The current surge in mortgage interest rates is putting a strain on home buyers. Housing affordability is declining. The demand for homes is dropping. The number of new house sales is decreasing. According to the Financial Post, Canadian home sales dropped 5.3% in July, marking the fifth consecutive month-over-month decline in sales volume. The US home market is facing similar situation. Sales of existing homes dropped 5.9% last month from June, the National Association of Realtors reported on August 18th.
As less customers engage in buying, it’s now more important than ever to take full advantage of the real estate technology that works best for your business and reduces all needless costs. This post will cover particular real estate technology used by the internal team of builders and developers, real estate agents and external sales team.
Below are the steps to lower your business technology costs and increase efficiency.
Pause or eliminate less-frequently-used tools
First things first, let’s start with a thorough audit of your current tech stack. List out all the software your business pays for and categorize them as follows:
- Essential/Used every day
- Frequently used
- Used occasionally
- Haven’t used in the last year
“Haven’t used in the last year” is a good place to begin reducing excessive technological costs. “Used occasionally” would be a judgement call for you to evaluate. Is it something that your business can live without? Can you simply find a cheaper alternative when you need it again? Once you have ditched those tools that bring less value to your business, you can start working on getting better deals with your favorite tools.
Bundle up your tools and negotiate a discount from one vendor
After the first step, you may still have several digital tools that you use often. However, there are still ways to save costs on them.
Similar to bundling up your auto insurance and home insurance, you may save money by getting various business applications from the same vendor.
Switching vendors for your essential business software might be tricky, considering the learning curve for the new software and other switching costs. However, there might be a lower risk or switching cost for project-based technologies, especially those that are used to showcase the visual aspects of the pre-construction projects.
If you get virtual tours from one vendor and get a virtual building/scale model from another vendor, find one vendor that does it all. Never heard of Virtual Scale Model? It’s the online interactive app for presenting 3D photorealistic buildings that showcases interiors and exteriors with virtual tours, renderings, and other media.
Related reading: 5 Reasons to Choose a Virtual Scale Model Over a Physical One
Identify the most liked tools and use them to create the best experience
Have you ever asked your buyers which technologies or digital tools they prefer when buying a new home?
Some home buyers may wish for a single source of information (e.g., builder’s website) from which they can conveniently search homes, compare homes, view virtual tours, and even complete the transaction online. What happens after buyers sign the purchase agreement? They may wish for an online design center tool to visualize their future home finishes and make design selections at their own pace.
A face-to face and assisted buying process is essential for buyers who aren’t techies. On the other hand, your tech savvy buyers might want to self-serve the entire buying process online. They will be excited to use the most advanced technology that will provide them the most flexibility and convenience.
Examples of digital tools that help create better customer experience:
- 360-degree virtual tour
- Paperless technology: Electronic signatures (DocuSign)
- Virtual 3D building for pre-construction projects
- Virtual 3D site plan with all the home elevations and lot availability
- Sales platform for facilitating in-person and online home sales
- Digital online design studio for visualizing new home finish and facilitating design selection process
Search and test new technology or current tools alternatives
If you have been using a software for a while, it is possible that the software is outdated and no longer provides the best experience. On top of this, the cost of errors with cheap software might sometimes be more expensive than simply upgrading to a newer software. During such an uncertain and stressful time, using cheap or free software may not be the best way to cut down expenses.
For example, you could still be using a basic worksheet to collect buyers’ preferences, manually organize all the worksheets information with an Excel file, and then try to figure out the best way to allocate units. Why not search for a worksheet software that could help to streamline the entire suite request and allocation process? You can see the bigger picture (i.e., the true demand for your project), save your team from daunting and time-consuming tasks, and keep home buyers and their agents satisfied.
There’s no better time than now to double down the real estate technology that your buyers love to use and cut down unnecessary costs. Check out our proptech platform designed to create epic home buying experiences.