I maintain a strong position with regards to today’s real estate technology: it’s unequivocally here to help. While many would argue that the advent of technology has impeded the progress of personal communication (they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong), I am a huge proponent of the use of technology in the right situations. It’s technology, after all, that has enabled us to become more efficient and proficient in our daily lives, no matter what we do for a living. If for nothing else, technology is developed to make our lives easier, and today’s real estate investors are no exception to the rule.
There’s no doubt about it: technology has made its way into everything a twenty-first century investor does. Real estate technology has improved the way we market, communicate, network, close deals, secure funding, and — perhaps above all else — sell properties. As real estate investors, we owe a great deal of our success to the latest advancements in technology. That’s not to take away from anyone’s hard work, but it’s undeniable that real estate technology has shaped the investing landscape.
That said, it’s those investors that know how to use it that stand to realize the most success, especially with regards to selling a property. In fact, with the right real estate technology in a home, there is no reason you couldn’t expect it to sell faster and for more money. What else could you ask for?
The advent of technology has changed the way we think about home amenities. Instead of traditional appliances, “sizzle feature” are becoming all the rage. It’s no longer enough to assume you can capture the attention of prospective buyers with average, run of the mill offerings; you have to offer the latest and greatest. If for nothing else, it’s once you anticipate what today’s buyers want out of their next home that will you be able to sell your own in a timely and profitable fashion, but I digress. What is it that today’s buyers are looking for? What could you possibly add to your next sale to make it more desirable for buyers?
The answer is simple, as I am sure you are already aware: real estate technology. Today’s homebuyers already know it, and it’s about time you did, too; the right technology can go a long way in selling a home in a market as competitive as today’s. In fact, we have already seen real estate technology trends start to shape our expectations. Where we once saw a simple refrigerator, we now have a smart home appliance capable of telling us what food items we are running low on while simultaneously watching a movie. Where we once read out of a cookbook, we can now inquire with a number of voice command search devices like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home.
If you are looking for a piece of real estate technology that will help sell your home faster and for more money — beyond that of a smart fridge or voice-enabled search device — I highly recommend taking a look at one of today’s most “sustainable” options. Solar panels, for example, represent the pinnacle of technology a large contingent of today’s buyers covet the most. If for nothing else, solar panels can simultaneously cut down on the emissions associated with traditional energy sources and your own energy bill.
If you still aren’t convinced solar panels will do their best to increase demand for your property, trends established in the last decade should give you some food for thought. Demand for solar has never been higher. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the “amount of solar power installed in the U.S. has increased more than 23 times over the past eight years — from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to an estimated 27.4 GW at the end of 2015. That’s enough energy to power the equivalent of 5.4 million average American homes.”
It’s not hard to see why demand for solar panels has increased, either. As concerns about our carbon footprint mount, solar panels offer a clean solution to our current energy problems. What’s more, they can save homeowners countless dollars over the life of a home.
According to Energy Sage, “the average gross cost of solar panels before tax credits is $16,800.” It’s worth noting, however, that the price continues to drop and tax credits can ease the upfront burden significantly. So while it may cost some homeowners as much as a new car to install solar panels on their own roof, I can assure you solar remains a wise investment. If for nothing else, that’s exactly what it is: an investment in your future. Paying now could save you thousands in the future.
According to Energy Sage, “the typical American family is spending over $1,400 a year on electricity alone.” At that rate (taking into account the rising costs of energy), it’ll take the average American household as little as twelve years to make their money back. Everything after that is considered savings, and today’s buyers realize that. In fact, it’s safe to assume that a great deal of Millennials (the group expected to make up the largest portion of buyers for the next few years) will be attracted to those homes with solar over those that don’t have it. What’s more valuable to someone selling a home than demand?
If you aren’t quite ready to make the jump to solar, there’s another piece of real estate technology worth your consideration: home security systems. Few advancements in technology, at least as they relate to the real estate industry, are currently more coveted than trusted security systems. You can’t place a price on safety, and you had better believe your potential buyers won’t either. It’s safe to assume people will not only prioritize safer homes, but also pay more for them.
As TechZone360 points out, Millennials “are willing to pay an average of 20 percent more a month in order to secure a home with smart technology. They like electronic access, keyless locks, interconnected doorbells, mobile-controlled security systems, voice-activated assistants, and so much more.” Why not give it to them?
Sellers really need to consider installing a good security system. Doing so should generate interest in more Millennial buyers. Remember them? The group expected to make of the largest portion of buyers for the foreseeable future. It’s absolutely in your best interest to appease what it likely to be the majority of prospective buyers that come your way.
Millennials, in particular, appear to be the demographic most likely to favor home security systems. They are traveling more than previous generations, coming of the age when children are brought into the picture, and they are more conscious of peace of mind. These three factors, and many more just like them, mean one thing for sellers: most buyers will prioritize safer homes. That said, it stands to reason that if you can deliver, your home will sell faster.
Real estate technology has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. As a result, more and more people are finding the technologies of tomorrow to be necessities today; they are more or less demanding that they be present in their own home. That said, it’s the demand for real estate technology that should have investors excited. After all, what’s demand, if not for one of the primary indicators for a sale? If you can fabricate even the slightest degree of demand by implementing these technologies into your next investment property, it’s worth looking into.