How COVID Propelled the Technology Game in Real Estate



From virtual showrooms and performances to contactless contract signing, the real estate tech sector has seemingly gone through many years since the advent of COVID.

While the ongoing pandemic – with its constant orders for couch potatoes – is not the main reason behind forward-thinking changes in real estate technology, it has become an important booster for the industry in the past year.

This high-tech makeover has changed the way developers, real estate agents and home buyers buy, sell, rent and manage real estate. And most of these revolutionary advances will last long after the term “social distancing” disappears from everyday debate.

Meanwhile, another term, “proptech”, is rapidly gaining popularity. The fast-paced world of real estate technology includes everything from big data (think sites like Zillow) and machine learning for predicting trends, to virtual and augmented reality, smart buildings, and more.

TO READ: Meet the technology leader in real estate Toronto loved by major developers

“Every real estate process can be more efficient with some kind of technology or software, and I think after a year of the pandemic, everyone is open to adapt and embrace change because we had to do it,” says Tim. Ng, founder and director. from toronto ADHOK STUDIO… “The pandemic has propelled the industry forward ten years.”

Long before COVID-19 switched to “business as usual” in real estate, ADHOC STUDIO had already established a multi-faceted digital sales center. But the pandemic was the main catalyst for its widespread spread; since its inception, the business has grown rapidly over Black line, web sales management software created by ADHOC. The all-inclusive sales and marketing platform, first launched in 2019, allows you to sell real estate anywhere, anytime.

Blackline brings everything you need – floor plans, apartment listings and neighborhood information – into one place. It’s a virtual one-stop shop for sales presentations, inventory management, real-time updates, analytics, comparison of floor plans, apartment reservations, and more. For developers, this allows for simplified and distance learning for everyone from brokers to end users, replacing traditional sales centers with coffee shops and dining tables.

Relationships – both old and new – have historically been central to the real estate industry. After all, the industry revolves around the largest (and arguably most important) purchase that most people make. However, due to the lack of face-to-face meetings, both realtors and home buyers were forced to adapt to the digital relationship that was maintained and sustained.

“After a year, people stopped using video calls and this became the new norm,” says Ng. “They replaced face-to-face meetings and visits to presentation centers to sign contracts. I think that being open to video calls greatly improves efficiency – and people understand that. “

“Personal videos promoting the project are also becoming increasingly popular with sales representatives and rental agents,” says Ng. “These high-quality videos not only highlight all the topics for potential home discussions, but they also build trust and a stronger bond between the buyer and the real estate agent, rather than face-to-face communication.”

“Visual content has become incredibly important and things like drones have become the backbone of real estate,” says Ng. “We do a lot of visualizations, animations and virtual tours. More and more, developers rely on visuals and videos when selling apartments. Buyers need to see what it looks like without being there physically. “

This is partly due to virtual productions, which have exploded in popularity in recent years, disrupting the industry. “You can photograph an empty room that is unfurnished and then render the furniture and it looks impressively believable,” says Ng.

This staging is just one aspect of initial virtual visits to properties that help buyers determine from afar what is right for them. And it is these dynamic processes that will undoubtedly continue after physical distance.

“When it comes to every part of how real estate is sold and transactions are made, people will stick to what makes things effective even when life gets back to normal,” says Ng. New industry products are here to stay, ranging from shared online booking systems between home buyers and agents (as opposed to a call or email) to virtual open houses.

Welcome new additions to the real estate industry, which also include advanced analytics such as the MLS House Price Index (HPI), which provide more accurate estimates, predict industry trends, and target marketing targets to relevant audiences.


For ADHOC, their priority remains to improve the efficiency of the industry in any way possible through technology. Most recently, the company launched a broker ambassador program with 16 of the best performing realtors in the Greater Toronto area (GTA). “It encourages open communication with top realtors about how we can streamline their process or workflow and create an even better system,” says Ng. “It’s shocking that there was no one who approached realtors to find out what they needed in the software.”

While this may be shocking, it’s no secret that the real estate industry has historically been slow to adapt to changing technology.

However, this does not mean that we have forever said goodbye to physical showrooms and face-to-face meetings. According to Ng, the new virtual additions to the real estate industry will not replace the traditional experience, but augment it, just like online shopping is done for classic retail.

“It’s all about adapting to maximize efficiency,” says Ng.


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