Online payment services, such as PayPal and Skrill, have been internet-staples for almost two decades now. Of course, the list of online payment options continues to grow, with new start-ups seeking to compete with the long-established big leagues and offer their prospective users a competitive edge over the trusted companies – but, in essence, we are all already aware of their benefits and applications.
One area that has, until recently, neglected to embrace online payment services to their fullest extent is the real estate industry. The reasons behind this are not hard to see; in an increasingly digital world, one area that seems to remain firmly within the real world – for obvious reasons – is the world of real estate. When viewings, meetings, and transferrals take place in person, why would the industry need to embrace a purely digital form of paying and selling?
The answer stems from the wider changes taking place within everyday life – and the wider movement toward new ways of exchanging money.
Read more below.
Nothing is exempt from the extensive digitalisation of everyday life that has been underway since the very early days of the internet. The changes began relatively slowly; first, we all needed to get a website, rather than relying solely on our physical presence. Next, social media became a must-have for any business hoping to remain visible – particularly the real estate industry. After that, embracing other virtual methods and practices – such as, of course, online payment services – set apart those who were ready to evolve, from those who were not.
We can see this in many examples – even in those that, at first glance, would not have facilitated a shift into the digital. Consider the online casino, which was borne from the real-world, glittering halls of Vegas and Macau – much like real estate, very few would have imagined that pixels and RNGs could replace the glamour of these cities. Now, however, they represent one of the most lucrative online businesses imaginable – and, of course, the most successful sites, like https://www.casino.com/ca/payment-methods/instadebit/, have adopted alternate payment services, too.
Real estate is, of course, a little different. Unlike the casinos, who could easily convert winnings into digital currency, we cannot convert houses and properties into digital assets – much of the job is anchored to the real world. But, interestingly enough, the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies has already found a home within the real estate industry – despite the fact that it is still struggling to find its feet in many other areas of the internet.
What we can be sure of, however, is that people are growing more and more accustomed to being able to take care of their lives online. Much of what is traditionally conducted within the office, in face to face meetings and transactions, will move into the digital realm – and the change is already taking place.
The World of Real Estate is Welcoming Change
Even a few short years ago, virtual house tours were largely unheard of. Now, those who are too busy or remote to stop by for an in-person viewing are able to, with growing accuracy, view the specifics of prospective homes without ever leaving their living room. The announcement that RESAAS would launch their new service Virtual Showcases sheds light on the massive potential of exploring digital platforms for real estate.
Of course, there remains a sense that this will not supersede the more traditional methods. Much like buying a car, you cannot get a real sense for a property unless you are standing within it.
Interestingly enough, this is a similar thought process to that of the early sceptics of, say, the online shop, casino, or food delivery service.
In reality, many of us want to maximise our reliance on technology – and will make certain sacrifices to do so. The convenience of logging in and seeing to our To Do list from the keyboard, rather than in-person, supersedes that slight indefinable quality that will be lost in the absence of an in-person viewing.
How the real estate industry will respond to this change remains to be seen, but we can be sure of further changes as we move further into the new decade.