I was browsing a very prominent real estate news source yesterday when I came across a headline that said “Digital Real Estate is not the future - it’s now!”
It got me thinking about the consequences of the pandemic and how it has pushed most interactions online.
I wondered about the real estate industry and how it will manage that shift. Especially when our industry doesn’t have the best of reputation when it comes to technological advances.
Going back to that title, prior to COVID, there was a “slow” digital shift happening.
It has now become a digital rush.
Being digital is not enough anymore. The companies that will succeed in this new era are those that are creating intelligent and personal experiences that consumers have come to expect.
Which brings me back to the headline, if digital real estate is now, what will the future look like and how can real estate companies better prepare for it?
To understand the future better, let’s start by talking about the past and the now first.
In the past, brokerages relied heavily on training their agents on how to deal with customers and represent their brand; since in the old days, the agent was the first (and probably only) point of contact between the client and the brand.
Many real estate companies today are still operating with that mentality. They still rely solely on their agents for brand representation, which includes consumer marketing, customer service, communication, etc...
Do not get me wrong, agents still do represent the brand, but they are not the first point of contact anymore. Which brings me to the present.
The digital economy started decades ago.
This is nothing new. For a while now, we’ve known that the home-buying/selling process starts online. More than 95% of home-buyers start their search online before contacting a real estate agent.
With that change, the whole consumer experience and the customer journey shifted from starting with the real estate agent, to the brokerage being the first touchpoint of the consumer.
Yet unfortunately, we haven’t seen many traditional brokerages adapt to that digital transformation. The online experience of traditional real estate brokerages remains the same it has been for decades now.
Website experiences have remained static. Home-search and real estate marketing haven’t changed a bit. And yet, consumer habits and behaviours are changing faster than ever.
So how can real estate companies move on forward from here?
What we believe the future will look like: A focus on Intelligent Customer Experiences.
Here’s what we know will help us move forward. Consumers have come to expect a lot more from a business than just having an online presence (website). Consumers are interacting with businesses online and as a result, data is being generated from those interactions. This data is what enables companies like Amazon and Google to tailor the customer experience for millions of people online.
Today, real estate companies don't have the tools to collect this data and learn from it. And they don't have the tools to leverage those customer interactions and turn them into intelligent and personalized experiences.
That’s our mission here at Roof AI. We believe in empowering real estate companies to own the customer journey online, by providing them with the necessary tools to compete in this new digital era.
Our solution helps real estate companies deliver intelligent customer experiences by harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence.
With Roof AI, brokers are able to use their digital channels to understand their customers better and:
- Offer efficient customer self-service and guided home-search experiences on their website.
- Engage customers with personalized and relevant machine-powered recommendations off-the-site.
- Increase lead capture for mortgage, insurance and warranty by promoting their company services and offering a unified experience throughout the buyer journey.
- All of that taking place autonomously.
We call that Intelligent Customer Experiences.
You can think of it as a layer of technology that gives real estate companies the ability to make every online experience unified, personalized, and seamless.
Being the first Customer Intelligence platform for real estate, Roof AI uses content enrichment, natural language understanding, behavioural analytics and machine-powered recommendations to simply give your customers a “Netflix” like experience on your real estate website.
That’s what “harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence” means. And the good news is that you don’t have to hire an army of data scientists and engineers to do that today.
This technology is available to every real estate brokerage, to help them compete in today's complicated age of the Experience, Data, and AI.
However, it is imperative that company executives recognize the key role their brand is going to play within the customer journey.
Companies that realize the need to go beyond just being digital to stay relevant in their interactions with their customers, will survive the present and excel in the coming future.
Those who fail to adapt quickly will, unfortunately, remain in the past.
If you agree on where the future of digital real estate is heading and want to learn more, we'd love to talk to you!