The world is tentatively reopening industry by industry, but some are still dealing with broad impacts from COVID-19 that could potentially shift the way they operate long term.
The real estate industry, for example, saw increased use of online and mobile channels by both buyers and sellers, something that is likely to continue well into the future.
One of the biggest changes that arose during the first few months of the pandemic in several global markets concerned how real estate firms were able to find, interact and successfully manage relationships with new clients. Face-to-face meetings were stalled by necessity due to health concerns, which meant that digital interaction quickly became the industry standard.
In the latest Digital Consumer Onboarding Tracker®, PYMNTS examines how the pandemic has impacted the real estate industry, particularly its adoption of digital tools to onboard new buyers, renters and sellers. The Tracker also analyzes how these trends are likely to continue in the future.
Around The Digital Onboarding World
Real estate firms in India are also responding to the ways in which the pandemic has expanded the industry’s use of digital tools. Both online-only Indian real estate firm NoBroker.com and Xanadu Realty are using virtual platforms that allow prospective clients to tour apartments, houses and other properties online without the health risks associated with in-person tours. The feature has also proved popular; Xanadu Realty facilitated more than 6,300 such video calls in May 2020, for example.
Other real estate businesses are tapping emerging technologies to help them better support customers that are becoming majority-digital. Cloud software provider AppFolio is grafting artificial intelligence (AI) into its offerings for real estate companies, for example. The provider created an AI-enabled tool called Lisa, designed to help simplify the onboarding experience both for homebuyers, renters, sellers and landlords. Firms can also use the Lisa tool to provide customers with virtual tours of properties, according to AppFolio. Using AI-based offerings in this way can help to craft more seamless experiences for waiting customers who want to find new homes or apartments, in turn allowing real estate firms to work with a wider array of clients.
Real estate firms must still be sure they are properly identifying new clients. Online identity verification is steadily growing more important as digital channels take on a growing role within the industry, but to complete this part of the process accurately, firms must be sure they can access key information in real time. Companies lose approximately 18 percent of their yearly revenues on average thanks to inaccurate or false data, according to one recent study. This means firms should not only examine what information they need to identify new clients, but how that information is kept and structured.
For more on these and other stories, visit the Tracker’s News & Trends.
How Property Management Firms Are Innovating Onboarding For Digital Real Estate
The real estate industry did not escape the impact of the pandemic, with firms responding to drops in property prices as well as changes to the ways in which they can communicate with and find new clients. This is accelerating the move to digital channels within the industry, according to Colin Wiel, co-founder and chief technology officer for property management firm Mynd. The movement to online channels also means that real estate firms must be prepared to onboard any new clients with the same ease and swiftness they typically expect from services in other digital industries, Wiel said in an interview with PYMNTS.
To find out more about how Mynd is innovating its onboarding processes, visit the Tracker’s Feature Story.
How Fresh Data Sources Help Real Estate Firms Fend Off Onboarding Frictions
Face-to-face meetings and contract signings have been replaced with online video chats and digital communication by necessity as real estate continues to adapt to the impacts of the pandemic. These digital channels have existed for years, but are now being used as the main way real estate firms are able not only to interact with existing clients, but to work with new prospective renters or homebuyers. Real estate firms that are still relying on paper-based methods to onboard or to verify the identities of new clients have therefore needed to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions.
To learn more about how the pandemic is affecting the online real estate industry and the way firms are approaching identity verification in onboarding, visit the Tracker’s Deep Dive.
About The Tracker
The PYMNTS Digital Consumer Onboarding Tracker®, a partnership with Melissa, examines the latest KYC, digital onboarding and online verification news and trends. The Tracker also examines the role alternative data sources and related technologies such as advanced analytical tools can play in this space as onboarding needs grow more sophisticated.