How technology will shape the future of Boulder’s real estate market
Last year, predictions from many sources were in general agreement that Boulder’s real estate market would be in a bit of a holding pattern, largely insulated from shifting prices due to its consistently high demand and few new units being built. Now, with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak having a massive impact on every sector of the global economy, it’s significantly more complicated to determine how things will shake out for Boulder real estate this year, and long-term.
It’s no major surprise that a sense of uncertainty has begun to enter nearly every industry, as many corporations and individuals alike try their best to understand how this current situation will play out for them. While there are expected to be drops in the real estate market, due in part simply to restricted movement making it harder to relocate your living space, the harm is not expected to be anywhere near as stark as previous periods of economic downturn. This means that there will still be plenty of people buying and selling homes in most parts of the U.S., and, it might actually be a great time for you to consider doing so.
What we will inevitably see, however, is a significant change in how these transactions play out given the realities of social distancing and our modern-day resources. Though the real estate industry has sometimes remained slow-moving in terms of catching up to the latest technology, all of that is quickly changing — especially given the demands of our collective circumstances.
Over the last few decades, technology has increasingly come to shape and dominate our day-to-day lives, from work to school to entertainment. The average consumer is spending more time on their phone and less on traditional media or information services, and that has shifted the way we all approach purchases both big and small. Now that the coronavirus outbreak has led to social distancing guidelines and self-isolation, the growing role of technology in both the personal and professional realms has only become more essential, and real estate is no exception. In this post, we’ve collected some of the ways that technology is going to continue changing the ways we buy and sell real estate in this new era.
Advertising Will Shift Further Online
The classic ad-in-the-paper and yard sign are still staples of getting a home sold quickly and for a great price, but technology has increasingly shifted how sellers can attract great buyers. A 2019 National Association of Realtors’ Report on real estate in the digital age stated that 44% of buyers used the internet to search for homes, an amount that’s likely to continue rising in this and future years. Because of this uptick in the use of online search tools, we will likely see a greater emphasis on effective web advertising in real estate, such as a strong social media presence, becoming an even more important factor in connecting a home to the perfect buyer.
It’s important for sellers to make an informed choice on Boulder CO Real Estate Agents, especially to make sure that they choose one who can give them the best chance of connecting with a buyer through both traditional methods and newer, digital means.
Buyers’ Needs May Be Changing
In the midst of us all spending more time indoors, what we expect for our homes to offer us may be evolving. Obviously, the first thing people may be seeking out is more space, including private outdoor spaces where they can safely spend time as a family. This is a trend that might push buyers out of urban centers, and into more affordable and spacious suburbs.
It’s also likely that many people will continue to work from home at least some of the time — even as the pandemic resolves — meaning open, well-lit home office spaces with great internet connectivity could become a much more sought-after addition to a home or unit than they are now.
Technological considerations, in general, will also likely become much more dominant in the home-buying process. Which internet providers service an area, electric utility costs, potential sustainability via solar panels, and whether cell service from certain carriers reaches a home will become more important factors than ever in choosing a new living space, and providing some of this information up-front can help reduce time spent on questions later.
Increased Importance of Communicating Remotely
Learning to develop strong communication skills through digital means is more important than ever as more relationships and transactions shift online. Even once social distancing guidelines have been loosened or lifted entirely, both buyers and sellers may be more comfortable making use of communication services they can easily access from home instead of relying on in-person meetings. All parties can benefit from familiarizing themselves with these kinds of options sooner rather than later.
Zoom, an easy-to-use video-conferencing service, has quickly become a staple for many businesses and classrooms who have had to shift to getting their work done from home. Other services, like Skype and Google Hangouts, are also great options for those who still want the benefits of face-to-face interaction with clients and agents from the comfort of their own homes.
Dealing with contracts and paperwork can also increasingly be handled virtually, which helps to save time and money for everyone involved. Apps like DocuSign allow users to send, fill out, and sign paperwork from their mobile devices, and NotaryCam can even provide notary services quickly and conveniently from your own home or office space.
Virtual Tours Will Become the Norm
Virtual tours have already become relatively common, but new advancements are making them even more accessible and affordable to create. Expanding on simply offering photos on a listing can provide potential buyers a deeper, more informative look at a space. Rather than simply showing individual photos of each room, a guided tour can allow you to portray the flow and layout of a home, which can be uploaded to YouTube or other video platforms.
Though somewhat more technically advanced, interactive tours are also a great option to give buyers the freedom to explore a property at their own pace. With an interactive tour, users can travel through a space by selecting directions to move and rooms to enter. Paired with 360 photography to capture every inch of a room, these tours can paint a vivid picture of the home to potential buyers.
Some companies have even begun integrating their tours with virtual reality systems, like the Oculus headset, as a way to give buyers the feeling of standing in a home and experiencing it for themselves in the most accurate way they can without actually being there. Thanks to 3D rendering, detailed models of homes and buildings that have yet to be constructed can also be created and explored online or through virtual reality. This is a great way to get a feel for the layout and style of a property, which can help prospective buyers feel more confident in making a purchase prior to construction being completed, thus shortening the overall time between development and sale.
Evolving Impact of Airbnb
Airbnb has been part of the major tech boom that’s rapidly changing the real estate market, making it possible for property owners to create additional income through short-term rentals. In Boulder, recent regulations have set guidelines for who is allowed to rent out their property through such services. This is intended to help create more options for buyers and long-term renters, as Airbnb has contributed to a lack of available units for long-term dwellers in some urban areas. These changes will have ongoing ripple effects for homeowners and renters alike.
To offer short-term rentals of a property, it must be your primary residence for at least six months out of the year, and you must acquire a license to do so. While these regulations have limited some investment options in the city, it remains a sought-after market. If you have an accessory dwelling unit on the property of your primary residence in Boulder, it can also be rented out for 120 days per year, making those properties a great option for those still seeking a more generative investment.
How Do These Changes Impact You?
If you’re hoping to buy or sell a home this year, the rapid advancement of technology as a tool for you and your real estate agent is only a benefit. Even as markets face a bit of uncertainty ahead, these tools are helping to create stability and ongoing buying/selling despite it being hard to conduct business in the traditional settings we’re all more accustomed to.
If you need an experienced agent to help you navigate buying or selling real estate in this complex time, contact us today. All of the advice and insight you need to make informed decisions is just a call or email away. We’re happy to help you find the perfect home to meet your modern needs while making the process as seamless and easy as possible.