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Suburban Tech Opportunities On The Rise

An expected post-pandemic shift from cities to green spaces has resulted in a rise in technology and innovation surrounding the process of owning a home.

Revolution Digital  |  September 9, 2020
Suburban Tech Opportunities On The Rise

Absconding to the woods, to the suburbs, to green space, has become a feature of the coronavirus pandemic rather than a bug. With first-time home buyer interest and prices up in rural real estate markets, a tech boom that has been building is about to crest. Seeking that first home, or that relocation opportunity, along with do-it-yourself home projects, are certain to be on the rise, with a multitude of innovations to follow. Yet opportunities exist for brands earlier, before the point of home purchase.

Project Etopia’s modular and eco-friendly approach to home building in the UK is just dipping a toe into the waters of a constricted world economy, where the need for affordable housing is only expected to grow. Another opportunity exists here for non-profit/government account partnership to bring this type of approach to a larger audience especially here in the US.

The path to homeownership isn’t always a straight line, which is why tech startups like Divvy are offering a new path for prospective homebuyers – a rent-to-own model where prospective buyers rent while saving for a down payment. Rolling out in certain mid-to-large markets, Divvy is hoping to disrupt the typical home buying process, and offers a ripe opportunity for brand partnerships, particularly in the financial sector/personal finance space.

Virtual home staging on apps like Rooomy provide retailers (like Walmart and Houzz) an opportunity to showcase furnishings in a virtual environment, allowing prospective homebuyers an opportunity to see their dream rooms and decor in AR rather than depending on physical walkthroughs.

There are also expected technology breakthroughs in residential real estate listing capabilities, with HomeLight acquiring Disclosures.io to launch a new listing management offering. Homelight already offers a robust service to anyone looking to list a home, and now they’re going to be using Disclosure.io’s listing management tech. This has potential for partnerships in the review space (Homelight and Yelp have partnered on real estate agency reviews in 2018), as well as offering more opportunities for personalization in home selling.

Additionally, the market for virtual real estate tours has risen during the pandemic. This applies to not only potential new homebuyers, but renters as well. While growth is expected for virtual tour platforms (like Matterport), so are the brand opportunities for more expansive neighborhood mapping, treasure hunting for certain things on Google Maps, and looking outward from real estate virtual tours to showcasing nearby school districts, amenities like grocery store chains, restaurants, and shopping.

Finally, an oft-overlooked part of home buying is the closing process. Modernization of closing on a house is all but inevitable with electronic document signatures and online escrow deposits. The “e-closing process” is here to stay. Platforms like Qualia, which offer a suite of e-closing products, offer potential for partnerships in the legal/financial space, as well as with companies like Mint, NerdWallet and Credit Karma.

The potential for brands to capitalize on advances in home buying, renting, new home construction, and real estate listings are vast. Revolution Digital works with its clients to identify opportunities in emerging markets and with various consumer bases to best focus brand efforts across platforms. As the way home buying and home improvement continue to evolve, Revolution Digital will look to capitalize on those advances to add to the agency’s already vast platform expertise. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website at RevolutionDigital.com, or reach out to us online or at newbusiness@rev-d.com.

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