Virtual reality and big data are just some of the top trends that leading Spanish portal Kyero.com has predicted will be top of the list in 2017. What else is next?
Richard Speigal is the head of research at Kyero.com and says portals really need to embrace technology to boost the customer experience if they want to stay ahead. With the impact of technological developments and political events making global property markets ever more sensitive, Speigal says portals are having to stay at the top of their game in order to succeed.
Here are four key themes he says portals should consider next year if they want to continue to grow.
2017 will be all about getting smarter. This means evolving from the core out. Internally, portals need to be able to perform up-to-the-minute data analysis in order to identify trends, hotspots and buyer preferences. This will give them leading insights into the markets they serve. This can be shared with those listing on the portal, to better inform how they shape the properties they offer and increase their chances of a successful sale.
Externally, the user interface needs to be clean and clear, offering a range of services that make the most of evolving property technology, while also remaining simple to use.
At Kyero.com, this means improving the property selection while continuing to make the portal increasingly easy to use.
Be true to your values
Kyero.com was established with a simple mission: to help buyers find beautiful property in Spain. As technology expands and the march of big data continues, it can be easy for portals to lose sight of their original intentions. However, without that initial mission fixed firmly in mind, property portals may be in danger of delivering fantastic insights into user trends, at the same time as watching the numbers of those users dwindle.
Therefore, the focus should be an ongoing war on "feature bloat." Portals should concentrate on solving the core user problem in ever faster and more elegant ways. Help people find the right house: that's a portal's job - no more, and no less.
Make big data your friend
One of the biggest challenges of 2017 for property portals is data. Modern websites produce voluminous amounts of it. Then there's market statistics from government open data sources. Data tells portals where buyers are looking, how much they're prepared to pay, where they're from and what their tastes are.
The trick is figuring out how to analyse this data and act upon what it reveals. Kyero.com has spent the last year learning to do this better. The result for the portal's audience is both obvious and invisible. Property recommendations are becoming increasingly accurate, at the same time as Kyero.com is helping buyers to get the best deal by sharing insights into the local market.
A final word...
One trend to watch, but that isn't expected to fully take off until at least 2018, is virtual reality (VR). Real estate watchers are understandably excited about virtual reality technology. After all, who wouldn't be excited about viewing houses without all the inconvenience of actually going there?