Investors have always leveraged technological evolution.
You may have heard the saying, “Sit with winners. The conversation is different.” It basically means that the company you keep defines the type of conversations you have, and the results of those conversations can determine whether you “win” or “lose” in your personal or professional life.
Being part of the right conversation increases your odds of asking the “right questions” about your business and getting more effective and valuable answers. Today, technology is disrupting that process, and savvy real estate investors will leverage that disruption to their advantage.
3 Ways to Use Disruptive Tech to Your Advantage
Although real estate investors are extremely creative when it comes to finding deals, negotiating terms, and financing their transactions, they do not always embrace technological change rapidly. This works to the advantage of an investor willing to do a little research and adapt – or adopt – early.
Here are three ways to incorporate disruptive technology in real estate to get ahead of the curve:
#1: Accept new technology even if you do not embrace it.
Recently, “iBuyers” have dominated headlines in the turnkey and flipping sectors of the industry. There are so many conspiracy theories about why Zillow, OpenDoor, and others might be willing to pay retail prices to acquire properties from homeowners willing to sacrifice a small amount of equity in exchange for the certainty of a sale.
For most investors, the conversation revolves around the ulterior motives behind the iBuyer movement. However, a better conversation to have centers on how these companies are affecting markets and what individual investors should do to accommodate the changes they have wrought on home-seller perceptions. Have a conversation with economists based with these iBuyers or who monitor their activities closely, and you will find you have market insights few others in your field possess.
#2: Think about social media without obsessing over it.
When you think about businesses that are active and, from the outside, appear successful on social media, which ones come to mind? What is your instinctive response to the idea of those businesses? If a business’s social media success does not evoke positive feelings, then be careful to not copy their social media strategies.
Social media is changing the way real estate businesses promote their products and services online. This is something every real estate investor and small business owner must accept. However, you do not have to accept the “one-size-fits-all” social media marketing standard. Instead, have a conversation with other investors and business communities whose social media messages match your values – even if they do not appear, at first, to be the ones “crushing” the social media promotional game.
When you network with “winners,” by your definition, you also connect with their networks, which tend to be of better quality, and soon your network will experience exponential growth in volume and quality.
#3: Don’t fear “the next big thing,” and don’t be obsessed with it, either.
Smart real estate investors will watch today’s technological progression closely, but they will not permit themselves to be sucked into the “startup vortex.” Understand what the “next big thing” offers but realize the most important facets of this asset class — scarcity, value, and cashflow — and you can be one of the investors having the right conversations about technology in today’s real estate investing environment.
Some Things Never Change (and That’s Okay)
One of the things everyone loves most about real estate is that it serves as a constant. Our nation was founded, in part, as a result of the desire for private property rights, and since then, the constant message we hear about land is: it holds its value.
In today’s real estate industry, the methods of buying and improving land are constantly evolving. Never think that technology will replace good processes or the good people that operate within your business. Knowing yourself and your business to the extent that you truly understand how and why you do what you do will enable you to select technology that is a good fit for your company and avoid the pitfall of trying to replace yourself with automation.