How Technology Has Changed the Real Estate Industry

Learn about the changes shaping the real estate industry and how professionals can use them to their advantage while keeping potential risks in check.

How Technology Has Changed the Real Estate Industry

Learn about the changes shaping the real estate industry and how professionals can use them to their advantage while keeping potential risks in check.

A smartphone on a wireless keyboard with blue illustrations of computer and tech-related icons swirling above it.How Technology Has Changed the Real Estate Industry
Written by:

Claudia Lee

Read time:

7 minutes



Mar 28, 2024

From using AI-driven marketing, to allowing cryptocurrency payments, to hosting virtual tours for potential buyers halfway around the world - technology has changed nearly every facet of the real estate industry in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

These tech changes have been welcomed with open arms by tech-savvy millennials and have streamlined many core business processes. However, they have also brought about new challenges and risks that real estate professionals need to account for.

Are you ready to join the real estate technology revolution? 

Let's explore the exciting changes shaking up the industry and how you can leverage them to your advantage, all while keeping potential risks in check.

The Benefits of Real Estate Technology

Technology has had a profound impact across the real estate industry, making the home buying and selling process more convenient, efficient, and personalized than ever before. Here are some of the most prominent benefits:

Increased access to information

The real estate industry has been transformed by the rise of online listings and property search engines. Today, just a fraction of home buyers start their search by contacting a bank or mortgage lender, with the vast majority opting to explore listings online. 

This trend is particularly pronounced among younger buyers, with only 11% of those aged 23 - 31 and 32 - 41 contacting lenders as their first step in the home-buying process. The convenience of online property searches has fundamentally altered how people look for homes, giving buyers unparalleled access to detailed information about properties and neighborhoods.

Similarly, virtual tours have become a popular tool for buyers looking to explore homes without leaving the comfort of their homes. In fact, according to the same research, 99% of home buyers between the ages of 23 - 56 use the internet to find homes in their home-buying process. 

Improved technology now allows for virtual tours, offering buyers an immersive way to explore a property in detail, even if they are located on the other side of the globe. This technology has eliminated many traditional barriers to home buying, giving buyers more flexibility and making the process more efficient than ever.

Improved communication and collaboration

Along the same lines, new technology has reshaped how real estate professionals communicate with their clients. Video conferencing and virtual meetings, social media, and messaging apps have opened up new communication channels, enabling buyers and sellers to interact with real estate professionals more conveniently and efficiently, including discussing purchasing details and closing deals with ease.

Despite the growing role of technology in the home-buying process, the importance of real estate professionals cannot be overstated. According to a recent survey, 87% of home buyers still view realtors as their primary or best source of information. 

In other words, although the internet offers a wealth of information, there is no substitute for the expertise and guidance provided by real estate professionals—especially if those agents leverage the latest technology to enhance their services and help clients achieve their goals.

New digital services

Digital signatures, secure document sharing, and remote online notaries have become increasingly popular tools in the real estate profession, offering a convenient, secure way to complete transactions from anywhere in the world. These tools allow buyers and sellers to sign important documents electronically and share them online, streamlining the home-buying process and eliminating many of the hassles associated with traditional paper-based transactions.

Enhanced client experiences

The use of technology in the real estate industry has not only made transactions more efficient, but has also significantly improved the client experience. Personalized marketing and advertising—supported by AI and data analytics—have enabled real estate professionals to:

  • Tailor their marketing efforts to specific clients.
  • Ensure clients receive information about properties that best align with their preferences.
  • Identify trends and insights earlier so they can align services with growing client expectations.

The challenges of real estate technology

Although adopting new technologies in real estate can bring massive bottom-line benefits, it also presents challenges that professionals must navigate to ensure business security, privacy, and integrity. These challenges can include:

  1. Cybersecurity risks: The increasing use of technology in real estate—such as online transactions, internet-connected and cloud-enabled systems, and the digital storage of personal data—creates a risk of cyber threats, such as hacks and data breaches.
  2. Fraud: Criminals can take advantage of digital and remote communications to inject themselves into conversations about wire transfers and closings, leading to misdirected funds transfers and devastating financial losses for real estate professionals and their clients. Although this is called business email compromise (BEC), it actually includes several forms of compromised communications. Combined, losses from BEC grew to $2.7 billion in 2022, according to a recent FBI report.
  3. Integration: Adopting new technologies may require integration with legacy systems and tech used by real estate partners, which can be challenging due to compatibility issues. Without the right preparation and alignment, implementation can be fraught with delays, errors, and extra costs.

Stay ahead of the curve, securely

Although the changes brought about by technology in the real estate industry have been exciting, they also present new challenges that must be addressed head-on. 

This is especially true when it comes to protecting your real estate business and clients from cybersecurity risks and wire fraud. That’s why CertifID offers real estate professionals a robust, intuitive platform that combines the benefits of new real estate technologies with the peace of mind of having wire transfer instruction communications protected with end-to-end encryption.

By embracing technology while also protecting clients with platforms like CertifID, real estate professionals can unlock new opportunities and elevate the client experience to new heights. 

Are you ready to learn more about protecting your business and clients from modern cyber criminals? Then take a moment to review our complete resource, The IT Security Stack for Title Professionals, available here:

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Claudia Lee

VP of Marketing

Claudia is a marketing leader who has led several global functions in enterprise IT. She has a strong track record of scaling growth through partnerships and solutions across a variety of industries.

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