Influence of the Digitalization in the Real Estate Industry – Challenges and Chances to Improve the UX 1/2

Influence of the Digitalization in the Real Estate Industry – Challenges and Chances to Improve the UX 1/2

Welcome to our series of articles about current theses of our students!

The Alumna Fenja Klassa has written an outstanding master thesis on the topic “Influence of digitalization in the real estate industry – challenges and opportunities to improve UX” as part of her Digital Management studies at the Hochschule Fresenius in Cologne. The summary is presented below. Read the first part now and look forward to the continuation on November 20, 2020!

Digitization also influences the real estate industry

The influence of progressive digitization is changing the entire world of life and work – including the real estate industry. As new technologies are developed, society’s need for mobility, flexibility and networking is growing, so that traditional business models and the exclusive provision of living and working space must be expanded and rethought. From concept development to the active use of a property, all market participants must develop a holistic digital strategy in order to meet social requirements in the future.

Real estate and digitization – A contradiction?

At first glance, the terms digitization and real estate seem to contradict each other. As the German term “Immobilie” suggests, real estate is immovable property. In contrast, digitization describes a location-independent, visual and digital world. Digital change cannot be stopped, and digital business models offer the opportunity to realign the way we address customers, meet changing customer expectations and strengthen the competitiveness of established real estate providers.

The use of digital technologies is indispensable

Because the real estate industry is considered conservative and based on personal relationships, some real estate providers are late in seeing the need to use digital technologies as a support to increase user satisfaction. Generations such as the digital natives, and therefore the majority of future users of a property, have different requirements for the property itself and the associated services. Accordingly, the use of digital technologies is necessary to ensure that future customer journeys are seamless.

First digital points of contact already exist

The customer journey begins already before the active real estate search and ends with the active use of the found real estate. There are already digital solutions that support the customer journey digitally and make it a special experience. Because that is exactly what matters in the digital world. The real estate industry is making a concerted effort to create digital points of contact between users and real estate providers. These include online platforms such as immobilienschout24, official websites of real estate companies, exposés in PDF format and virtual tours.

Crux of the Matter: The Exposé

Weaknesses in the points of contact between the potential customer and the real estate provider lead to customer dissatisfaction and interrupt the customer journey. A decisive factor in real estate marketing is the current exposé. The use of classic exposés, which are characterized by unprofessional photographs in combination with information in a continuous text, will no longer meet customer requirements in the future. The increasing demand for information, which is driven by visualization, interactivity and individuality, no longer corresponds to the classic exposé.

A digital exposé has many advantages

Bird’s-eye views via drones, high-quality 360-degree shots and the use of VR integrated on an interactive microsite take the exposé to a new level. On the one hand, the prospective buyer can get a better impression of the object, and on the other hand, a digital exposé reduces the number of necessary on-site visits and the cancellation rate. In addition, the use of VR and AR makes the tour a special experience. Interested parties can use AR to virtually imagine what the interior of the property should look like. Customer-specific content can be added easily.


Summarized and edited by Louisa Roszinski