Hello, technology, meet the real estate industry. It seems that these two giants were made for one another, doesn’t it? In recent years, both have evolved and given rise to some amazing real estate/tech companies often referred to as ‘PropTech’. Let’s take a look at some of the top real estate tech companies, learn about who they are, what they’re known for, and how they make navigating the world of consumer and commercial real estate easier than ever.
States Served: Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Colorado.
First up on our list of top real estate tech companies is consumer-centric Offerpad. With Offerpad, the process of selling a home is seamless. Simply request an offer, fill out a questionnaire, include pictures (videos too if you can), and wait for your cash offer. If the offer looks good, you’re on your way.
Offerpad Pros: The process for selling a home is straightforward.
Offerpad Cons: Offerpad serves a small relatively small number of areas in a handful of states.
Location: UK (London)
Areas Served: HubbleHQ serves 20 areas throughout London.
Next, we step into the world of commercial real estate with HubbleHQ, a top real estate tech company in the United Kingdom. HubbleHQ’s focus is on office space for not only companies in the UK who want to be in London, but also for any other company elsewhere who’s thinking of expanding. A great perk of going with HubbleHQ is that they handle the whole process from start to finish for free. Who doesn’t like a service that is free?
HubbleHQ Pros: Again, a simple process, and HubbleHQ handles all the details from beginning to end at no additional cost.
HubbleHQ Cons: There don’t appear to be much in the way of cons with HubbleHQ. The areas served might look like just a few, but London is a global destination so the number of potential customers is huge.
Location/Areas Served: Seattle, Southern California, Portland, Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The final top real estate company we’ll visit today is FlyHomes. FlyHomes is a real estate brokerage that helps consumers buy and sell their homes. They work with consumers as well as real estate agents. FlyHomes was started in 2015 by a single real estate broker and they’ve now expanded to an amazing 150 brokers.
FlyHomes Pros: FlyHomes touts a guaranteed cash offer a trade-up program and an app.
FlyHomes Cons: It’s hard to find a con with FlyHomes.
So whether you’re a consumer looking to buy or sell a home or you’re a commercial client who needs office space, there are a ton of top real estate tech companies you can turn to for help. The three companies we visited today, we think, deserve strong consideration.
A commercial real estate property is an asset that generates income for its owners. The property offers favorable returns over a long time. It benefits the owners with consistent monthly rental income and adds value to the total investment portfolio. The process of commercial real estate appraisal determines the current or market value of a commercial property which in turn helps seek financing, insurance, purchase, or sale deals.
Commercial real estate investments have earned solid returns in the past. Unfortunately, these gains have dissipated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Clients choose to move out of office spaces they no longer afford to save on rental costs as employees work remotely. Whereas there is some semblance of a return to normalcy, it will take time, and companies worldwide will have to adapt to new business models to survive the post coronavirus era.
This trend has been long in the works as the past decade will show, with brick and mortar businesses switching to digital platforms. Global brands have set up massive distribution centers across the continent to serve an ever-growing internet consumer base. Notably, the near-collapse of coworking spaces company WeWork has cast doubt over flexible working spaces options that the sector had started to acclimatize.
With global travel at less than 50%, short-term stays companies will continue to struggle in the foreseeable future casting further doubts on investments in real estate startups such as Common, Quarters, and Ollie. Deloitte projects that economic activity across Europe, large Asia-pacific economies, e.g., Japan and Australia, India, United States, and China, will face a severe downturn if the coronavirus vaccination is not practical. As it will take time to develop enough vaccines and deploy them, economists expect growth to remain constrained for a long time. Nonetheless, the economy will recover. The critical question for Commercial Real Estate owners is whether CRE companies are ready for the future.
By tapping into tenant data, commercial real estate companies will become more resilient. IoT sensors collect proprietary information about the behavior of users in multiple real estate properties. This data provides a valuable commodity that could help technological and marketing companies build trust and increase user engagement. These observed trends are bound to take commercial real estate to a whole new competitive phase.
The real estate industry was already undergoing historic disruptions thanks to an array of new technological applications for the basic practice of buying and selling property. Everything from blockchain and AI to the showing of homes via virtual reality platforms makes this sector a Brave New World indeed.
But just when you thought there was enough tech changing the game, a new phenomenon of the Digital Age is turning real estate on its head once again. It’s called iBuying, and it may be the hottest trend in real estate.
What is iBuying? This is when an individual or company buys and sells real estate assets strictly through connected digital platforms.
This new way to trade is being done by entrepreneurial, independent and self-employed speculators — but iBuying has also been embraced in a big way by both emerging and established companies, such as Zillow, OpenDoor, Knock, Offerpad and RedfinNow.
iBuying is actually much like house flipping, except the strategy is different. Operators don’t seek run-down fixer-uppers to remodel and sell at a sweet mark-up. Rather, they search out homes in good to excellent condition. They buy at a fair market value and then attempt to resell for a profit. That obviously means much lower margins than traditional house flipping. Thus, iBuying is high-volume trading at low margins.
The iBuying concept has not penetrated all areas of the U.S. as of yet. Most of the activity is seen in locations where average properties run in the $250,000 range.
Homeowners can get involved in iBuying. They start by going online to seek offers for their home. The first step is filling out basic information, such as the appraised value of the home, features, information about location, any recent remodeling that’s been done and so on. The homeowner hopes a company like OpenDoor or Knock will like what they see and make an offer.
The professional iBuyer has incredible tools at his or her disposal. For example, they deploy an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) which will provide an estimate of the home’s value. They also use AI applications to pour through hundreds of prospects and ferret out the promising deals while rejecting the marginal ones.
An iBuyer can sit back in his chair in a home office and ply the nation for real estate opportunities while never having to pound the streets, go out and show a home, talk to clients, tack up advertising signs or perform any other of the trappings of traditional real estate activity.
Whether you are looking to purchase or sell a property, commercial real estate appraisals are key to determining the price or value of the property in question. Appraising commercial real estate is beneficial to a seller and a buyer as it helps identify the comparative value of a particular property against other available properties in the market. Commercial property is defined as a property used exclusively for business-related purposes or to provide workspaces rather than private living spaces.
Commercial real estate should not be confused with residential real estate appraisals, which looks at the value of single-family homes, condominiums, or townhouses mainly used as private living spaces. Whereas commercial real estate properties are typically leased by tenants who conduct income-generating activities, residential properties are purchased for personal use. Knowing the distinction between the two will help you choose the right valuation approaches when you are buying or selling.
Commercial real estate appraisal is the process of identifying the current value of a commercial property. It is mainly conducted by sellers to identify the market value of their property when considering selling it to other parties. In other cases, buyers undertake a commercial property appraisal to verify whether the asking price is competitive against other options in the market. In both instances, the derived value of the property acts as an unbiased, fair estimate that sets a foundation for negotiations, financing, restructuring or insurance purposes.
The current market value of a real estate property helps banks determine how much financing they can safely lend against such assets. Financial institutions provide capital to investors, individuals and businesses against assets that can be sold off to recover the total sum of principal and interest accrued on loan should the borrower fail in their obligations to repay. In the case of real estate, the current market value forms a basis for calculating the maximum mortgage value a bank can lend safely.
Further, insurance companies use commercial real estate appraisals to determine how much you should pay to insure the commercial property’s value against such perils as fire, theft, and natural disasters. Whichever the case, it is essential to identify the exact purpose of the appraisal report to determine the correct method of undertaking commercial real estate valuations.
It’s common today to hear social observers discuss how the priorities of Millennials have shifted away from their elders, the Baby Boomer, and Gen X.
They say that most Millennials are not interested in buying homes and being saddled with a mortgage for 15 to 30 years. Rather, they are opting for a “lighter” lifestyle that allows them to be fluid, travel, and not be pinned down to the kinds of 9-to-5 jobs conducive to buying homes.
Well, take all those assumptions and toss them on the scrap heap of misguided punditry.
Statistics clearly show that Millennials are driving a surge in home buying. Amazingly, it’s those in their late 20s and 30s leading the way. While “experts” have given us the impression that Millennials have adopted a “gig economy” lifestyle that’s highly mobile, it seems more of them are opting to put down roots.
Stuart Eisenberg is the national director for construction and real estate BDO USA, a prominent accounting firm. He said Millennials have had some time now to pay off student loan debt and to get settled in their careers. He expects this youthful demographic to play “the disruptor role” in the real estate sector with an accelerated home-buying pace in the coming years.
Millennials are also shifting the way house buyers traditionally seek a permanent place to call home. They are far more likely to use mobile tech devices in their search for properties. This, in turn, will cause an adjustment in the way real estate agents choose to develop marketing strategies. The National Realtors Association reports that 99% of Millennials employ online searches for general information about the housing market. They also prefer text messaging as their preferred way to interact with real estate agents. Baby Boomers still prefer live phone conversations or face-to-face meetings.
Furthermore, Millennials are blowing right past smaller starter homes and opting for upscale models in suburbs and the rural edges of larger cities. The trend is to avoid costly inner-city properties. The COVID-19 factor is partly driving the latter phenomenon.
Ten years ago, few would have predicted the Millennials would be driving a trend toward increased demand for more expensive homes located in suburbs and rural areas.