TORONTO: real estate agent Shawn Zigelstein remembers a few years ago, when a printer, scanner and fax machine were the most important tools in his trade.
Now, these gadgets are almost obsolete.
"I do not even know the last time I sent a fax, to be honest with you," Zigelstein River, commercial representative with a Royal LePage brokerage in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
"The dilemmas we used to have were incredible. Now our customers can open the phone, push a few buttons and sign papers (offer)."
Zigelstein says the adoption of technology in real estate has grown exponentially in recent years and is a trend that believes it will only grow as more options become and realtors are striving to attract in the market millennium
"Agents that do not adapt to this change will see their businesses diminish considerably because they can not adapt quickly enough," he said.
From smartphone applications such as Loom, which allows realtors to remotely share screens and slideshows with customers, to digital signatures that can be sent verified with phones and tablets, the technology is outlining a new way so that the realtors do business.
Historically, the real estate industry has been a "lag" when it comes to adopting technology, says Frank Magliocco, PwC Canada's partner specializing in the real estate market.
"But I think that what you will see now is a fairly significant trend in embracing this technology once it becomes a mainstream," he said.
"It will be increasingly important to stay and be competitive in the market. Once you see these technologies, you will increasingly see the adoption."
According to PwC, proptech, widely defined as a technology used in the real estate market, was an industry of 4.6 billion US dollars in Canada and the US in 2016. Last year, this figure rose to 7,300 million US dollars, an indicator that interest and opportunity in the space has also grown.
Magliocco says proptech, who called the cousin to the financial business of the banking industry, can refer to any of the online listings websites in intelligent buildings that use great data to automate heating and lighting in residential homes. ; 3D printing
"Think of the banking industry for years, before fintech … the banking had to be done in person, entered and changed the business model. Now deposit a check and transfer of money and you can do everything to your phone, "he said. finger
"Real estate used to be all the transactions that had to be strong in the role with many lawyers involved and leaving inspectors to check the space and measure the space. It is no longer necessary."
Stephen Jagger, the co-founder of IMRE, a company that manages a personal artificial intelligence assistant for realtors, says that technology is so embedded in everyday life that customers expect to be able to use -la in your real estate transactions.
The IMRE blog can answer basic questions from potential customers on behalf of a real estate agent 24 hours a day through text and social networks. Use auto-learn to answer questions about a list, such as the price, the number of bedrooms and the school district where the house is located. However, the bot can not respond to subjective queries intended for a real estate agent, such as comparisons of different neighborhoods.
Jagger says that this type of technology does not replace a real estate agent, but, like all good technology, it improves its jobs.
"(Real estate agents know it) must respond in five minutes or lose leadership," Jagger said, the company is based in Vancouver. "Allow real estate agents to focus on high-level tasks, such as showing a home, instead of answering random questions all the time."
However, Toronto real estate agent Cam Woolfrey says technology will not make the real estate industry obsolete.
"(A real estate agent) with experience can make the experience," he said.
"Customers really see a dollar value in that. If you have the knowledge and experience, customers will find it so valuable."