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Virtual reality, drones and data: How will you buy your next home?

Virtual reality, drones and data: How will you buy your next home?
Shara Evans, leading technology futurist

Virtual reality, advanced algorithms and e-Conveyancing: Shara Evans, leading technology futurist, looks at how we’ll be buying homes over the next decade.

In the past ten years, home buyers have gone from window shopping to online listings; from poring over the real estate section of the newspaper to mobile apps at their fingertips.
 
Where does it go from here? Evans shares her insights on how technology is disrupting the home-buying experience.
 
The future of house hunting
 
Multiple innovations are being developed to help house hunters find their dream home.
 
Agents and listing sites are already using 360-degree filming and virtual reality (VR) walkthroughs to market properties. Services that use advanced data analysis to rate suburbs on community, affluence, convenience, lifestyle, safety, schools and more are also becoming valuable home-buyer tools.
 
“Soon, we’ll have VR and drone footage being used to sell property off-the-plan,” Evans says. “If you want to buy a house or unit that hasn’t been built, trying to imagine the finished result can be difficult, especially if it has a view. Having a designer create a visual image of the interior and take drone footage of the view from different floors makes an effective marketing tool.”
 
Taking its first step into this reality is PSMA and the recent release of its Geoscape product. The 3D database of Australia’s built environment uses cutting-edge technology – including artificial intelligence, satellite imagery and preview visualisation – to give users a view of proposed development in their surrounding suburbs.
 
Evans believes technologies like this will have a big impact on how people buy homes in the future. “Being able to do a virtual walk-around at different times of the day, to see how the proposed building will impact sun or shade on your property, will be particularly beneficial to both buyers and neighbouring residents.”
 
Consumers can now use geospatial data to reveal the proximity of mobile towers, broadband exchanges and even NBN availability.
 
“Today’s consumers are asking these questions, if they work from home, it’s a necessity as well as convenience.”
 
Looking deeper into the future, Evans predicts a broader adoption of blockchain technology in the exchange of property contracts adding another layer to the already evolving property exchange industry.
 
Streamlining the settlement process
 
Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, going through the settlement process can be frustrating and time-consuming. “All you need is a single mistake in your paperwork and you’re back to square one.”
 
As e-Conveyancing becomes standard procedure, however, much of that will disappear.
 
“Digital transactions are far easier for all concerned than the traditional process of carrying paper back and forth, because things get lost in the loop and it is very time-consuming”.
 
Property Exchange Australia or PEXA, allows buyers, sellers, lawyers and banks to check on the progress and accuracy of their transaction online. This can speed up the transfer by eliminating paperwork, revisions and delays. It also means that funds aren’t tied up for as long, saving consumers time and interest.
 
Evans believes anything that takes the stress and potential for human error out of the equation is good. “It’s a beneficial use of technology. The whole process of buying a home is extremely complicated; reducing the stress when transacting property is a good thing.”

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