. The complex process is now streamlined with new technology that gives consumers the efficiency and transparency they need and deserve. William Raveis Mortgage addresses the first critical step by providing buyers with a certified loan pre-approval followed by electronic milestone tracking of their loan process that also keeps all the players on track. Borrowers view a bold graphic showing a clear progression of the steps and status across their screen. The icing on the cake? Sign documents electronically from wherever you are!
- Accurate Value Estimates – We’ve all heard of the Zestimate, and most of us are well aware of the frustrations with inconsistent results, incorrect data and inability to correct errors. “What is my home worth?” is the question people are always asking. Savvy consumers want a quality tool to help them estimate the market value of their property. William Raveis recently launched the RAVestimate. The interactive technology lets consumers input specific home improvements and then work with comparable sales data that they select. The company tested the tool and documented extraordinary accuracy.
- Predictive Marketing – Advanced intelligence and predictive modeling to help buyers before they ask are up and coming. Consumer data and predictive analytics will be used to anticipate home buying goals, preferences, and timing. So in the not-too-distant future, Realtors, lenders, and perhaps the perfect home may be finding the buyer before they even know they are going to buy!
Which trends to you think have the most promise? What other trends are you seeing that are consumer driven? From a consumer perspective, what new technology services would you like to see?
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