Are Digital Offices The Future Of The Real Estate Industry?

Are digital offices really the future of the real estate industry or do experts have it all wrong? Is there something to be said for maintaining a personal connection with your consumer base? More importantly, how can investors balance these two to create a successful business model?

One real estate company CEO recently told a California news publication that we are seeing a “once in history transformation,” as mobile devices and digital offices displace previous ways of doing business. Meanwhile, Venture Beat recently suggested that small businesses might as well go “100% mobile” in 2014 in order to maximize their marketing effectiveness and ROI.

There is no question that technology is changing the real estate industry, but is there still a need for an offline presence anchored in brick and mortar reality?

Virtual Reality: The Future of Real Estate

Technology is unquestionably changing every aspect of the world, business and real estate. There is no doubt that technology can give real estate investors, agents and CEOs a major advantage in today’s market. Accordingly, those that fail to fully embrace it are at a distinct disadvantage.

Going digital can increase personal and business productivity, increase mobility, improve marketing performance and market reach, as well as boosting branding and overall ROI and profits.

The progression of technology has witnessed the following:

  • Massive adoption of smartphones and tablets
  • Soaring mobile internet usage
  • Low and no cost web based communications with Skype, project management software and Google+
  • Increased marketing speed, performance, reach and ROI online
  • Cloud storage
  • Increasing performance in using remote staffing and virtual assistance
  • Social media becoming one of the best performing marketing mediums
  • Virtual open houses
  • Multiple crowdfunding platforms being launched
  • Commercial mortgage lenders using technology to provide better loans and terms to residential investors buying and holding portfolios of properties
  • QR codes have become standard on most real estate marketing materials
  • Augmented reality is emerging as a viable tool
  • The upcoming public launch of Google Glass in 2014

The Reality of Digital Real Estate

Embracing the most advanced technology in their real estate industry, for marketing purposes, is absolutely essential to survive and thrive.

Technology has become more critical than ever to maintain deal volume. At the very least, it is essential for remaining competitive. Entrepreneurs have already proven that the concept of a digital office can result in financial success. However, to say that there is no room for an offline business presence in this particular industry would also be misleading.

Not every consumer is comfortable with conforming to a digital business model. It’s not the norm in every market and many consumers still prefer face to face, old school communication. Yes, some even still have home telephones and fax machines. Others aren’t familiar with the concept of augmented reality. When it comes down to it, a large population will only work with people they feel a connection with.

Those looking to maximize their reach, impact and long term potential will still find immense value in offline practices. Brick and mortar facilities are still relevant to a great deal of people.

In summation, if your customer base prefers an offline business model, you can’t convert to a completely digital office. While implementing digital aspects is absolutely critical, you must retain the personal interaction that got you to where you are today. In order to excel, secure growth and have a profitable future, incorporate technology wherever possible. Look for ways to get ahead of the curve by planning to implement technology.