Since the 1990s, it's been absolutely inevitable that technology, specifically the internet and other wireless networks, would change reality as we knew it. From communication to commerce to transportation, the world we live in today would be barely recognizable by someone who time-traveled to 2017 from 1987. Of course, the real estate industry wasn't immune from the hyper-speed spread of technology, connectivity, and big data. While by and large, developments in tech have proven adroit to enhance our standards of living and efficiency of business, but there have been some notable potholes and drawbacks of which we must still remain cautious. Technology updates and evolves at an accelerating pace, and for the real estate industry to stay on top of the latest trends, members will have to step up their own game and find ways to collaborate with the tech and programming industries.
Firstly, there is the physical hardware itself -- the devices, gadgets, and things comprise the Internet of Things. On the one hand, it affects the way that realtors do their jobs. Now, real estate agents are much more reachable, as are their potential buyers. Advertising in the age of social media and communication in the age of apps require much more time and specific attention. In addition to changing how information travels from seller to buyer and vice versa, technology has also changed houses and commercial properties as well. Buildings are designed with wireless concerns in mind, and many even have IoT devices built in. As such, many first-time homebuyers look specifically for homes where wireless connectivity is good and technological upgrades would be easy to execute.
Technology has also ushered in the age of Big Data. As Andreas Weigand wrote about in depth in his smash-hit book "Data for the People," big data is inescapable, omnipresent, and eternal. More than ever before, aggregators have terabytes and terabytes of data regarding traffic patterns, human interaction, habits, costs of living, health practices, and more based on how people use their phones and computers. In the world of real estate, this means that both buyers and sellers have access to more information than ever before about the property itself, the neighborhood, the traffic, and the competition. While all this data is a huge asset, it's only useful if it's properly aggregated and analyzed. Big data science is as crucial to the real estate market as the physical property itself.
All these technological advancements have affected everyone at every stage of the real estate process. Builders now have better tools to construct houses, shops, and offices. The old "location location location" adage means something entirely different now that most commerce and much of today's business is conducted online. Investors need to pit the trendiness of installing smart home devices against the long term return and the very short window before the tech is rendered obsolete. Agents need to harness the power of big data and social media to advertise and price their properties appropriately. Buyers have to sift through lots of data and information in order to determine the best house or office for their given needs. As time marches on, we'll all continue to adjust to the ways technology disrupts our lives and real estate markets.