In the ever-evolving age of technology, it’s not uncommon for realtors to worry about how emerging tech will affect the real estate industry. Many people assume the agent and broker will eventually become obsolete, thanks to the influx of information on the web, apps, and various tools designed to connect buyers with their perfect home. However, rather than phase out the middleman, these tech platforms are helping to streamline the process, making the experience better for all parties involved.

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New homeowners are not only searching for the best real estate websites, but the best real estate agents. The better informed the agent, the more likely they are to gently nudge an prospect in the right direction. The following three technology trends are changing the buyer experience, and real estate professionals who are on board can manipulate these trends in their favor.

Home Design Apps

Over the past few years, dozens of home design apps have been assisting the sale of houses behind closed doors. While these apps don’t get credit for the sale, their influence is clear. These mobile applications and software programs help potential buyers envision what their homes will look like long before they sign the dotted line. This is critical for homeowners, especially when the full potential of a great home isn’t obvious because its current interior design lacks character.

For example, there are a handful of paint apps like Valspar or Behr Mobile that let you see what a particular shade of paint from different companies will look like in your home, as well as how much paint you’ll need to purchase to complete the project.

Then, there are several home design apps that take it a bit further. Houzz is one of the more popular apps; it allows you to sort from its store of hundreds of thousands of products and place them in a 3D rendering of your space. Zillow Digs, on the other hands, provides users with hundreds of photos for design inspiration, and details where they can locally source all the material in the photo to better recreate it.

360-Degree Videos

With the growing influence of 360-degree cameras, many industries, like travel and real estate, are poised to change. The rise of 360-degree photos and videos impact the real estate industry in unprecedented ways, and it’s important that agencies use it the right way to enhance the buyer experience.

While 360-degree photos have been around for quite some time on real estate sites, they weren’t very fun: users could navigate a fragmented photo left or right, or up and down. But new technology makes 360-degree photo movement much more fluid, resulting in a fully immersive experience.

You may have seen this 360-degree videos and photos trending on your social news feed, which are the perfect place to promote them. This a relatively new marketing tactic for the real estate industry, but it is definitely a powerful one because it makes homebuyers feel as if they’re in the home. VPix360 offers equipment packages dedicated exclusively to the real estate industry, and is worth checking out. Check out how different industries are using 360-degree video to engage their audiences.

Smart Home Features

New homeowners are expecting more from their homes, and often, this comes in the form of smart home features. And there are so many amazing smart home products to choose from. For example, smart lighting is not only convenient, but energy efficient as well. This is a major pro for home buyers who care about green living.

These smart features also create a “wow” factor in home viewings. The Lutron Dimmer Light Switches allow homeowners to control how bright or how dim light is in any room, directly from their smartphone. When a potential lead sees this happen in action during a viewing, it’s much more effective than simply stating “smart home features” on a listing.

The Hue Smart Light Bulbs are another great smart lighting example; these LED lights save money and can change colors to to set different types of atmosphere, like a sunset. You can also connect them with other smart products like the Amazon Echo, which enables you to talk directly to the machine to control colors and consistency. Lastly, the Samsung SmartThings Hub makes it easy to connect all your smart home devices in one portal, and control them from a single app.

Don’t like the idea of managing everything from your phone? No problem. Smart products like the Logitech Harmony Elite Remote keep things the old-fashioned way. With this smart universal remote, users can push buttons to control everything in the home, from your television to your bluetooth devices.