2016 Tech Trends for Contracting: Keeping Your Residential Rehab Ahead of the Curve

Selling a home after rehabbing it used to be pretty simple- you just pointed someone to the right cave. As homes got more complicated (“now featuring floors!”), the process got more and more difficult, especially as we entered the era of property rights, banks, and realtors. For normal people selling a house, it is complex, but perhaps even more so for the residential rehab pro, who has to both do the work, and at times, move the house themselves. The complexity is amped up anytime technology changes the way people buy and sell. It’s imperative to stay on top of tech trends in order to efficiently get your house back on the market.

2016 is going to see some new developments and continuations and expansions on old trends, changing the way you have to do business. For those pros who have rehabbed a property with the help of a hard money loan from Socotra, understanding these 2016 tech trends is almost as important as knowing how to redo a kitchen or fix a leaky roof.

4 Tech Trends for 2016

Virtual Reality for Home Tours

We’ll start with the coolest one. People of a certain age may remember virtual reality as a mid-90s phenomenon, like laser tag, where you strapped on clunky headsets and body sensors and played a game, usually a shooting game, against a few friends. You basically had to go to a high-end arcade, spend a lot of money, and experience a jarring, rough, and ultimately boring game. So it is easy to dismiss VR. But that’d be a mistake.

Virtual reality is one of the hotter tech trends of the last few years, and seems poised to explode in 2016. You can easily turn your phone into a headset, which allows for an immersive experience. People will use it to explore houses they want to buy. All they have to do is put their headset on, download your property, and can essentially “walk” through it, looking at the house from all angles. Over the next few years, simply having pictures on a website will seem limited and non-inclusive. If you can be one of the first rehab pros to have a VR display for your property, you will appear cutting-edge, and very appealing to many kinds of buyers.

Internet of Things

By 2020, it is expected that the number of items connected to the Internet of Things will top 40 billion. This means that in every household, there will be appliances connected to the internet, and to each other. In practice this means that your stove can talk to your refrigerator who can talk to your front door, which knows to lock itself if you forget. Smart appliances are increasingly common, but still a little disjointed. Soon they will need to be in a “smart house” environment, a connected dwelling that learns, adjusts, and adapts. If you are looking to replace appliances, you may want to look at buying smart ones connected to the IoT. These will make your property more valuable.  If not, buyers may pass, thinking that they will just have to replace everything in a few years, anyway.

Mobile Presentations

This is a continuation of our increasingly mobile economy. More and more, mobile devices are the primary way that people interact with the internet. As a small but telling example, on Black Friday in 2010 only 3.2% of online sales were conducted with a mobile device. This year the number was up to 36.2%, and experts expect that to keep rising. Selling your property means being able to make a clear and concise mobile presentation, and means being able to interact with potential buyers via mobile.

This means that you will need to have presentations that are created with mobile in mind. When a buyer requests info, you can send them a mobile presentation that is short, informative, easy to read on a small screen, and conveys what they know. This is different than sending an email. It is creating something designed to be opened on mobile- a video, a powerpoint demonstration, anything that can be accessed and read. If you don’t, you’ll be behind the times.

Sharing Economy Brings New Revenue Streams

So, you’ve got your house rehabbed and ready to sell, but it is taking longer than you had expected. In the old days, you were sitting on it, losing money every month. You could rent it out, but that gave you less flexibility. What if you rented it out then suddenly got an offer? Luckily, the “sharing economy” gives you a new way to bring in revenue even while waiting on the house to sell. Site like airbnb bring people who want to stay for a night or a week or a month, who are on vacation, or just looking to get away for a bit.  A newly rehabbed property, and one that isn’t filled with other people’s stuff, is perfect for the airbnb crowd. You may have to bring in a bed and towels, but for the most part, the tabula rasa nature of the thing makes for a perfect short-term rental. You keep money coming in, and don’t have long-term contracts to worry about.

Times change. There are some things that stay the same, of course: the values of working hard, doing a good, and the respect and success that come with that, these things never change. But being a successful residential rehab pro means being able to adapt to the times, and staying ahead of 2016 tech trends is a great way to do that. So after you’ve used your hard money loan from Socotra, California’s leading equity-based lender, to turn your dream rehab into a reality, it might be time to step into a virtual reality.

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