The homebuying process is increasingly going digital. Whether it’s posting available homes online, streamlining the mortgage and loan application processes, or effectively communicating with homebuyers, real estate today is making an effort to meet customers where they live—namely, on the internet. Some are even looking into using virtual reality to give potential buyers the opportunity to view their future homes!
The process of buying a home is about to get a lot more digital—and a lot more convenient.
The “Ultimate Homebuying Experience”
Texas-based Caliber Home Loans recently announced the launch of its “Ultimate Homebuying Experience,” which will allow customers to go through the homebuying process quickly and efficiently. Customers will be able to fill out loan applications, verify income, assets, and employment, and get personalized assistance from Caliber Loan Officers—all online.
“We place the customer experience at the center of all the products and services we offer,” said Caliber CEO Sanjiv Das, “and this program underscores that commitment….We are thrilled to launch this program and look forward to enhancing the homebuying experience for our clients.”
Finding homebuyers where they search
With homebuyers increasingly doing their searching online, it’s no surprise that real estate companies are looking for ways to make their offers web and mobile optimized. As of June 2015, 27 percent of all homebuying searches took place on a cell phone, and 20 percent of searches were done on tablets.
So when it came time to design their website, TRI Pointe Homes and their web design team at Engine Digital looked for ways to tailor the homebuying experience to what searchers needed. For first-time homebuyers, that meant a simple way of navigating the website that would educate the user and take them carefully through the sales process. For those who were old hat at homebuying, TRI Pointe Homes provided more opportunities for searchers to lead themselves where they needed to go to get specific information based on their needs.
In addition, the TRI Pointe Homes website was designed to connect visitors to sales agents at any point in the process.
An open house…before the house is built
Manhattan’s Halstead Property sees the homebuyer journey of the future: They are developing programs that will allow prospective buyers to tour homes before they’re even built.
Partnering with Virtual Xperience, Halstead has created virtual tours using an Oculus Rift headset. The hope is that these virtual tours will hook buyers willing and able to pay the $1.98 million price tag on some of these locations.
“We sell based on emotion and attaching that emotion to a vision,” said Matthew J. Leone, Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing for Terra Holdings, Halstead’s parent company. “Imagine a buyer walking out onto the terrace and thinking: ‘If I bought this home and was having breakfast here, this is exactly what I’d see.’ That’s incredible. For a salesman, it’s a dream come true.”
These technologies—and others like them—are expected to completely transform the real estate industry, not to mention making the whole homebuying process that much easier.