Technology, big data, and analytics drive the modern world and can transform real estate from physical to digital realms. A digital real estate ecosystem brings together information technology resources to function as a unit through symbiotic interconnections. The goal is to enable asset management in a holistic ecosystem of users targeting digital real estate management. Here’s an overview of how such ecosystems work.
What Is a Real Estate Ecosystem?
Real estate ecosystems are comprised of realtors, suppliers, trading partners, home buyers, applications, service providers, and technologies. The goal of a digital ecosystem is to group IT resources to function as a unit. Applications such as virtual tours, contactless payments, personalized services, and digital marketing need housing within a single dashboard. A digital framework leverages interoperability to ensure the ecosystem succeeds.
The real estate industry has slowly transformed from analog systems to the modern digital world. While the industry’s processes have been standardized, it’s nowhere near the digitization reflected in other banking, retail, and healthcare sectors. The slow adoption isn’t due to the lack of application but rather the need for a holistic ecosystem. A digital ecosystem can establish symbiotic relationships between the various tools available to realtors.
How Digital Real Estate Ecosystems Work
A digitalized real estate ecosystem is a comprehensive network of advanced PropTech and ConTech, and their users. The ecosystem offers a shift from traditional monolithic systems and rigid analog processes to a more flexible cloud infrastructure. Digital ecosystems leverage cloud technologies, customization, automation, data analytics, security, reminders and triggers. Users also have a wide range of applications and SaaS modules.
Real estate stakeholders, including developers, agents, brokers, investors and managers, must embrace the changes to cover evolving customer demands. Creating a digital ecosystem involves shifting to the digital world through the adoption of digital technologies. Real estate players rely on various tools designed to navigate the technical, legal, and business-related difficulties to achieve success. Below are some tools used to manage digital ecosystems:
- Project Management Tools: Includes agile software development, events tracking, task management and more.
- Research & Analytics Tools: Includes data collection, storage, visualization, libraries, archives, and advanced analytics.
- Customer Engagement Tools: Comprises CRM (customer relationship management) software, email marketing, and donor management.
- Collaboration Tools: Comprises file-sharing tools, email instant messaging, meeting planning, conferencing, and more.
- Public Resources/Platforms: Includes mobile applications, publicly available websites, social media channels, and knowledge management platforms like intranets.
Benefits of Digitized Real Estate Ecosystems
Digital ecosystems connect technology and people and channels with strategies. A digital ecosystem can increase transparency and data consistency across asset and investment management processes. Software systems are also generally characterized by fewer hurdles and faster troubleshooting. Real estate companies need new structuring options, optimized portfolios, and improved operational performance to increase return on investment.
Fifty-eight percent of real estate companies use digital strategies, according to a 2019 survey by KMPG. The main reason for shifting to the digital landscape is the changes in customer behavior and expectations. People looking for homes and property start their search online via mobile and desktop devices. Customers are increasingly initiating the contact instead of hiring a real estate broker. A lack of online presence translates to missed opportunities for real estate businesses.
Changes in technology have brought automation and operational efficiencies that real estate companies can’t afford to miss out on. Through technologies and applications in a digital ecosystem, the industry is in a better place to influence outcomes. Traditional analog approaches are reactionary rather than proactive. A digital real estate ecosystem improves education, ethics, service offering, collaboration, forecasting, and innovation.
Other benefits of a digital ecosystem include faster technology adoption and implementation, new revenue sources, and reduced business costs. Companies can take full advantage of cloud services, SaaS, and modern applications to improve management. Ecosystem integrations also allow organizations to analyze and track various data flows. Moreover, digitized systems buffer workflow efficiency and improve relationships with customers/partners through automation.
Mapping Real Estate Digital Ecosystem
Creating a digital ecosystem has many phases, from digital strategy to implementation and use. Real estate companies need support through the different stages of digital transformation. Mapping the asset and investment management process is essential in real estate digital transformation. The map clarifies the company’s needs and the right tools for fulfilling identified objectives. Here are steps for creating a successful digital ecosystem map:
- Outline Tools: Take an inventory of the company’s apps, tools, and systems.
- Document Users: Identify the people who use all the applications outlined above.
- Categorize Tool Usage: Determine and define the purpose of each tool and application.
- Form Connections: Identify data transfer between tools, automation, duplication and similar functionalities.
- Define Efficiency: Investigate app performance to determine the need for replacement, upgrade, or consolidation.
- Prioritize Tools: Rank all applications based on how critical they are to the company.
Digital Real Estate Ecosystem for Marketers
Real estate marketers can leverage nuanced insights and unique data to target and serve their audience across all channels. Using a reliable Digital Real Estate Ecosystem can reduce the effort of placing and managing ads and tracking performance. Such tools offer all-round tracking across streaming TV, mobile, audio, video, and more. The goal is to use data and advertising platforms to reach customers at every point in their journey.