For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when we mention digital transactions doesn’t have anything to do with real estate. It’s Apple Pay — right? Or even Venmo for that matter.
In a post-pandemic experience, almost everything we do in the transaction process has changed. On a broader scale, many businesses no longer operate with cash to avoid hand-to-hand transactions. They now accept Venmo, or use Square for the customer to handle the transaction on their own. And when it comes to the real estate industry, it’s not much different. During stay-at-home orders, the job still had to be done — enter the digital transaction tools that were initially convenient, but have now become an absolute necessity. Technologies now offer simplicity such as a digital title and escrow process or Docusign, which allows for e-signing to take the place of lengthy in-person meetings. Sure, some buyers and sellers might still prefer to close in person, but the reliance on technology is only increasing. It’s happening now, and digital transactions are the way of the future.
The buying generation expects digital convenience
Millennials — one huge reason that digital transactions will continue to be reckoned with down the road. They represent the majority of homebuyers, and they will continue to be the largest home buying population for quite a while. The same people buying homes today are the same people who grew up with smartphones, computers and social media. They’re a digital generation who have come to expect a convenient digital experience.
Imagine selling a lengthy, in-person, hundreds of paper-signing experience to a millennial. And fun fact, the majority of millennials don’t even own a printer. That experience, put simply, would be a bit foreign. This generation is likely more comfortable with a digital transaction process than anything else.
People trust digital transactions
Recently, online notarization and transaction firm Notarize reported that more than 80% of Americans feel secure when making financial transactions online. On top of that number, it also found that 90% of people actually complete financial transactions online. The takeaway, according to Notarize, is that people trust digital transactions, but they want the safety and security of the process ensured.
Even though the real estate industry wasn’t ready to move into the digital space before the COVID-19 pandemic, the home buying and selling population is. In a six-month period, Notarize also found that there was a 367% increase in real estate specific online notarizations. Americans are growing more and more comfortable with this type of transaction, and the demand is showing proof.
The range of tech tools make digital transactions seamless
Currently, the range of tech tools designed specifically for the real estate industry is unheard of. Today’s capabilities allow for 3D and virtual home tours, live streamed open houses, the e-signing of mortgage documents, hybrid home appraisals and even blockchain technology all aid in the digitalization of the real estate transaction process. With these available tools, a home buyer can complete the entire transaction process online from viewing a home to the signing and even closing of the purchase. The industry has been stubborn in its willingness to evolve and change but offering a digital experience of this magnitude is smart considering we don’t have a great reputation for simplicity or ease. The industry can change the narrative by offering a way to streamline the experience.
Having these tools help you stand out as a brokerage
As the world continues to digitalize, customers will continue to appreciate the digital way of doing things. And even if your brokerage and associates decide that returning back to the office in an in-person fashion is best, there may still be buyers and sellers who prefer to operate online. By adopting these digital means, you have also found another way to offer added value; these services will help your brokerage stand out in the crowd of other competitors. Keep in mind that the traditional brokerage model is threatened, so it’s important to prioritize digital transaction tools to remain relevant and evolve with the industry.
Zipi reimagines a fractured system to easily facilitate and transact real estate with our back office, accounting and digital payments products. Request a demo to get in contact with one of our expert team members.