Being a real estate investor has never been easier for many reasons. The internet has been a large part in the development of the real estate industry and has reshaped it significantly over the years. So in what way has the internet reshaped the real estate market and why?
Property Listing Sites
Viewing active listings used to be something you could only view in the newspaper or with a real estate agent. Now, we have property listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and Redfin to allow us a peek at a home without leaving the comfort of our own homes. On top of that, these property listing sites have made it easier for owners to sell their properties without a realtor and thus made it easier for investors to purchase directly from a seller without the help of a middleman you would have to pay.
While you may worry that this could have hurt realtors, it also provides real estate agents another platform to advertise themselves on and to also reach out to for sale by owner (FSBO) properties, and market themselves on why it might be better to work with an agent.
With these sites, the purchasing process is much faster than it used to be. Before these sites, some properties may have been listed for months because it wasn’t turnkey and real estate investors didn’t have the same access as real estate agents to view these properties (unless they were working with a realtor or were a real estate agent themselves). Now, anyone can look for a property all by themselves and make an offer on the property through the site, speeding the process up significantly.
Real Estate Agent Optional
In a market where speed is needed, and fewer interactions wanted, services like Opendoor or OfferPad make it easy for people to sell or buy a property with very little interaction with another person. These companies advertise fast closings and competitive offers to the sellers, while for buyers they offer an easy way to view a property without being accompanied by a realtor.
For real estate investors, this gives them another market to buy and sell more quickly than if they were to list the property on the MLS (however you may sell the property for more by listing it on the MLS and working with a realtor).
Becoming a Landlord
With the current state of the market, many people that are moving are choosing not to sell their home, but rather to rent it out to generate a passive monthly income. What really made the difference though is that there are more sites where you can list your property for rent, either as a short-term vacation rental or as a long-term 1-3 year rentals. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO make it easy to rent out either a room or a full house on a short-term basis, while companies like American Homes 4 Rent and Progress Residential take away the stress of being a landlord and manage the rental for you.
This has also opened up a market of realtors that provide property management services to compete with these services, giving both real estate investors and opportunistic landlords a face to trust with their rental property.
What other ways do you think the internet has had an impact on the real estate industry? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.