The New Face of Real Estate - Jay L. Moss

Innovative technologies and shifting homebuyer mindsets have shaken up the real estate industry in recent years. Various factors have transformed aspects of traditional real estate transactions, ranging from how buyers choose properties to the method of signing contracts.

We are in conversation with Jay L. Moss — an experienced homebuilding executive and progressive thinker. Jay shares with us how new real estate trends are combining themselves with the old, to create a wonderful hybrid of rich experience and innovation.

We talked about your passion for the Homebuilding Industry and also about the fact that there is a new generation of leaders stepping up, disrupting the status quo, and being innovative in many ways. You indicated that you love to share your knowledge and insights with this upcoming generation of leaders, while at the same time learning things from them. Can you elaborate?

“I am a baby boomer, and there is a big difference between my generation and the millennials. Millennials have grown up with the internet, Apple products, emails and texting, and now different forms of social media. They tend to look at business transactions in a very distinct way. A great example is that of Airbnb.”

Combining the Old with the New

“I read about this gentleman who was hired to be on the board of consultants for Airbnb. Airbnb started as just a phone app, by a group of individuals in their 30s. They were all technologically advanced and talented — they created the app. However, what they lacked was hospitality experience. They hired this guy who was in his 50s and highly experienced in the hospitality industry. Together, they formed the nucleus of what became Airbnb. This combination of new age skill and old-world knowledge is unbeatable.”

The New Face of Real Estate

“The same concept is applied in real estate as well. Previously, buyers visited model homes. They walked through the community and got a feel of what it would be like to live there. At the time, the ‘touch and feel’ experience was valued. Based on how they reacted and interacted with the model home, we gauged their interest. Today, this concept is slowly fading, or rather, evolving. Buyers are purchasing homes over the internet and signing contracts through DocuSign. Technological improvements to the home-selling process have made options like 3D virtual home tours the new normal, along with other forms of electronic engagement. With Google Maps and other advanced technology, buyers can literally “walk” on the street of a home virtually. The first time they will visit in person might be with their moving van.”

“We now must embrace a merger of the old with the new, and I believe that those experienced in the industry can benefit the tech-savvy newcomers, and vice versa. Advertising in real estate has changed too. Previously, people would visit ten different communities to see what they really like, now, they do the same online and then may visit only one or two of them in person. Buyers are increasingly getting educated via new forms of advertising and social media. Think of it like buying a car. We used to test drive cars before purchasing them. Now, we go onto the internet, find the best deal, and have it delivered to our doorstep.”

A New Focus on Health

“The pandemic has also accelerated people’s focus on health. Air quality, air filtration systems, access to clean food and water have all gained a lot of emphasis. This focus existed previously, but Covid has generated an increased focus on and enthusiasm regarding being healthy. The environment and access to resources around a home have become very important as well, which has given rise to the trend and increased prevalence of the “healthy house.” These homes are greener, more sustainable, have solar panels and more.”

“A lot of these changes have been in the pipeline for years, however, the pandemic sped up demand. Some trends are here to stay, while others may fade away along with Covid. But all in all, this hybrid model is going to prove the most successful way moving forward.”

The Customer Experience

“Technology has changed the customer experience in real estate drastically. With social media today, there are no secrets, meaning that total transparency becomes the norm. Customers are using evolving data analytics which meshes real estate with real estate adjacencies to make informed decisions. Everything is more efficient and transparent, which requires those in the industry to step up their game. The real estate market is now engulfed in advanced and easily usable technologies.”

That is an interesting take, Jay.

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