How Property Apps are Transforming the Real Estate Market

February 21, 2015

8:00 pm

There was a time when if you wanted to purchase a new property you did a few things, like scoured the newspapers, visited your local estate agents’ offices, or even drove around the streets hoping to spot a board announcing that a house in your dream area was available. Nowadays, however, the advent of the Internet has changed the property landscape and now house sales and rentals are largely driven by just a few big property apps; for example, here in the U.K., there’s Rightmove and Zoopla.

The Downside of Property Apps

For buyers and vendors, the dominance of property apps has had both a positive and a negative impact. It’s true that now you only have to search in a couple of places to find all the properties available; however, for buyers, this has meant that you are up against keen competition, as everyone is searching the same websites. Additionally, for vendors, it means that your property can be quickly measured against every other property in your price range and geographical area – if it doesn’t catch people’s attention quickly, you may find it difficult to find a buyer.

The Value of a Traditional Real Estate Agent

This can be a distinct disadvantage and one reason why a traditional estate agent still offers a great deal of value. Estate agents can explain to people the merits of a property, merits which may not be immediately apparent from seeing a few photos on a website. For example, estate agents like Marshall Vizard,  know the surrounding local areas intimately and can therefore provide further detail on catchment areas, local shopping. nightlife, and many other matters that you would not be otherwise aware of.

That’s why the strength of property apps often rests with using them in combination with more traditional means. For example, do online research on the area in which you are interested purchasing property, and then actually follow-up with area visits and register with local estate agents. That way, estate agents can give you some inside advice on what is on offer and can give you the heads-up even before a property is listed online. Being ahead of the game is certainly a big advantage when you are house hunting.

Technology Continues to Accelerate the Property Market

Technology is not only a big part of buying a property in today’s climate, it also plays a part in how new builds are designed and how renovations are carried out.

CAD software is now an integral part of any architect’s toolbox and it can speed up the design and build of a new property substantially. Even if you just want to have a new kitchen installed, technology comes to your aid once again. Your designer will be able to show you in detail how the finished room will look, even making changes on the fly so that you can revisit cabinet types, flooring, fixtures, fittings and even materials, before you sign off on the work. The gallery on the Autokitchen website shows you how realistic these 3D renders; it’s images like these that give you much more confidence that you are going to be happy with the final look of the kitchen.

A further benefit of using CAD software, both for the designer and the client, is that by the end of the design process you have built up a database of all the materials and equipment needed. This can result in a much quicker journey from manufacturing to final installation.

Our heavy reliance on technology is neither good nor bad. We need to take the best parts of it and use them to our advantage. A combination of technology with more traditional methods will nearly always lead to a better outcome then relying solely on one or the other.

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I\'m James, I live and work in Hertfordshire (just outside London), I have a cat and live with my wife. I am a self-confessed geek and spend my days online primarily for both work and pleasure.

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