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The way people buy and sell real estate can be a protracted, low-tech, and often-frustrating process.

You might save for years to scrounge together a sizeable enough nest egg to enter the market. You might spend sleepless nights trying to figure out whether your real estate agent (who your mom’s friend recommended) is really trying to get you a good deal—or if they just want to be done with the sale.

And you might also drive to showing after showing, meeting after meeting, before finding the right place. Then you might restart the process anew when it’s time to sell.

Luckily, the way we buy and sell real estate is changing.

Thanks to new technological advancements and bold thought leaders, real estate transactions are easier, more transparent, and frankly more fun than they’ve ever been.

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Blockchain and Real Estate Tokenization

For example, one of the most significant changes for buying and selling real estate comes on the heels of blockchain technology. Blockchains are open-source, immutable, and decentralized ledgers that track transactions.

Because of the transparency, security, and immediacy involved with blockchains, people can break down real estate into “tokenized assets.” Rather than saving for a sizeable down payment, a small-capital real estate investor can buy a small fraction of a property alongside several other investors, with all transactions and records neatly stored on the blockchain ledger.

It’s a game-changer for real estate investment, democratizing the process for new entrants. 

Shifting Control to the Client

Finding a real estate agent was a crapshoot until recently. Someone who was buying or selling real estate could hope for the right fit. But short of spending several hours vetting potential partners, they were at the mercy of imperfect recommendations and circumstances.

Online marketplaces like Nobul are changing that, shifting the agent-client relationship to become more client-centric. It’s an “online marketplace for real estate agents to compete against each other to represent buyers and sellers,” matching agents with clients using an algorithm-derived “match score.” 

This places power back in the consumers’ hands and boosts transparency in a traditionally opaque industry. As CEO and founder Regan McGee describes it, Nobul is “embracing society’s ever-increasing openness to technology and making an honest industry out of real estate in the process.”

Virtual and Augmented Reality Showings for Buying and Selling Real Estate

Virtual showings for buying and selling real estate became the norm during the pandemic as people sought contactless ways to conduct business. But what started as a necessary response to a novel hurdle soon became an opportunity. “Why weren’t virtual showings the norm before?” some asked. Further, why stop at virtual showings when emerging technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality are readily available now?

Fast-forward to today, when an increasing number of home showings are leveraging VR and AR to provide an immersive experience for potential buyers. Not only do these elevated home showings cut out the need for lengthy commutes (both for agents and buyers), but they are a tech-forward way to engage buyers and stand out amid the competition.

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Buying and Selling Real Estate in Our Evolving World

The recent changes in real estate are a positive step forward for the industry. Blockchain helps make market entry more accessible. Online marketplaces help spur the industry into greater transparency and customer service. And AR/VR home showings make the process more compelling and convenient for anyone buying or selling real estate.

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