In today’s world, where access to information about real estate is concerned, geography is no longer a restriction, thanks to technology. Technology has literally invaded every aspect of human existence in the last 20 years or so, and the real estate industry across the world is no exception. With a simple tap of your Smartphone you can search for and vet properties nearly anywhere in the world, contact the seller and make an offer. And more recently, with advancement in virtual reality, you can even assess the property before actual visit.
According to the United States National Association of Realtors, it is estimated that 56% of Americans 36 years old and younger now search for and find homes via the internet. I’m sure you would agree that that is a significant number. Sadly, we scarcely have such data in Nigeria, but if you are involved in the real estate industry, imagine that only 10% of Nigeria’s youths, who constitute over 30% of our total population, resort to the internet to search for properties—that is more 6million young people between ages 25 and 54—how well positioned are you to maximize the opportunity?
Today, most transactions are either initiated or executed over mobile devices—either via calls, emails, skype, social media, or mobile applications. Also, there are several property-listing websites that you can take advantage of if you are a real estate seller. I have used quite a number of them to search for properties in the past. To name a few: nigeriapropertycentre.com, nigerianpropertymarket.com, property24.com.ng, etc. Use these to your advantage, to enhance your business visibility and sales.
Google and Facebook are not left out either as they creatively use the big data they collect from users to enable businesses target and reach their best customers with the right solutions in exchange for their money.
Equally important, for developers, innovative technology is redefining real estate as we know it. With the internet of things came smart home technology which is more like giving your house a “brain and voice”. Now you can automate your home and control it from wherever you are in the world. And I dare say that this is the future of both commercial and residential real estate development even in Nigeria. Already, we have such developments, and more will yet crop up.
Another innovation slowly creeping into Nigeria is green architecture which has been necessitated by growing harsh climatic conditions. Equally, this is an integral part of the future of property development to look out for and align with.
In conclusion, note that innovation and technology are both a friend and a foe, depending on how much and how well you embrace and engage them. Don’t get swept aside by the tides!