Many people feel the pandemic has changed the game of real estate for the long term, and although this is correct, technology has been the real game-changer. When the world locked down due to the onset of the pandemic, it was easily done because technology allowed for it to be so. Had we not had the technology, chances are, we may not have had the ability to lockdown, and a lot of restrictions would never have been enacted.
With a lot of people having no alternative except to work from home, a lot of truths about the way of life of many people coupled with their living arrangements began to be called into question. Because of technology, everything has changed, and here are a few ways that can be seen in the real estate market today.
Space Is Paramount
To be honest, a lot of people want to prepare themselves for another pandemic. What if we have to shut down again? What if that shut down comes sooner than later? In order to be prepared, people want space. Because technology allows everyone to work from home, offices are shutting their doors, and everyone is working from their bedrooms and living rooms. People want more space.
People are now buying homes with an extra room in order to have an office. There now needs to be a special place in people’s homes for all of their work technologies. When job hunting, a lot of businesses that are hiring are asking potential candidates to be fully equipped with their own home office. This is affecting the sale of homes and apartments with extra bedrooms.
Location Is Non-Negotiable
Because technology is allowing an expanded work experience, people won’t budge when it comes to location. Before the pandemic, when people had to report to the office, people needed to be centrally located to where they work. This enabled them to be able to walk to work or not have a long commute in a crowded city or sit in a lot of traffic in the outlying areas.
Now, people can live wherever they want and they will not budge when it comes to what they want. People can now work in the mountains, by the beach, in the suburbs, or in their friends’ homes as they travel around the country. Real estate agents have to start expanding their inventory.
Agencies Must Adapt
The biggest hit is that agents and brokers are being forced to adapt. Major real estate companies like Compass Real Estate know how important it is to give the client what they want and they are seeing that clients now have a cornucopia of places to choose from. As a result, major brokerage firms are pairing with independent agents to expand their reach. Agents are starting to acquire listings all over a city or just outside a city in order to keep up with the changing tastes of the workplace.
It’s the same in the corporate sector as well. Offices are closing up and choosing not to reopen, and there is an overabundance of commercial spaces available that may need to be repurposed.
What Will Happen To Commercial Spaces?
Agents have been asking themselves this question since the start of the pandemic. Technology has eliminated the traditional workspace. Through online video conferencing platforms, companies are linking together offices all around the world with ease. In-person meetings are not required at this time.
There has been an incredible success with companies like Convene, Bond, and WeWork that are using the shared office space idea to adapt to the new business landscape. Companies are finding it easier to give their employees memberships to these spaces so they don’t have to pay for a full office of their own, leaving these commercial spaces empty.
It has been hypothesized that some of these spaces will be redesigned to be residential giving people access to more inventory in their favorite neighborhoods.
Home Buying Has Changed
In the United States in 2020, 63% of home buyers bid on homes they never physically set foot in. That’s a huge statistic. Technology means, just as in business, you don’t have to be there in person to make it work and get what you want. With online brokerage apps like Zillow and StreetEase, people are sitting in their home offices looking at video tours of homes, listings for homes, and information about specific listings, and applying to buy and rent without walking out of the room.
Financial information is easily shared, and homes are bought and sold without shaking a hand. This kind of technology does not eliminate the agent or put an end to the client/agent relationship, but it completely changes the way the game is played.
Demand Is High
Where once a person had to go to a real estate agency in order to know what was listed and what was available has since gone by the wayside. Today, anyone can access listings and full details and history of the home right from their smartphone. With that kind of access, potential buyers and sellers have a lot of inside knowledge as to what they want and where they can find it, and they are more inclined to move around.
This has created a high demand that was never there before. The pandemic allowed people to leave cities and move to the suburbs, and they were able to do it from their apartments. Everyone is clicking around at the same time leaving availability and inventory low.
As technology continues to advance and get more complicated, the housing market will too. Nothing is set in stone and nothing lasts forever, which is why agents and brokers have to be flexible and stay the course. The biggest thing a broker and agent can do is use technology to their advantage so they can leverage the system and make it work for their clients.
Technology is a great train to jump on, and if used wisely can bring tons of profits.
Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios.
When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games