Real estate agents and brokers today are staying ahead of the competition with technology, with is being molded by ever-changing market conditions and shifts in consumer behaviors.

Ashkan Zandieh is the CEO/Founder of RE:Tech, a real estate tech research marketing agency that tracks and analyzes emerging trends in real estate tech to better understand technology’s impact on the industry.

“For the past decade, emerging technology companies that focus on commercial and residential real estate products and services have moved quickly, forcing traditional real estate firms to rethink their core business models and embrace digital first innovations,” Zandieh wrote in Forbes recently. “But as the real estate tech sector begins showing signs of maturity, companies wondering how they will fit into this new era must understand the forces that are leading change.”

Zandieh noted that the concept of what makes up real estate tech will shift as the industry continues to expand amid an increase in investor appetites and a growing customer base.

“As the industry evolves, it will play a role well beyond real estate products and services, individual companies will vie to become undisputed leaders by size and breadth and ecosystems will develop that have a tight grip on customer loyalty,” he wrote.
So, what does 2018 have in store for agents and brokers?

One, according to Zandieh, is the rise of transaction-engagement focused technology.

A great example of this is Robert Refkin, the CEO and founder of Compass. Compass is building the first modern real estate platform, pairing the real estate agents with technology to make the search and sell experience intelligent and seamless.

Compass in 2017 unveiled Collections, an interactive online home search tool. Touted as “the Pinterest of real estate,” Collections enables home buyers and agents to organize, discuss and collaborate on hand-picked properties, ultimately streamlining the transaction-engagement process by better understanding buyer behavior.
Another trend to watch it chatbots in real estate.

Zandieh noted that when it comes to real estate, chatbots have the potential to revolutionize lead generation and customer service. By automating the initial stages of contact between agents and prospects, a real estate chatbot can be more efficient in engaging visitors, resulting in higher lead conversions.

Blockchain continues to evolve in real estate transactions as the industry explores how blockchain technology could be used to store property records in the 5.2 million-resident county, which includes Chicago.

Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked and secured using cryptography. It is best known for keeping track of who owns digital currencies like Bitcoin. Advocates of the technology say it can revolutionize real estate deals and recording keep costs.

For agents and brokers, technology will continue to drive innovation in the real estate market and could lead to a shake-up. Zandieh noted that today’s real estate tech companies won’t necessarily disrupt an industry but will disrupt legacy companies that refuse to adapt.