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There are few industries or sectors that are not being rapidly transformed by technology and real estate is no exception. From smart homes to smart contracts, drastic changes are taking place in real estate. This is making it easier, faster and cheaper to buy and sell properties, which is also putting home ownership and even real estate investment within the grasp of more and more Americans. Here are three ways technology i s changing the real estate industry.

Faster Transactions

In the not-too-distant past, buying a home could easily take a year or more. Between applying to different lenders, spending every weekend searching for a home and then waiting for all of the paperwork to be assembled and compiled, buying a home was a long, grueling, arduous process. Now, with online listings and virtual walkthroughs, potential home buyers can narrow down hundreds of available properties to just a few of the most attractive. Loans can be applied for online and paperwork sent digitally to various parties. In the digital age, buying a home can take just a few months from start to finish.

Better Investments

When it comes to real estate, there are thousands of hundreds of potential variables that tell an investor whether or not one piece of property is a better investment than another. Machine learning and AI can calculate thousands of different variables to help investors assess the investment potential of a given property. In the end, this is better for everyone because the less investors lose on real estate investments, the more capital there is for new development. The more new development there is, the more affordable homes become.

Smart Contracts

Blockchain technology gained visibility through the regulation of cryptocurrencies but the possible uses for blockchain technology are almost limitless. One of the biggest time and money wasters in the buying and selling of real estate is all the paperwork involved and the sheer number of parties that need to be paid for their services in the transaction. Blockchain technology, however, has the potential to create a single transaction that is essentially overseen and adjudicated by thousands of essentially disinterested parties. The time may not be long when it is just as easy to buy and sell a house as it is to rent an apartment.