I’m a big supporter of technology. I’ve been around it most of my life. When I was growing up my dad worked for the space program so computers and high level tech were a constant source of discussion and excitement. One of my favorite aspects of technology is that it lends itself to an increase in your level of efficiency. Take something as simple as paying your bills online. That used to be a chore that would involve opening mail, writing checks, finding stamps, and returning the payment in the mail. Now it’s a matter of opening an app on your smartphone (or at the worse - going online on your phone’s browser) and clicking ‘pay my bill’. Time and money saved! Technology has changed the real estate industry in a plethora of ways and there’s more to come.
You may have heard of ZipTours. It’s a property-showing platform developed by Livonia, Michigan-based Marketplace Homes, that allows prospective buyers to get into listed homes throughout the Detroit metropolitan area - without being accompanied by agents. That’s right. Sans a Realtor. The buyers would provide the agent with two forms of identification and when the agent validates they are who they say they are, the agent provides a listing’s lockbox code to the user. According to ZipTours website the buyer can retrieve the listing’s key and tour the home under the video supervision of the Marketplace Homes agent. Every home tour video is recorded and stored by ZipTours.
In addition to touring the home, the buyer can make an offer via the app using ZipTours ZipScore tool. The buyer need only to answer 10 simple questions in order to put in an offer. Buyers can even submit their good faith deposit via debit card information directly through the ZipTours app. The app also works with rental homes. ZipTours is currently available in the Detroit Michigan area, but don’t think for a minute that it - or something very similar won’t be showing up in your neighborhood.
As is typical with emerging technology, there are concerns for security and legal risks, but history has proven that rarely stops progress. With the success of Uber and Airbnb, it’s obvious that the public is buying into new technology that’s based on mutual trust.
Opendoor, is a service that allows homeowners to instantly sell their home online. Currently available in Phoenix and coming to Dallas and Portland by years end, Opendoor allows homeowners to enter their address online along with some basic home info. Within minutes, Opendoor, provides a obligation-free offer to buy the home. Opendoor charges a 5.5 percent resale fee (includes realtor commissions), plus adjusts the amount it pays for a home to account for market risk, home maintenance and repair costs. Once purchased the company makes the home move-in ready and then lists it for sale. Almost every facet of the transactions are conducted online. Homeowners can close and receive funding in as little as three days.
The future is now folks. If you aren't comfortable with technology, you are going to be left behind. And you thought keeping up with the latest smartphone versions was tough…