The real estate industry has undergone some pretty extensive changes as of late. It’s not just because of the pandemic, either — though it certainly plays a part, especially with the current real estate prices. Beyond COVID-19, the real estate industry has been shaken up by revolutionary new advances in technology. This technology is available to buyers, sellers, investors, and agents alike.
Real estate fintech is completely changing the way the industry operates in 2022. For example, the way prospective buyers discover properties. Or the way real estate transactions take place. Plus, all sorts of other examples at every step along the way. Thankfully, these changes are a good thing, not a bad thing. They exist to make the real estate process — from browsing to touring to buying to selling — easier than ever before.
But what exactly is fintech? And how specifically is it changing the real estate industry this year and beyond? This helpful guide will explain fintech’s rise to prominence. It will also outline how it’s changing the world of real estate for the better. Read on to learn more.
What Is Fintech?
While it sounds vague, the true definition of “fintech” isn’t really all that difficult. It’s simply a portmanteau of “financial” and “technology.” It’s a word used to describe any new and innovative tech created to help improve or automate monetary services. In other words, fintech is just a trendy word to describe helpful, convenient, state-of-the-art technology. It helps make buying, selling, and investing easier than it’s ever been before.
When fintech first emerged in the 2000s, it was merely a word used by software developers and web designers. Today, the term can represent anything from banking to investing and whatever happens to fall in between. It includes more recent innovations like cryptocurrency and shopping via artificial or virtual reality.
As our technology continues to become more revolutionary and innovative, there’s no doubt that the same will apply to our fintech. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even VR headsets — the best fintech responds to these new inventions by using them to make buying, selling, and investing even faster, better, and easier than before.
So, with all this in mind, let’s look at how fintech has impacted the real estate industry specifically. What are the latest and greatest examples of real estate fintech shaking up the industry?
Machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, has been an enormously helpful tool throughout countless industries in recent years. This has been particularly true in the real estate industry. Not just for buyers, either. Artificial intelligence has been at the heart of several exciting fintech companies geared toward buyers, sellers, and real estate investors alike.
Artificial intelligence has been an amazing tool for investors to find and analyze the best properties to invest in. Machine learning software combines graphs and real-time data on pricing and trends to help guide investors looking to make the smartest real estate investments possible.
Artificially intelligent fintech has also played a key role for buyers and sellers. This kind of technology allows people to enter parameters such as what they’re looking for, their price range, and what area they’d most like to focus on. Then, it presents them with several different options based on those parameters. It doesn’t stop there, either. The future of artificially intelligent fintech in the real estate industry will surely bring even more handy tools.
When you think of buying, selling, and investing in real estate, the mind probably goes to one thing: cold, hard cash. However, this is no longer the case. As a matter of fact, it’s not even close to the full range of real estate payment options (especially with so much great fintech out there available to you).
One of the most prominent examples of alternative real estate payments via fintech would have to be cryptocurrency. Over the past year or so, more and more people are becoming comfortable with the staying power of crypto. For this reason, real estate transactions have actually started happening entirely via crypto. Granted, your average buyer isn’t likely to buy their first home with cryptocurrency. Still, it’s something that buyers of much larger properties have shown serious interest in.
Beyond cryptocurrency, there are also all sorts of fintech startups offering competitive, attractive loans to individuals looking to buy real estate. You no longer have to walk through the doors of your local financial institution and jump through several hoops to get a loan. Today, loan servicers have made the absolute best of fintech to make loans more accessible and convenient. Many even allow you to complete the process over an app.
You might be thinking — wait, blockchain? Doesn’t that have something to do with cryptocurrency? Didn’t we just talk about that? Well, the truth is, blockchain technology can do a lot more than just host crypto. It can also be a tool to verify and facilitate fast and safe real estate transactions 24/7/365 throughout the world.
It’s as simple as this: blockchain is essentially a virtual way to keep a record of information that is incredibly hard or nearly impossible to edit, manipulate, cheat, or steal. A blockchain serves as an online transaction ledger that is subsequently copied and sent throughout a whole wide range of computer networks and systems. These networks and systems also exist on the same blockchain. By applying this concept to the world of real estate transactions, blockchain can effectively cut down on the cost of those transactions while also speeding them up and fortifying them to be safer and more secure than ever.
The year 2022 has seen the implementation of blockchain technology throughout the real estate industry, especially concerning lending institutions like banks and other loan servicers. In the months and years ahead, blockchain technology is sure to continue changing the face of the real estate industry for the better.
In recent years, virtual and augmented reality has been one of the trendiest technological innovations around. From video gaming to the expansion of the metaverse, VR and AR have continued to pop up in industry after industry. The real estate industry is no exception.
For one, virtual and artificial reality has allowed individuals to explore homes and properties without ever having to leave the comfort of their own space. With virtual tours, real estate buyers and investors can see what they’re interested in purchasing through VR headsets and AR apps. This has been a huge advantage in the continued push for contactless experiences in the wake of COVID-19.
Beyond this, there’s also the metaverse to discuss. Experts suggest that the next big thing is going to be real estate within the metaverse. In other words, virtual property is available for sale within virtual reality spaces that exist entirely online. Some have bought virtual land for millions upon millions of dollars, and we’re only at the forefront of this new and exciting real estate fintech. Imagine what the real estate industry will look like in a year or two when this fintech takes hold.
Real Estate Investing
For the longest time, real estate investing was reserved only for the wealthiest individuals — those who could afford to buy the whole pie. Well, thanks to real estate fintech, which makes investing in property easier, more affordable, and more convenient than ever before, this is no longer the case.
Recent real estate fintech has allowed groups of investors to go in on a single property together. Not to mention, some real estate fintech has even allowed retail investors to buy fractions or portions of real estate properties right from their phone (much like how you can do with fractional stocks). This fintech also makes international investments easier than ever. That’s a huge draw for those looking to get in on the trendiest and most buzz-worthy destinations worldwide.
From the wealthiest investors to the most casual investors, real estate fintech has totally cracked open the real estate investing game. It has blown the doors wide open for anyone looking to get a piece of the pie. Not only does this make real estate investing more accessible, but it also makes investing more fair (and, as a result, more enticing). Don’t be surprised if, as 2022 progresses, more people throw their hats into the ring that is real estate investing.
There are all sorts of websites out there to help a person find the right home for them. However, there aren’t always as many helpful tools for browsing both commercial and residential real estate properties. Thankfully, real estate fintech is working to resolve this discrepancy. Take ProspectNow, for instance.
ProspectNow takes its searchable database of over 100 million residential and commercial properties on and off the market and allows users to look at all the important details (including age, status, location, taxes, zoning, history, foreclosure status, and so on). The platform’s predictive analytics show users which properties are expected to refinance or sell in the next year, allowing prospective buyers to make plans accordingly. These predictive analytics are a remarkable piece of real estate fintech for those looking to make a purchase soon.
The ProspectNow platform is also equipped with other useful fintech tools such as sales comparables and national listing data that further assist in those important financial decisions in the real estate industry. As 2022 goes on, ProspectNow will come in handy for plenty in the realm of real estate fintech.
The Bottom Line: How Real Estate Fintech Is Changing the Industry in 2022
Fintech has been an enormous asset to the real estate industry in recent years. As our technology continues to grow more and more advanced, the same goes for real estate fintech. This growth is especially true in 2022, as real estate fintech continues to shake up the industry at large — not just in the ways listed above but in all the ways to come.
Overall, the real estate industry looks a lot different than it did a decade ago. Rest assured, it will look even more drastically different in a decade. All along the way, real estate fintech is the key to these widespread industry changes. Prospective buyers need to stay up-to-date and informed on all these changes because they’re ultimately for the better.