The 2020s have not been the most graceful of decades so far. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on so many changes and thrown everyone in for a loop. Luckily, with technology, a lot of companies from different industries were able to make their shifts to a remote work setting, allowing business to continue within the safety of distance.
One industry in particular that definitely steadied through this big change is none other than the Real Estate industry. In one article released during the initial onslaught of the pandemic, office demand is expected to change, with 80% agreeing that it would change within six months, and 70% agreeing that the change would be within two years.
Fast forward to 2021, and things are starting to brighten up, thanks to virtual work. At the same time though, a couple of points were then highlighted as the pandemic progressed, particularly incomplete property listings, pricing, lead capturing, and consultancy.
Luckily, Professor 3P is here to talk to you a little bit about how the real estate industry is doing! He’ll also talk about what trends are coming out on top and the opportunities we can have in the industry!
The Current State of Real Estate
No doubt, 2020 was the year that everything changed, though for most industries, assessing the damages or impacts brought on by the pandemic can be an easy fix. For real estate, however, it actually depends on the sector of real estate data you’re looking to get.
First, there’s residential real estate, which indicates any piece of property that’s used for residential purposes, like houses, apartment units, duplexes, townhouses, and the like. Since the pandemic began, pricing for residential properties have begun to lower and delisted homes in the US alone increased up to 25% during the start of the pandemic, according to a St. Louis Fed article. In that same article, home listings also saw a decrease of 40% in April of 2020. With the decrease in listings (mainly due to people’s hesitation to sell during the pandemic), this also caused a decrease in home inventory and purchasing.
The next area of real estate is commercial. This is the area of real estate that focuses on properties used for commercial purposes, with shopping centers, recreational venues, office spaces, and the sort being good examples of such. When the pandemic started, reduced work hours and social distancing has led to a number of businesses to close down and reduce transactions and operations, with almost 60% of them being hotel and retail spaces in Q4 of 2020.
Commercial real estate is also one of the largest sectors in the industry; nowadays, as the economy regains its momentum, so does that for commercial real estate. Research shows that economic momentum is maintained, then misalignment between pricing and property is likely to be reduced, increasing the demand for commercial real estate in the process.
Finally, we have industrial real estate, which is the kind of real estate that deals with storing, manufacturing, and producing goods. This is where food plants, warehouses, and manufacturing plants come into play.
When the pandemic started, the industrial real estate sector was hit pretty hard. Research shows that when companies started working from home, a huge number of manufacturing plants were forced to temporarily close. Now that things in the industry are now starting to get back on track, companies are now faced with the challenge of restructuring supply chains and operations to minimize further risks of disruption in the future.
Emerging Trends in the Real Estate Industry
In the wake of the pandemic, a lot of hurdles were faced and disruptions were becoming more apparent, left to right. Fortunately, lots of companies, including those in the real estate industry, were able to adapt and remain resilient in the face of trouble.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of real estate’s emerging trends that help the industry accelerate operations and keep thriving!
- Digital Platform for Real Estate
Nowadays, digitizing your business is something as common as trees in a park. Lots of companies have websites of their own, allowing for maximum engagement between companies and their target audiences.
Real estate companies have made use of their digital platforms in the more “traditional” sense: to display updated property listings to potential buyers and showcase homes and structures for sale. Some companies also use their websites to directly interact with their clients, thanks to built-in chat platforms with service agents that can directly answer inquiries.
In terms of web services, real estate professionals are also no stranger to the concept. An annual service report conducted by Salesforce shows that some of the most important metrics they keep track of include customer retention, customer satisfaction, average response time, issue handling, and revenue.
There are also some real estate websites that offer a unique aspect of reactivity for their customers. For instance, in the Philippines, a startup real estate company named Hoppler offers a built-in calculator for their customers to use, allowing them to make their own calculations on the property they want to purchase.
- A Good Mix of Remote and Field Work
Real estate agents do a bulk of the work through sales, and that means a lot of brochure distribution, outdoor pitches, and physical showings of the homes on sale. But with the pandemic going on, going out to show buyers their dream homes isn’t exactly a stellar idea.
In a report by Salesforce, field service was also highlighted as a prominent factor in real estate. According to statistics shown there, over 85% of service agents believe that field service is an integral part of overall strategy.
Another piece of research done by PwC highlighted how work arrangements are being handled nowadays. While a majority of companies have migrated to a remote work setting, there are also those that prefer to work in the office. In that research, real estate professionals were surveyed and over 52% of them strongly allow their employees to work remotely part of the time. Another 42.3% of them also agree on the same thing.
- Taking Advantage of Technological Acceleration
One profound opportunity that real estate has for acceleration is technology. In a New Venture Escrow article, virtual reality and mobile apps were prominent mentions amongst emerging new trends in real estate. Some of the best mobile apps that focus on real estate include Zillow, Redfin, Xome Auctions, and Trulia. It allows buyers to navigate through anything real estate with their phones.
As for virtual reality, this is an idea that’s been explored for a while now. In an PropertyMe article released last year, virtual reality was described as the thing that will ‘transform’ the real estate industry. With immersive virtual tours for any home buyers want to look at and a peak on how it would look and feel like in a new home, virtual reality should certainly not be overlooked at any time soon.
Top Performing Real Estate Companies and How they Digitize their Business
From the beginning of 2020 to present day, it’s safe to say that a lot of companies did not have their best days all the time. Luckily for these real estate companies, they were able to stand out and ensure great success despite the times!
That being said, here are some of the top performing real estate companies, as well as how they were able to get to be their absolute best when digitizing their business:
- Ayala Land
Ayala Land is one of the most recognizable real estate companies in the world, particularly in the Philippines. A subsidiary of the Ayala Corporation, Ayala Land allows their clients to view different properties from different estates on their website, further widening customer preferences in the process.
One metric that they keep hitting across the board is customer interaction, which they do through a built-in chat platform right on their homepage. Powered by SnapEngage, this platform enables customers to talk to a real estate agent and forward their queries through there.
JLL is a real estate company based in the U.S. that’s recognized as one of the leading commercial real estate companies in the world. Not only do they have listings on their site, they also feature insights and case studies on other industries and appeal to an audience that thrives off of real estate research.
Since a bulk of their operations are done digitally, what makes them stand out from a tech standpoint is that they have a very useful people finder feature on their website. This allows clients to find the agent they want to talk to, as well as filter their searches based on any location, from the U.S. to the Philippines.
PropertyBase is a real estate company based in Australia that is more tech-centric than the ones before it in this list. This is a company that focuses on creative cohesive customer journeys that they can keep track of and go along with as well, with lead generation and customer satisfaction being vital metrics in their system.
One thing that really sets PropertyBase apart from the rest is that they are partnered with the world’s top CRM platform: Salesforce! With Salesforce, PropertyBase is equipped with all the tools they need for proper data management, end-to-end support, and just ensuring overall quality service.
Real estate is also no different from other industries that have benefited from technology. The lessons you’ve learned from above definitely showed that not only do these trends help accelerate the industry as a whole, but have also served as support for companies to stand.
Nowadays, investing in services that help both agent and customer can be a sure way to speed things along and keep the gears running even when not in the office. That’s why here Third Pillar is always ready to help!
With our services, Third Pillar can help implement great Salesforce solutions such as Service Cloud and Customer 360 to ensure smooth sailing for your business. We work to build meaningful relationships with our clients, and to provide nothing but the best tech solutions for your business as well!
Want to know more about how we have helped the real estate industry? Click here to check out our case study!
Don’t hesitate to contact us through here and we look forward to guiding you along the way to success!