disruption - featured image

The Real Estate Industry Is Ripe for Disruption

Featured image by Julien Tromeur

The real estate industry is ripe for disruption. Despite hesitancy in the industry, innovative technology is already making headway and changing the way real estate transactions work.


Real estate has long been known as an industry resistant to change. Buying or selling a home is one of the most important financial transactions a person ever goes through. But the process is paperwork-intensive. From start to finish, home buying can also be confusing, opaque, and often frustrating for consumers.

At the same time, North American housing markets have been growing steadily for years. Demand is high and prices over the last few years have grown rapidly. Between high financial stakes and the industry’s resistance to change, real estate is ripe for disruption. Despite hesitancy in the industry, innovative technology is already making headway and changing the way the real estate business works.

Virtual Tours Provide Instantaneous Experience of Real Estate Properties

The COVID-19 pandemic forced disruptions in the real estate industry. Buyers and sellers had to quickly adapt to change and make the most of new technology. The housing market boomed after the initial shock of the pandemic, even in jurisdictions that continued to see on-and-off lockdowns and restrictions.

Because of those restrictions, the industry switched to virtual tours and immersive, 360-degree tours. In these ways, home buyers could still experience the property.

Even as in-person tours became available again, virtual tours have remained. Home buyers will always want to visit a property in person. But the virtual tour provides a superior experience to photographs alone. Moreover, they can make a huge difference in the early stages of the buying process.


Disruptions Give Consumers More Information and Control

Putting consumers first has never been the industry’s strong suit. But recent disruptions are starting to change that. Innovative startup Nobul provides a consumer-centric platform where real estate agents compete against each other to represent home buyers and sellers.

Consumers see how much the real estate agent is going to charge, their track record, their full-service offering, and key metrics on how they are as an agent. Launched in Canada in 2017, the platform is expanding throughout the US.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Nobul inventor and founder Regan McGee explained that millennial, first-time home buyers were Nobul’s target demographic. This is a generation that makes up a large segment of the real estate industry and one that has been quick to adopt other disruptive technologies.

Regan McGee also explained that Nobul puts more power in the hands of buyers and sellers than the traditional model. While there are great real estate agents and companies out there, consumers have no real way to identify the best agents to represent them. Nobul levels the playing field and puts more power in the consumer’s hands.

Technology Provides Tools for Real Estate Agents

Disruption can be frightening for entrenched industry players, but it doesn’t have to be in real estate. Transactions are too high-stakes for real estate agents to ever be replaced by technology.

New technologies are more likely to function as tools for real estate agents to do their jobs and deliver a better service to consumers.

The real estate industry is ready for disruption. Consumers have seen what technology has done with ride shares, online shopping, and more. Many are ready to see similar changes come to real estate.