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After COVID-19 hit in 2020, the real estate and mortgage industries had to adapt to a world of limited in-person contact in order to survive. This meant the implementation of technologies that may not have been new but wasn’t always seen as necessary in the past, and perhaps weren’t widely utilized.  So, what new digital trends have popped up, and – more importantly – which of those trends look like they could be sticking around in the future? Let’s look at a few.

Virtual Tours 

A virtual tour is typically a video of a walk-through of the entire property filmed by the property owner or their agent. While virtual tours may not be the newest advancement, they certainly have gained significant traction in the past year. In fact, the New York Times notes an increase of 110 percent in 3D tours offered between the second and third quarters of 2020.

Interest for virtual tours soared as a result of COVID-19 and the need to show homes without groups of people parading through the property and increasing the potential risk for exposure to the virus. While we have become more comfortable in our new mask- and glove-wearing, hand-sanitizing norm, many people have come to appreciate the safety and convenience of virtual tours. This is one change that’s likely to stick around.

3D Homes/Virtual Reality 

Another option for homebuyers to preview a property is a 3D rendition. This includes both a 3D copy that a viewer can browse online as if they were walking through the property and a virtual reality rendering for those prepped with VR goggles. It’s fair to say virtual tours with VR goggles aren’t likely to be easily accessible for the majority of people any time soon, but a VR tour in your web browser is readily available.

Besides touring the property, users can utilize VR to virtually stage a home and spare themselves the investment required to stage the home in person. Prospective buyers get to see the home filled with furniture even if a seller isn’t able to actually stage a property. These options have become increasingly viable and a quick Google search will yield companies both willing to show, and stage, your property virtually.

Virtual Appraisals

Get an appraisal quickly, efficiently, and without the appraiser having to enter a home during a global pandemic. This is more than just a web appraisal, virtual appraisals can include data gathered from the virtual tours many buyers now offer, on top of information collected through sources like The Warren Groups RE Records Search. A massive collection of data that is home to property details of thousands of homes throughout New England, and allows appraisers to quickly search a property, collect, and validate their information for accurate and timely appraisals.

Combined with virtual tours, this makes for a highly accurate form of socially distant appraising.

It Makes Sense 

With millennials now up to bat for being the generation with the most homebuyers, 38 percent to be exact, and 9 out of 10 home buyers using the internet to search for a home, it makes logical sense for further real estate advancements to be made virtually. And for virtual options to become more popular than traditional methods, especially now with the need for social distancing.

If you’re one of the many looking to update your virtual presence in the real estate world or looking for ways to utilize digital data to make your job easier and more efficient, The Warren Group offers a suite of data solutions you’ll want to check out. Reach out to one of our data specialists and make your team faster and more effective with data solutions customized to your business objectives. We hope to hear from you soon!