Millennials are the first generation in history to grow up alongside the internet. Subsequently, more than past generations, they are fluent in digital tools, open to technological innovations, and dependent on digital solutions. They bring technology everywhere they go – including their real estate transactions.

The Impact of Real Estate Technology on Millennial Homebuying Habits - technoligy, real estate, marketplace

And the relationship is a two-way street. Just as millennials influence the digital tools used in the real estate industry, real estate technology impacts millennial buying habits. In this article, explore how various real estate technologies shape the ways this demographic buys property.

“Uberization” and the Rise of Fast, Convenient Services

“Uberization” is more than just an empty eponym. It’s a massive micro-trend in business services that impacts retail, hospitality, food services and countless other industries. The thrust behind “uberization” is about convenience and speed. Often, services in this model cut out the middleman, using mobile or web technology to directly connect consumers and service providers.

We see it taking effect with popular listings sites that allow millennial homebuyers to circumvent the initial exploration stages with a realtor. Instead, millennials are shopping for properties online, booking open house viewings, etc. – all before engaging a realtor.

But probably the most famous case study in real estate uberization is Nobul. Which leads to our next section…

 The Open Digital Marketplace: Consumers in the Driver’s Seat

In 2018, the Financial Times declared that “The Uber of real estate is coming and once again, it’s millennials who are behind the disruption.” The article profiled a then-burgeoning disruptor in the industry called Nobul. They describe it as a “digital marketplace… designed for agents to compete for business thus providing buyers and sellers with the opportunity to compare services and choose an agent whose offerings they like the most.”

In the intervening five years, the platform has skyrocketed, primarily thanks to millennial consumers. Millennials are accustomed to being in control of their transactions. They like being fully informed. They need to see their options. And they don’t appreciate pushy lead-generation tactics. So Nobul was a perfect fit. “Our platform really gives the power to the consumer for the first time ever,” CEO Regan McGee told Yahoo! Finance.

Immersive Technology and Sight-Unseen Buying

Homebuying used to be an implicitly physical process. A prospective buyer visited various homes, knocked on the walls, tested the taps, inspected the HVAC, etc. Now, with the advent of immersive technologies, it’s increasingly a digital experience.

Immersive technologies like virtual reality, 360-degree photography and drone footage have encapsulated the home viewing experience in the digital space. A millennial buyer can find 98% of what they need to know about a property simply by looking at the listing. Consequently, we’re seeing a sharp rise in sight-unseen sales, a trend catalyzed during the pandemic.

Millennials, for their part, have proven that remote buying doesn’t scare them as it did previous generations. They seem entirely comfortable relying on digital information before making purchases – even massive purchases predicated on mortgage debt. Perhaps it’s an extension of millennial habits toward e-commerce, but immersive tech certainly plays a role.

These are just a few impacts of real estate technology on millennial homebuying habits. You’ll also find online mortgage shopping, blockchain real estate tokenization and digital document management influencing the millennial homebuyer. But all of these technologies share a few things in common: They each facilitate an easier, faster, more convenient and consumer-centric real estate experience.