The Tech Revolution in Real Estate

Rapid technological advances in the past two decades have affected every aspect of our lives. Businesses that don’t get on board risk getting left behind.

Gone are the days when searching for real estate meant picking up the paper and flipping through the listings. And those who are ahead of the curve say there are plenty of other changes in place now that were unimaginable even a few years ago.

“With the technology that’s available you can create the perfect showing online before potential buyers even set foot on the property,” says Ben Imrie of iMuskoka Properties. “People are absolutely astounded with what can be done — and it’s selling properties.”

Ben and his brother Dan are originally from Toronto but they began cottaging on Acton Island as kids. They both got into real estate in 1999, and last year they were each ranked among the top sellers in the province.

VIRTUAL SHOWINGS
Ben says the biggest game changer to hit real estate recently is 360-degree virtual showing. The technology employs multiple cameras using 270-degree optical fields to produce an experience unlike anything that’s come before. “They can look at me, they can look around the house, they can even look out the window. You can focus on any detail you’d like:’

The videos are in development this year with Ben and Dan. They have commentary, and can be paused at any point if the client wants to take a closer look at something. Ben says their website, iMuskoka.com is the only one he’s aware of in North America that’s developing 360-degree technology right now.

Drone photography and videography are also adding a new dimension to real estate showings. “Seeing your property from the air is an entirely different perspective;’ Ben says.

DATA MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
One of the first questions any seller wants answered is “what’s my property worth?” Relying on anecdotal evidence is the old way of doing business, says Ben. iMuskoka creates property profiles for potential sellers, showing them the specific prices of what’s selling in their area and what’s already sold. “I know that people are sceptical. This isn’t, ‘take my word for it’ – this is hard data,” says Ben. “These are huge assets in your portfolio and this takes the guesswork out of knowing your property’s value. I just want you to know what I know.”

In recent years as technology advances, the number of showings before a sale has decreased, says Ben. With the international interest in Muskoka growing because of global economic factors, Ben says what you’re putting online is crucial to getting the best price. The highest quality in media is essential. “We’re getting closer to the point where people are ready to spend well over a million dollars without ever physically going to a property,” says Ben. For more information visit iMuskoka.com.