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6 Reasons Why the Real Estate Industry Needs to Start Embracing Technology The real estate industry has historically been slow to adopt new technologies. Here are six reasons why the industry as a whole needs to shift its attitude and start embracing technology.

By Cyrus Claffey Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The real estate industry is one of the biggest industries in the country that employs hundreds of thousands of people. However, like many older industries, there is a lot of resistance in real estate to adopting and utilizing new technologies. This anti-technology attitude not only hurts the industry's growth potential but also negatively affects property owners and renters, who are the real estate industry's biggest clients.

Modern technology can be applied to the real estate industry on literally every level. It directly benefits realtors, property managers, real estate developers and even investors.

Here are six reasons that illustrate why the real estate industry needs to embrace and implement technology:

Related: Real Estate Is Way Behind in Tech. Here's Why and How to Fix It.

1. Younger generations will one day dominate the industry

Many people born in the '90s will soon be purchasing their first home (if they haven't already). Furthermore, many millennials and Gen Zers are now working in the real estate industry or are developing and investing in property.

Millennials and their younger counterparts have been raised with technology that has rapidly advanced over the past few decades and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. As such, this generation naturally gravitates toward the latest technology.

Make no mistake, millennials and Gen Zers who reach leadership and decision-making roles in the industry will be implementing technology wherever possible. The question is whether they will be the first to benefit from real estate technology or if that process can gain steam now.

2. Residents want proptech

Proptech (property technology) is quickly becoming a must-have for residential and commercial properties. Proptech improves the lives of not only residents but property managers and staff as well.

Proptech takes the form of:

  • Smart home devices

  • Delivery management solutions

  • Keyless building entry systems

  • Visitor management systems

  • Motion sensor lights

  • Smart thermostats

  • Solar-powered building monitoring systems

  • Virtual and self-guided touring platforms

In short, proptech allows residents to regain the autonomy that is often lost in shared living spaces vs. owning a private home. Proptech allows residents to live more conveniently and streamline their everyday processes.

Every proptech upgrade made to a property leads to lower vacancy rates, higher rent and increased resident satisfaction.

Related: How Proptech Is Disrupting the Real Estate Industry

3. VR is the future

While people have been saying "VR is the future" since the '80s, it's actually here now, thanks to popular VR brands like Oculus Rift and Meta Quest. There are also hundreds of affordable devices that link up to most smartphones and tablets.

In the real estate industry, VR technology is a major convenience when buying and selling property. It allows prospective buyers and renters to place themselves directly into a building without having to schedule time for an in-person viewing.

Furthermore, VR footage of vacant homes and units can be posted on sites like Zillow and Redfin. This ensures that only serious buyers and renters will actually schedule time for an in-person showing with realtors or property managers.

4. Modern marketing depends on technology

Good luck marketing real estate without some form of technology. For better or worse, many people in the real estate industry have used technology for the most basic thing you can do on the internet: to create a website. However, a plain website isn't going to get much traction without an effective online marketing strategy.

For buyers and sellers, listing sites such as Zillow and Redfin are valuable tools. But they're not the only tools in the online marketing toolbox. Social media platforms that prospects visit daily, such as Reddit, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are prime grounds for promoting and marketing real estate.

While popular apps such as TikTok might not be your thing in your personal life, they can absolutely help market to a wider audience, particularly millennials — who currently make up the majority of renters.

Related: How Technology Can Enable Boom In Real Estate Sector This Year

5. Real estate technology makes everything faster

Real estate technology is as fast as the speed of light — or, rather, the speed of your internet connection. Blockchain technology, for example, both secures the total assets for a property and allows them to be transferred online to new buyers. This results in less paperwork and more transparency, such as prior purchase history.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software such as Salesforce also allows real estate companies to organize vast quantities of data. Similar software is useful for investors when researching the history of a particular property as well as similar properties in order to make an informed investment. What formerly took weeks of research and data crunching can now take a matter of hours.

Time is money, and that's never been more true in an industry that goes through wildly different economic cycles.

6. Technology has never been more user-friendly

Most real estate technology doesn't require you to have any more technological training than is necessary to operate a smartphone. These days, it's self-explanatory to use, features online guides or includes free training courses. Furthermore, proptech hardware has never been easier to install, thanks to wireless technologies.

While these are a few solid reasons why the real estate industry will benefit from being more open to technology, there are many more arguments to be made in favor of technological implementation. The fact is: New technology is a sign of progress and growth. Without it, we're stuck in the past.

Cyrus Claffey

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of ButterflyMX

Cyrus Claffey is the founder of ButterflyMX, a proptech company focused on smartphone-enabled property access. Claffey has been developing and implementing real estate technologies for more than 15 years. He currently works with some of the largest names in multifamily and CRE.

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