Over the past 10 to 15 years, the real estate sector has dramatically transformed from a low-tech industry to one that is now inundated with technology solutions for nearly every task and challenge imaginable. With so many technology solutions to explore, discovering the right tech solutions that will meaningfully impact the business and drive return on investment can be a challenge.
Jamie Kump, Director of High Growth Accounts at Qualia, sat on a panel at this year’s Inman Connect in Las Vegas that addressed how technology and new business models are transforming real estate. Kendall Bonner, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Capital Realty moderated the panel that also included Andrew Chishchevoy, Co-Founder & General Manager of Brokermint, Cyril Berdugo, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Landis, and Mark Hanf, CEO of Pacific Private Money, where they discussed how real estate businesses can leverage technology to its highest potential.
1. Leverage technology to exceed consumer expectations
Consumer expectations are driving real estate’s digital transformation and empowered consumers want to connect, engage and transact seamlessly. Kump noted that the pandemic created momentum for digital closings and the expectation for digital transactions will only continue to grow. Today’s consumer wants choice when it comes to their closing as well as an easier and more transparent process to buy and sell their homes. Just like other online transactions, consumers want the entire home purchase experience, from home search through the closing, to be seamless from end-to-end.
Finding technology partners that can enable an end-to-end homebuying experience will allow companies to meet consumer expectations for a simple transaction. “Having a flexible technology framework that powers efficiency and scalability enables companies to deliver choice to consumers,” Kump said. “[It also] allows real estate businesses to provide a more connected and branded home purchase experience that can change depending on the business model.”
2. Enable scalability with the right platforms
Siloed, disparate technology systems are not operationally sustainable and inhibit growth. Chishchevoy noted that “consolidating and aligning your technology stack” is the key to scalability. Technology solutions that consider the real estate ecosystem holistically and enable communication and coordination among the entire transaction party are more powerful than one-off point solutions that solve for narrow business challenges. Integrated, cloud-based technologies allow title & escrow businesses, mortgage lenders, title insurers, and real estate brokerages to work effectively together as they scale.
3. Influence profitability with tech that enables revenue generation and operational efficiency
Technology can impact profitability by directly influencing revenue generation through point of sale (POS) technology or by impacting bottom-line costs through operational efficiencies. Berdugo stressed the importance of leveraging technology to directly generate revenue, saying that “revenue generation creates more opportunities, and the best way is to create new categories of transactions.”
Most of the mortgage and real estate brokerage industry has approached technology through this same lens by investing heavily in POS technology. Over the past five years, digital mortgage applications have become nearly ubiquitous, as has the use of online portals for consumers to discover real estate listings and be “matched” with a local agent.
Equally important to customer acquisition is back-office efficiency—especially as POS tech becomes a mainstay. Real estate businesses must look to their technology to improve speed and gain operational efficiencies. Increasing operational efficiency allows businesses to take on higher volume without volume swings in headcount—a major impact on the bottom line.
4. Future-proof the business with flexible technology providers
As technology evolves, businesses must think ahead in order to “future-proof and find long-term success,” said Bonner.
Kump recommended that real estate businesses leverage a flexible technology framework that not only allows them to build a seamless consumer experience but also enables them to expand their business through ancillary partnerships. The best technology providers will have the necessary flexibility to allow the business to work with a multitude of current and future partners without facing technology and integration roadblocks.
For companies interested in more information on delivering a modern, end-to-end digital closing experience, click the link below.