Staying Social While Distancing

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 31st, 2020

Staying Social While DistancingFor many months, the COVID-19 (Corona-virus) pandemic appeared to be a problem that only existed in foreign lands. Now, this virus has arrived on the shores of the United States and has disrupted jobs, hospitals, and lives. People are being asked to practice social distancing measures to curtail the spread of the virus while some parts of the country are being asked to stay home entirely. The good news is that there are still ways for people to remain social while being safe. 

Get Outside Safely

One of the first tips that people need to remember is that they are still allowed to go outside. Even in states that are telling people to shelter in place, people are still allowed to go outside and get some fresh air. This is a great way for people to not only stay in shape but many other people are doing the same thing. Therefore, this is an opportunity for everyone to get some vitamin D, run into a few neighbors, and socialize (while practicing safe social distancing measures, of course!).

Get The Family Involved In The Cooking Process

Next, given that many restaurants are going to be closed during this crisis, take this opportunity to get the entire family involved in the cooking process. Take a few minutes and bake some cookies with the kids. Ask them for ideas on what to cook for dinner. This is a great opportunity for children to learn about something new, given that they are going to be home from school for a while.

Use Video Chat Applications

Finally, remember that there are still ways for people to stay in contact with one another through video chat apps. These include FaceTime and Skype. Even though that trip to visit the grandparents was canceled, this is still a great way to stay in touch. Furthermore, this can be a way for families to check in with each other and make sure that everyone is doing alright.

Stay Social During The Pandemic

In the end, it is going to be a challenging few months; however, with the right strategies, the country is going to come out stronger on the other side. Put these tips to use and stay social during the pandemic! 

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Disruptive Technology And The Real Estate Market

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 12th, 2020

Disruptive Technology And The Real Estate MarketRecent advancements in technology continue to disrupt the real estate market. This includes the use of “Big Data” for data mining, artificial intelligence combined with machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, use of drones, blockchain technology, and the ongoing deployment of 5G.

The Use Of Big Data

Consumers have access to more information about real estate market conditions because of the collection and online presentation of the results of data mining “Big Data.” For example, it is easy to learn if a market is a buyer’s or a seller’s market by searching for the median number of days a house will be on the market before it sells in a certain area.

Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) combined with machine learning works with data mining of Big Data to make the information more actionable. Real estate investors can set up search parameters to look for the exact type of properties that they want and let the AI software do the grunt work to find the investment opportunities.

Machine learning allows AI chatbots to learn correct responses to inquires from the questions previously asked. AI chatbots provide customer service 24/7 non-stop to handle leads and make sure to neglect no one.

Augmented And Virtual Reality

Virtual reality allows interested buyers to do a digital walk-through of a property and be able to imagine what it looks like. Augmented reality is used by some REALTORS® to digitally stage a home, listed for sale, by using digital furniture in the virtual walk-through. This furniture is selectable based on a potential buyer’s taste. Staging a home digitally is far less expensive than using real furniture.

Use Of Drones

The exciting use of drones captures a beautiful fly-over and fly-around a property to show what it looks like on the outside and its surrounding environment.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology, which is the type of software used for cryptocurrency, will have an application for digital verification and signatures in real estate transactions. This technology allows the reduction of all the massive paperwork for a title closing to a secure, digital format.

Deployment Of 5G

The 5G mobile technology allows the connections to a smart device that can broadcast information about a property listing to the local environment. This allows for digitally-assisted home viewing, which is responsive, interactive, and for a potential buyer to ask questions about a property.

Summary

Technology continues to make the search experience when buying more effortless and more pleasant. The promising news for REALTORS® is that even though around half of the homebuyers find a property online that is of interest, the vast majority (93%) use a real estate agent to close the transaction. Technology is making the process easier; however, smart buyers still work with a qualified real estate agent to buy a home.

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Innovative Home Security Technology

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 12th, 2019

Innovative Home Security TechnologyFor market value and the comfort of a home’s occupants, home security is just as important as energy-efficiency. Innovation in smart home technology focuses on both of these areas.

Here are some tips about things a homeowner can do to make a home more secure and a few pitfalls to look out for, which may not be obvious.

Smart View Doorbell

No matter how reinforced the front door of a home is, it is not secure if it is opened by someone inside without first knowing who is there. Additionally, smart doorbells allow the homeowner to view the front of their home using a smartphone application, even when they are not home.

These systems use motion sensors and video cameras. When someone approaches the front door, the motion sensors trigger and the camera captures the images of what is happening. The smartphone application notifies the homeowner that there is physical activity at the front door.

It may be a neighbor’s cat passing by or a burglar trying to steal a package or attempt a break in. The homeowner can trigger a response through some systems to send a security guard to the premises or has the option to call law enforcement.

Biometric Door Locks

Biometric door locks use fingerprints, iris (eye) scans, and/or facial recognition along with passwords to control who is authorized to enter a home. These systems improve door security and eliminate any problems caused by lost keys or unauthorized duplication of keys.

Improved Remote Garage Door Opener

These are convenient systems, especially when driving up to a home in bad weather and not wanting to get out to open the garage door. They do expose the home to vulnerabilities because the wireless signal that triggers their operations is hackable.

The newest systems use a password-protected system with a two-part security authorization that includes entering a password and responding to a text message sent to the homeowner’s smartphone. The wireless communications of the most innovative systems are encrypted, which makes them impenetrable to hacking.

Automatic Lighting

Smart home lighting can turn on and off automatically. This is useful to save energy and turn things off when a room is not in use. It is also useful to give the appearance that the home is in use even when the occupants are away. Lights and television sets can be turned off and on in the home, based on a pre-determined schedule as if done by occupants, which discourages burglars.

Remote Home Monitoring

Many systems exist that allow a homeowner to remotely monitor a home. “Nanny” cams allow parents to use a smartphone application to view their baby at home when in the care of a babysitter. Other systems allow viewing the entire home.

Be cautious when implementing wireless systems. It is very important to use point-to-point encryption technology to protect the wireless transmission from hacking. It is critical to understand that having a wireless view of the interior of the home creates a security risk if hacked by unauthorized users. As an alternative, the home can be hard-wired (not use a wireless signal) and encryption used to send data to the homeowner’s smartphone.

Summary

Improved home security is a value-added thing to have for a property to protect the occupants and may also improve the home’s resale value. Just be careful not to create new security vulnerabilities by using systems with unprotected wireless communications.

If you are looking for a new home or interested in selling your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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How Tech Can Change the Real Estate Process

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 19th, 2018

How Tech Can Change the Real Estate ProcessVirtual reality, artificial intelligence and drone video are just a few of the ways that technology is changing the real estate industry. If you are in the market for a property, understanding these new processes can help you in many ways.

Using Artificial Intelligence

Doing business with an AI-infused process helps you more quickly identify properties that meet your standards. AI also reduces human error in the closing process. Agents using AI can get you more information about properties more quickly, and they can also cut the fat out of the close, possibly saving you money.

Using Virtual Reality

Taking a virtual reality tour of a property can save you a lot of gas, time and effort. You no longer have to physically be at a location to understand its potential – you can see everything that you need to see online. Of course you can follow up in person, but you save huge amounts of time by visiting only the properties that have impressed you online.

Organizing Big Data

Buyers and sellers have access to more information than ever – information that was once only available to full time professionals in the industry. Dealing with it can be quite overwhelming, but you must in order to be a sophisticated investor. In many cases, your agent serves as your information filter, keeping you from becoming distracted by false or misleading information.

Remote Transactions

A growing number of real estate transactions are being done without ever meeting the other party involved. The entire process can be conducted online from search to close if need be. Buyers and sellers can save a great deal of money through reduced overhead with remote transactions. Biometrics help to maintain the security of the transaction.

The technologies above are just a few of the new things that are changing the real estate process for the better. Keep your ear to the street, because the landscape is always changing.

Contact your trusted real estate agent today to find out what new technology methods are available to help you find or sell your home.

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Tips For Home Buying In The Digital Age

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 11th, 2018

Tips For Home Buying In The Digital AgeThe digital age has changed the way buyers browse for and purchase goods and services, including real estate. While home buyers still can check out property listings via a print newspaper or by driving through desired neighborhoods in hopes of finding a “for sale” sign, digital sources offer more options and can make the home buying process easier. 

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) states in their 2017 Report: Real Estate in a Digital Age, that 44-percent of home buyers look online when beginning their search.

Social Media As Sources For Home Buyers

According to the Pew Research Center, 68-percent or two-thirds of U.S. adults use Facebook. In addition to that popular social media site, American adults regularly use Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube on a daily basis for entertainment, social engagement, shopping, and news. These sites also can be excellent sources for home buyers.

Home buyers now have instant, easy access to a wide variety of property listings beyond those featured on an individual real estate agency’s website. Many real estate agents post listings on social media with interior/exterior photos and some with virtual tours. Sites like YouTube offer valuable resources particular for first-time home buyers, from tips to how-to’s. 

Real Estate Apps

More than 90-percent of all real estate firms have a website. Visiting these sites are a great starting point and ideal way to connect with an agent that knows the local market. However, home buyers may also consider real estate apps to enhance the process. Even if not tech savvy, these apps are easy to use. 

The most used real estate apps are available for both Android and iOS. Digital Trends offers a breakdown of several of the most popular. Ask a real estate agent if they have one that’s specific to their firm.

These apps can help:

  • Customize a search by location, property type, features, and price
  • Reveal the worth or rental value of a property
  • Show floor plans and exterior/interior photos
  • Provide details about neighborhoods
  • Offer lending institution information
  • Directly connect buyers with a real estate agent

Stay Connected With A Real Estate Agent

Cell phones appear to be everywhere today and research shows that 77-percent of Americans own a smartphone. With that smartphone it’s easier than ever to stay connected with a real estate agent when buying a home. An agent can text or email potential listings to the phone, schedule open house meetings, and send updates regarding the offer just made on the perfect home.

Home buyers that can embrace the digital age have the opportunity to take advantage of the multiple platforms and tools available for making a real estate purchase. 

 

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