What all of its complexities and nuances, the real estate market can sometimes be tough to understand. However, a basic knowledge of the current landscape acts like night-vision goggles in the dark - allowing you to see which tools to use and markets to target for maximum business.
We have identified both technology and market trends that you can hop on before everyone else does, giving you an advantage over your peers. These trends range from very simple, like using an online rental application, to more complex market analysis. See how you can benefit from these trends below.
Los Angeles Real Estate Technology Trends
Online Rental Applications
If you still use a PDF application, you’re not only behind the times, but you’re wasting time too. Printing and scanning is has almost become archaic, and no renter is going to want to do that anymore.
Using an online rental application is easier for both you and your applicant, as you don’t have to deal with illegible and incomplete applications, and they don’t have to print/fill/scan the application by hand. In addition, some online rental applications come attached with screening reports.
This allows you to view your applicants’ rental history and credit at the same time as their online rental application.
Virtual Reality Home Tours
In addition to online rental applications, virtual reality home tours are another technological advance in the real estate industry. Trying to coordinate a showing with a potential renter or buyer can be difficult with your mutually busy schedules.
With the prevalence of 360o cameras, you can employ VR home tours for your properties that allow interested buyers to attend an "open house" at their leisure.
While old-fashioned showings are a huge part of being an agent and a great way to market yourself, an online tour can increase the exposure of your properties while also peaking the interest of your clients.
Virtual tours are gaining traction in the real estate industry, with large organizations like the California Association of REALTORSÂ® inking deals with VR companies.
Los Angeles Real Estate Market Trends
Anyone with a lengthy rental history in Los Angeles can tell you how high rent can get. Unfortunately for Angelenos, the continues to be true. According to Abodo’s April 2017 National Apartment Report, the average LA rent cost has increased to $2,030, up from $1,998 in February.
According to the report, Los Angeles has the sixth-highest average rent cost in the country, trailing only Washington D.C., Boston, San Jose, New York, and San Francisco.
According to data from RentJungle, the most expensive area of Los Angeles to rent in is Hollywood Hills, with the average rent at nearly $4,000 a month.
To put that into perspective, if you follow the guidelines of rent being 30% of your income, you need to be making about $160,000 a year in order to afford a place in Tinsel Town. However, there are more affordable areas like Boyle Heights and West Adams which have average rent prices at $1,228 and $1,160 respectively.
However, despite the costly rent, the City of Angels is one of just 21 cities in the United States in which renters outnumber buyers, according to another Abodo report.
Whether it is the city’s size or economy that explains this phenomenon, one thing is certain - Realtors should not shy away from representing rental properties.
Just as rental prices in LA have increased, so has the cost of houses for sale. However, according to the Home Buying Institute, the price increase in 2017 hasn’t been as steep as in previous years. Housing rates are predicted to increase by 1.7% through November 2017, which is considerably less than last year’s 7.3% increase.
This is a good sign for first-time buyers with a long rental history who want to escape costly rent prices (another reason why you should represent rentals - learn more here).
In addition, this article from Curbed reports that houses are selling at a faster rate than they have in over a year, with the average home being on the market for under 30 days in March 2017.
In comparison, that number was 43.2 days one year ago, according to the article. The report also indicates that the total amount of house sales were up an astounding 45% over February’s sales.
The Bottom Line
There have been some great technology advancements that have made their ways into the real estate industry, with online rental applications and VR home tours being just two examples.
Because online rental applications have made renting easier combined with the amount of people renting in Los Angeles, right now is a good time to start dealing with more leasing properties as an agent.
These tenants with long rental histories can turn into first-time buyers, which are incredibly valuable customers to acquire.