The coronavirus pandemic only accelerated changes that were already occurring in how REALTORS® conducted business, suggested Jeb Griffin, NAR director of strategy and innovation.
“Remember, everything used to be analog and required us to manually fill out forms,” Griffin said.
Griffin was among NAR technology experts who gathered to examine the real estate industry’s growing reliance on technology and how the integration of artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, digital transaction management (DTM) and 5G innovations will impact the buying and selling experience.
“A lot has changed,” Griffin said. “We’re maintaining social distance. In-person showings have declined. REALTORS® have adapted by using technology to get business done.”
Dan Weisman, NAR director of emerging technology, agreed, adding that technology “should be used as an opportunity to improve the process and provide the best client experience possible.”
Explosive Growth in Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence, or A.I., is a technology with a long history and its practical applications are expected to see explosive growth within all segments of society, including real estate.
“The barrier to entry has been completely lowered as A.I. is affordable, powerful and making a direct impact today on real estate decisions,” said David Conroy, NAR’s director of emerging technology.
With the advent of 5G technology, Weisman said he expects it will lead to significant improvements from the previous generation of wireless connectivity innovation and result in a variety of tangible benefits.
Expected Benefits for Real Estate
“There’s a better potential to have coverage in rural areas, something for which NAR continues to advocate on behalf of our members. We’ll also see lower energy consumption. For a potential homebuyer, imagine using a drone to view or photograph an area where you’d want to live. The possibilities are endless.”
Digital transaction management tools, like electronic signature applications and remote online notarization, allow for documented-based tasks to be handled virtually, and Griffin told the session audience that these resources will have staying power.
“Digital transaction management [DTM] helps real estate professionals and consumers continue buying and selling property. REALTORS® should incorporate DTM within their business operations since consumers like the technology and it’s here to stay for them.
NAR’s Role Supporting Legislation
Smaller firms are less likely to use digital transaction management, thinking it’s cost prohibitive, but the barriers to entry are low.
“NAR is working very hard to support legislation for remote online notarization in states where it’s not allowed,” Griffin said. “We want our members to have the tools to bring that full digital transaction to the table and create efficiencies.”