How Tech May Impact the Real Estate Market Over the Next Year

Technology’s impact on the real estate industry is gradually starting to take hold. To stay competitive, many real estate professionals and companies are changing their business models or the way they do business. With technology rapidly changing consumer behavior, real estate professionals must adapt to the digital innovations that are beginning to define the sector. Here are some tech trends real estate professionals can expect to happen this year and beyond.

Machine Learning/AI
Real estate pros are constantly looking for ways to streamline their processes, and many in the industry are counting on machine learning and AI to improve efficiency. Many agents and brokers now use artificial intelligence to match properties to a homebuyer’s specific requests. Additionally, many companies are finding ways to use machine learning and AI to spot trends in housing markets. The goal would be to use data backed by facts instead of relying on a hunch to make home buying and selling decisions.

Chatbots
Artificial intelligence is what programmers and computer scientists use to process natural language in the form of chatbots. This technology is one of the fastest growing trends in the customer service industry, and the real estate market is certainly no exception. Companies are looking for ways to use AI and chatbots to automate engagement between agents and brokers. They also hope to use chatbots to transform lead generation in an effort to streamline their marketing efforts. Chatbots are proving themselves as an invaluable tool in answering customers’ simple queries about home availability and pricing.

Blockchain Technology
By now, many people are familiar with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but they may be unfamiliar with the technology that fuels cryptocurrencies. Known as blockchain, this technology is far more than a cryptocurrency payment gateway. Instead, it is a powerful decentralized database that could hold important records on virtually any property in the world. If real estate professionals implement the technology, it could provide a fraud-proof way to access far more data on homeowners and properties.

The real estate industry could see some dramatic changes in the way companies conduct business over the next several years due to the rapid rise of technology. However, many real estate experts agree that the industry is overdue for a tech shakeup. Although the future of real estate and technology is uncertain, companies will have to adapt as AI and machine learning continues to evolve.

Housing Markets Set To Explode!

According to a recent article, there are a number of states throughout the country that have a very high chance of experiencing continued rises in housing prices over the next year.

While some housing markets have cooled off due to a combination of state policies, slow or negative job growth and stagnant local economies, a few states are reaping the lion’s share of the increasing demand for national housing. In fact, the last few years have marked the first time since 2006 that the average housing prices across the country as a whole have set records. But these gains have been distributed unequally, and that trend is likely to continue. Here are three states where housing prices are likely to continue experiencing strong gains.

Nevada

Nevada isn’t just the gambling capital of the world; It’s also one of the states with the lowest overall tax rates and the most favorable laws towards business. These facts have continued to attract new residents in droves, driving the housing prices of the state up by a factor of nearly 3 since 2012. While buying a home or piece of commercial real estate is always a bit of a gamble, doing so in Nevada has been a bet that has paid off handsomely.

Texas

The Lone Star State has one of the fastest-growing economies not just in the United States but in the world. Cities like Houston and Austin have experienced growth in their respective populations that place them among the fastest-growing cities in the country. And the characteristic intrastate migrants that Texas has been receiving tend to be high-earning and highly educated. With some of the lowest taxes and one of the most pro-business environments of any U.S. state, Texas has seen a massive influx of tax refugees from states like Illinois, Connecticut and California.

Florida

At one time, Florida may have had the reputation of being the poor man’s California. Today, Florida is one of the most popular destinations for those fleeing the Golden State. With zero personal income tax, idyllic year-round weather and, perhaps, the easiest access to beachfront and water-based recreation of any state in the country, Florida continues to be a prime destination for retirees, business owners and just about anyone else who seeks fun and sun without the stifling taxes, regulation and congestion of California.

High-Priced Houses: The World’s Most Expensive Homes

While I certainly do enjoy discussing real estate development and the industry as a whole, I also enjoy taking some time to admire the homes and properties that are being provided to the market. Like most other people, I thoroughly enjoy looking at lavish houses with dozens of rooms, extravagant decorations and top-notch amenities. With that being said, I wanted to go through and highlight some of the most expensive and extravagant houses around the world.

 

Beverly House

Beverly Hills, California

$135 million

When most people think of extravagant houses, they picture Beverly Hills, with good reason. Boasting six flat acres of land, additional smaller homes, an expansive library, billiard room and family room with an outside terrace that can seat 400 people, this mansion has something for everybody. The mansion even features a nightclub, a wine cellar and a spa facility. With amenities like these, there’s no reason to ever leave your house. The house itself has become incredibly famous, most notably for being featured in The Godfather and The Bodyguard.

 

Villa Leopolda

Villefranche-sur-mer, France

$750 million

Not many people can say that their homes are built around royalty, but the owner of Villa Leopolda certainly can! Built by the Belgian King Leopold II in 1902, this absolutely magnificent mansion is truly a sight to behold. This 50-acre expansive building features a helipad, pool, outdoor kitchen a commercial greenhouse and more than a dozen bathrooms and bedrooms combined. Similar to the Beverly House, the Villa Leopolda has been featured in many movies, such as The Red Shoes and To Catch a Thief.

 

Tour Odéon Penthouse

Monte Carlo, Monaco

$400 million

How can a penthouse be worth $400 million dollars? Simple: it’s the greatest penthouse in the world. This 35,000-square-foot space sits atop of a 560-foot skyscraper (the second-tallest building in the Mediterranean) and provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of the area’s beautiful waters. While some prefer to stay on the ground, for anyone looking for a lavish high-rise apartment, look no further.

Real Estate Startups in 2018

2018 is finally in full swing. Regardless of your thoughts on last year, we must all move forward and look towards a bright and hopeful future. And, if you’re invested in the real estate industry, you may have some exciting trends to look forward to. As someone who is closely connected to real estate, I am incredibly excited to see some new companies and businesses that are looking to make some waves in the industry. Without further ado, here are some of this year’s most interesting real estate startups.
Dealpath
For any of you involved in commercial real estate investment, you may be tired of the tedious and mundane tasks associated with the job. Luckily, Dealpath is looking to make the process a bit easier. With Dealpath, development and acquisition teams can streamline their process by cutting down those pesky tasks and focusing on high-level strategy. Dealpath allows users to communicate easily, collaborate more efficiently and to keep track of deals and projects in real-time.
Flip
Where Airbnb focuses on providing users with the ability to house guest for short-term rentals, Flip does the complete opposite: long-term rentals. With Flip, landlords have a better deal of security on payments and renters have a bit more flexibility. Leases on Flip can range anywhere from a month to a year, but they typically begin at six months. The startup is currently works in the New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles markets and recently secured a $2.2 million seed round of investments.
Rentalutions
With short-term rental services such as Airbnb and FlipKey becoming more and more popular, we are in an era where anyone can be a “landlord.” This is a bit scary, considering the fact that being a landlord isn’t necessarily easy and that title comes with a great deal of responsibility. Rentalutions looks to solve this dilemma by providing the necessary tools and information to brand-new landlords in order to make their lives a bit easier and to make tenants feel a bit more comfortable and safe. Last year, the startup earned $2 million in funding and it looks to continue growing this year.

Real Estate Trends For 2018

It’s the dawn of a new year. 2018 is officially here, and we have a bright future to look forward to. Multiple industries have much to look forward to this year, and real estate is no exception. There’s plenty to celebrate and get excited about. With that being said, I wanted to highlight some of the most fascinating and impactful trends that real estate will likely experience this year.
The Millennial Mindset
Real estate agents are quickly learning that they must learn to work with a newer mindset: The Millennial Mindset. Millennials (those born anywhere from early 80s to late 90s) look at housing in a very different way than previous generations. Millennials are, for one, in debt. Several Millennials have a college degree, which is fantastic, however, that does mean that a great deal of Millennials are now in debt due to their student loans. They are incredibly price conscious. Millennials are also very open to communal/co-living situations. They understand that having more people in a home means less pressure on rent price. Millennials are also constantly invested in their digital devices. Real estate professionals are now learning that, in order to reach this new demographic, they must begin to utilize the tools that Millennials use. This means social media, emails, Internet, simplified websites and mobile apps.
Millennials are also very accustomed to living in a world where almost everything is available at the tap of a button. We can now hail a ride, order food, purchase clothing and goods and even handle our bank accounts from our mobile devices and computers in a few easy steps. Millennials see no reason why they shouldn’t be able to do the same with real estate. Having dedicated websites or mobile apps that allow potential home buyers to sell or buy a property is almost a must in today’s age; and if it isn’t yet, it’s getting there.
Short-Term Rentals
This is a growing trend with both Millennials as well as older generations. Short-term rental services, such as Airbnb or FlipKey allow users, and everyday, average citizens, become landlords. You can use your home as a hotel or bed and breakfast and profit! These stays tend to be very short, hence the term, “short-term rental.” As people look for cheaper ways to pay for housing, short-term rentals are the most lucrative market. If you haven’t looked into short-term rentals yet, make sure to do so. The industry has been growing for the last few years and shows no signs of slowing.

Are Millennials Buying Real Estate?

According to Spencer Rascoff, the CEO of Zillow Group, millennials buy real estate far more than people think that they do. In fact, millennials spent $500 billion in real estate in the last 12 months. However, millennials do approach buying real estate in different ways than previous generations.
Millennials often go straight to the Internet for information, and real estate information is no exception. More than any other generation, and more than ever before, millennials are finding both properties and agents online. The internet has made the process of buying a home or investing in real estate easier and more accessible than ever. Instead of investing loads of time in calling agency after agency and inspecting property after property, millennials do much of the home buying process from their computer or smartphone.
Millennials, more than any other generation, are borrowing money to spend on real estate. They often borrow money for down payments from friends and families. While this may not always be a reliable solution, it is oftentimes necessary in order for millennials to get their foot in the door. This is because millennials often have a hard time finding homes that they can afford on their own. This is the result of a variety of factors. Many millennials face student debt higher than in previous generations and find themselves working low paying jobs. Oftentimes, these jobs are not even in the fields that they dedicated time studying to work in. However, by borrowing money from those around them, they have a springboard from which they can jump into the housing market.
Millennials now make up a large part of the real estate market. Although they often face financial hardships greater than those of previous generations as a result of inflation and wage stagnation, they end up having similar views towards home ownership to those of the generations that came before them. While renting is a very popular method that opens up a gateway to home ownership for them, millennials also often take out loans to pay for their properties. While this can backfire (and often results in a lot of debt), the end result is more millennials buying up real estate.
Millennials may not always be putting themselves in positive situations by buying homes, but they often do anyway and now make up a large section of the real estate market.

Airbnb is Getting Into the Real Estate Industry

I recently wrote a blog that discussed the effect of Airbnb, the popular sharing economy service, on real estate. In that blog, I mentioned that Airbnb could prove to be a real threat to the real estate industry. The service is already disrupting the hospitality industry and has caused a bit of a stir in real estate, but its latest venture could drastically impact both industries.

 

According to a report from Fastcodesign.com, Airbnb is partnering up with a South Florida-based development company, Newgard Development Group, in order to construct an apartment building specifically designed for the sharing economy. Depending on the success of the building, Airbnb could roll out several more buildings throughout the country.

 

Dubbed “Niido,” the apartment building will exclusively host Airbnb rentals and feature 324 units. Niido is being constructed in Kissimmee, Florida.

 

Airbnb has been looking into making deals with apartment complexes for sometime, but has been limited by legal restrictions. By partnering with a development firm to build its own apartment buildings, the company can completely avoid those issues.

 

The Niido building is being specifically designed to accommodate the average sharing economy user. Niido will feature wide open common areas in the hopes that visiting travelers will interact and engage with each other; units will feature home offices that can easily transform into a spare bedroom; each unit will feature bathrooms and kitchens constructed of durable material that is also easy to clean; units will include small safes for travelers to store their personal belongings; each unit will work on a keyless entry system that only grants access during the duration of a visitor’s stay and tenants will be able to access both home-sharing and maintenance services through a single app. Newgard Development and Airbnb have truly pulled out all of the stops in order to provide a unique experience that will hopefully push the sharing economy industry forward.

 

With the Niido building, Airbnb hopes to create something of a small community. A portion of all standard Airbnb booking fees will go towards community projects, such as cooking and art classes. This will help to create a sense of community and offer a great experience and a better reason to stay in a Niido building.

 

Should Airbnb’s Niido building take off, the company could drastically encroach on the real estate industry. What are your thoughts? Do you want to see Airbnb make their own apartment complexes or would you rather they stick with what’s been working?

Where Will Amazon Build its New Headquarters?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are familiar with Amazon. What once started out as a small, online book store has grown into the world’s largest online retailer and one of the world’s largest retailers, period. Currently, the company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. However, the company is continuing its growth, and it is looking to build a secondary headquarters. And several cities across the nation are vying for the opportunity to become the newest headquarters for one of the world’s largest companies. Now, the question remains: where will Amazon call its second home?

 

Since Amazon announced its nationwide location hunt, multiple cities around the country have all flocked at Amazon’s door to bring the company, and the prospective 50,000 jobs that it entails, to their town. And Amazon has not been shy about what it wants from its new hometown. In an official statement from Amazon, the company announced that it will accept applications from cities while looking at six core factors: tech labor force, fiscal health, cost of living, college population, culture fit, and state tax rank.

 

At the moment, there seem to be a few cities that are prime contenders. These cities are: Dallas, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, New York, Nashville, Austin, Minneapolis, and even Newark. Surprisingly, another major contender on the list appears to be Seattle, Washington.

 

The e-commerce company has received at least 238 applications, many of which are from major metropolitan areas. Others are from much smaller areas, like Rockdale, Texas, whose population maxes out at 5,628.

 

Whichever city is chosen to house Amazon’s newest headquarters will likely be looking at some great benefits. Firstly, the building will cost several billion dollars to actually build, and, as previously mentioned, the new headquarters will create around 50,000 jobs, which is certain to stimulate the local economy. The lucky city will also become something of a tech haven overnight.

 

I am not only interested in seeing where Amazon decides to set up shop, but also how this decision ultimately affects the surrounding area. When a major corporation like Amazon builds a new campus, things are bound to change drastically; and not always for the better.

 

What are your thoughts? Where do you want to see Amazon build their second headquarters?

How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Looking for a home is a major decision in a person’s life. You want to ensure that you are finding the perfect home to start your independent life, raise a family or whatever purpose you might have. The house hunting process is typically very trying and never goes as smoothly as we’d hope. Luckily, there are professionals that try their hardest to make the process as manageable as possible. But not all real estate agents are created equal. Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right real estate agent.

 

Find a Licensed and Professional Agent

This might seem like a no brainer, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people who hire a close friend or part-time agent only to have the situation blow up in their face. When looking for an agent, ensure that they are fully licensed by their respective. Also, try your best to get an agent who’s had experience in tough deals. You want to make sure that your agent will be on your side and negotiate as hard as possible in your best interests.

 

Communication

Another fantastic trait of a great real estate agent is great communication. You want an agent who is going to be constantly communicating with you, either through text message, email or phone call. Obviously, they shouldn’t be overbearing, but if something of note happens, you should be the first to know as quickly as possible. They should also be very good at communicating the pros and cons of your house or property to potential buyers. If they cannot communicate effectively to buyers, there is no hope for a sale.

 

Organization

You want an agent who is organized. Point blank. If they seem to be disheveled and all over the place, you might want to consider a new agent. If your agent is punctual, keeps notes, records and all necessary information in an easy to access and read manner, then you’ve got a winner.

 

There are several other factors that go into making a great real estate agent. These are only a few of the important characteristics. When looking for an agent, talk to them and get to know them. You’ll probably have a good idea of who they are and how effective they will be after a few minutes of discussion.

 

Good luck!

Disruptor: Bitcoin in Real Estate

Technology is an absolutely invaluable part of our society. Objectively, the Internet is no longer an option, it is a necessity; we are constantly performing a variety of tasks on our smartphones, which are really supercomputers condensed into a device that’s barely larger than a deck of cards; and we are moving closer and closer to self-driving cars that no longer run on gasoline. The world around us is evolving into a digital utopia, and it’s taking no prisoners. Almost every industry, field or sector has been heavily influenced by some form of technology. One of the more recent impacts technology has made on our society is in our money. And this new form of money is impacting another important aspect of life: real estate.

 

Before I go any further, let me explain what exactly Bitcoin is. Originally introduced in 2009, Bitcoin is a digital form of currency known as cryptocurrency. The system works on a model known as peer-to-peer, meaning users exchange monies with one another directly without the use of a “middleman.” In the simplest description possible, Bitcoin is an online-exclusive method of virtual payment. And even though it has been around for roughly 10 years, it is just beginning to catch on in the mainstream market now.

 

Bitcoin seems to be most prevalent in the retail and restaurant industries. It is quickly becoming a viable option for payment. And now it looks to take on the real estate industry.

 

A report from CNBC.com states that there have already been properties purchased through Bitcoin in New York, Texas and California. President of Magnum Real Estate Group, Ben Shaoul, who was featured in the article, claims that he has begun to see Bitcoin make an impact in the Texas real estate market. He believes that the younger demographic of America is looking for alternative methods to purchase homes and property; they no longer want to rely on traditional U.S. currency. Bitcoin offers that freedom and variety in spades.

 

If Bitcoin continues to become widely accepted, it could take over the world and become just as easa to use as a credit card or a check. I am very interested to see if this new trend will take over or fizzle out.