During the CoVid pandemic, the real estate industry transformed itself. They had to. Across the world, demand for property soared as people who had no choice but to stay at home 24/7 realised that their properties were not really suitable. While at the same time agents were not allowed to meet up with clients or visit properties to measure up and put together a listing.
It was a frustrating situation, to say the least. But one that motivated the industry to transform in ways they would never have dreamed of, before the pandemic.
Digital solutions turned disaster into an opportunity
In most places, the answer was to go digital. A move that enabled real estate agents to do everything remotely without having to meet up with sellers or buyers face to face. They started having people who wanted to sell film their property and send them the videos for editing. Then, sending those viewing videos to clients they knew were looking for that type of property. This enabled people they knew wanted to buy to continue to view properties without breaking any of the rules.
An approach that, much to the surprise of everyone, worked extremely well. Sales during the pandemic were not as high as they would have been during a normal year. But there were enough to keep most agents in business. Plus, as you can see here using digital screens and sending out viewing videos generated a huge amount of pent up demand. In many places, sales exploded as people quickly bought a property in the area, complex or apartment block they had been eyeing up, during the pandemic.
Digital screens in real estate windows became the norm
Many real estate businesses also set up digital screens in their windows for people to watch when they were out buying essential items. This was a highly effective way to let the public know that they were still open for business. To pique their interest and show them short videos of the type of properties they had available. Unsurprisingly, given the success of this approach sales of digital signs for real estate offices soared. Now, the vast majority of agencies have at least one screen in their window and a couple inside.
The ones in the window now primarily display slideshows of properties that are available in the area. Or are showing a 30 or 40-second video that showcases a local development. The kind of content that is likely to tempt people into the office to take a closer look.
Once inside an agent can approach and ask them if they would like some help. In the past, if all of the agents were busy, people would have waited a few minutes and then walked out. Now, there are digital screens inside the agency displaying material that is designed to hold their attention. For example, longer videos about the development featured in the window, or walkthroughs of the best-looking properties on their books. Increasingly, agencies are also providing touch screens that enable people to browse their listings while they wait.
What will the future of digital signage in the real estate industry look like?
There is little doubt that the use of digital signage by realtors is here to stay. They are using it more and are increasingly finding new and innovative ways to tap into the fact that people´s eyes are drawn to screens in a way they just aren’t to paper-based advertising materials.
It will be interesting to see how they use this technology in the future. There are sure to be more opportunities to use it.
For example, solar power means that digital sales boards could be set up without having to be near a power source. Anti-glare finishes mean it does not matter how bright it is people who want to move to the area could easily stop outside a house and watch the video that shows them what the property is like inside. The only thing that stands in the way of realtors swapping their plastic real estate property signs for digital ones is the fact that they can be easily pulled out of the ground and stolen. But potentially that issue could be got around by changing the way signs are anchored to the ground and fitting them with tracking and the ability to remotely disable some functionality.
Plus, cheaper, yet more durable, plastic digital display screens are gradually becoming more widely available. It will be interesting to see how real estate agents deploy those.