The Digital Transformation Of Real Estate: Why Online Agents Are On the Rise


Ankita Tripathy

Real Estate

5 Mins Read

October 20, 2023

Digital Transformation Of Real Estate

The world of real estate has seen a transformation in the last decade. Long-standing norms are being disrupted by technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, and a redefined understanding of convenience. At the forefront of this evolution is the rise of online estate agents, a phenomenon that has not only revolutionized property buying and selling but also brought significant cost savings for consumers. Let’s delve deeper into this ongoing revolution.

Traditional vs Online: A Paradigm Shift

For many years, high street estate agents ruled the roost. Their presence was synonymous with property transactions. Homeowners seeking to sell would invariably have to physically approach one of these agencies, get their property listed, wait for potential buyers to visit, and navigate through protracted negotiations. The process was cumbersome, time-consuming, and not always transparent.

Example: You want to sell your home in Newcastle, without having to rely on multiple timelines. Enter online estate agents. These web-based platforms offer property listing services, valuation tools, and online booking systems, allowing sellers and buyers to connect directly, skipping the middleman. One could argue that the essence of an estate agent hasn’t disappeared; it has merely transitioned to the digital realm.

Cost Savings: The Game Changer

One of the most compelling arguments for the rise of online estate agents is the potential for significant savings. Traditional high street agents charge a percentage of the sale price as their fee, which can amount to several thousands of pounds. In contrast, online agents often charge a fixed fee, which can lead to substantial savings, especially for higher-priced properties.

For instance, on selling a £300,000 house, traditional agents might charge 1.5% of the sale price, resulting in a fee of £4,500. An online estate agent charging a flat fee of £1,000 would save the seller £3,500. It’s clear why many are veering towards the online model.

Related: How To Avoid Making Unprofitable Real Estate Investments

Flexibility and Control: Power to the Seller

The digital model not only brings cost benefits but also allows sellers more control over their property sales. Listings can be created and edited at the owner’s convenience, and they can choose which enquiries to respond to. The process becomes more personalised, with sellers having greater flexibility to make decisions best suited to their needs.

Challenges: Every Rose Has Its Thorns

While the merits of online estate agents are many, the model isn’t without its challenges. Some sellers appreciate the personal touch, local knowledge, and hand-holding that high street agents provide. Digital platforms, while efficient, may lack that human element.

Moreover, not all online platforms offer comprehensive services. Some might only list the property, leaving negotiations, viewings, and paperwork to the seller. This might be overwhelming for some homeowners, especially first-time sellers. 

The Road Ahead: Adapt or Perish

The property market, like any other industry, is susceptible to changes driven by technological advancements and consumer behavior shifts. Online estate agents have indeed made an indelible mark. As they continue to grow in popularity, it’s likely that the traditional real estate model will adapt rather than disappear.

High street agents who can embrace the digital shift, integrate technology, and offer both online and offline services will likely thrive in the evolving landscape. After all, consumer needs are diverse, and one size does not fit all.

There are different ways through which the real estate sector optimizes digital technology. Here, we discuss some examples of how the real estate sector uses digital technology. Let’s try to understand it here for the sake of your convenience. 

Data Analytics

The real estate sector uses data analytics to identify the demand for flats among buyers. Data analytics usage is quite common, starting from the engineering surrounding the houses and other aspects. The stakeholders associated with the real estate sector use data analytics for predictive analysis. It can help understand the consumer’s behavioral pattern. 

Omni Channel Engagement

The use of omnichannel engagement is fast turning out to be a trend for customers due to the rise of AI and automation. It denotes the customer’s engagement with your company via digital channels like social media to gather data and other information regarding the project. The companies, on the other hand, ensure that the customers find informative properties within a single online search. 

The Esignatures

The e-Signaturs have gone on to become one of the trends in real estate in recent times. Since the digital signatures are legally binding, they reduce the need for manual work. With the help of digital signatures, maintenance or control over the document management to that of the borrowers is far easier.

Digital Journeys

The digital journey comprises technology like the online walkthrough, which helps enhance the end-user’s experiences. Paperwork processing can sometimes be more complicated and complex. According to a study, a customer has to spend around 6.5 hours during real estate transactions. If you reduce the number, it will significantly improve the customer experience. The digital journeys improve facilitating multiple processes like quoting, offers, signatures, contracts, management of documents, processing and loan applications, quoting, and others. 

Virtual Reality Will Soon Be A Reality 

The stakeholders surrounding the real world are looking to explore virtual reality in a more competitive way. Virtual and augmented reality have become popular choices for stakeholders in the real estate sector. According to a popular statistical study, the real estate sector is expected to surge by 30% by the end of 2023. Also, there are brighter opportunities for this technology to flourish by 2025. Hence, the stakeholders are touting it.


The real estate sector has quickly made inroads toward the development of digital technology. The stakeholders are fast to judge it, and they are bringing the technology into the existing frame. 

The rise of online estate agents is not merely a trend but a testament to an industry undergoing rapid transformation. While challenges persist, the benefits are undeniable, offering sellers more choice, control, and cost savings than ever before. The revolution of real estate is well and truly underway, and it’s an exciting time for all stakeholders involved.

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Ankita Tripathy

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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