From Manufacturing 4.0 to Customer Service 4.0 to Hospitality 4.0, there are few (if any) sectors of industry that are not being significantly impacted by technology. The real estate industry is no exception. From smart homes to online listings and even mortgage apps, the real estate industry is being taken by digital storm. Aside from the obvious aspect of buyers and sellers having access to more online resources, here are three lesser-known ways that technology is having an impact on real estate.

Smart contracts
One of the biggest pitfalls of real estate is the transactional costs that occur whenever a property changes hands. One single transaction alone can incur several thousands of dollars in costs, thanks to all of the documentation and paperwork involved. In a simple transaction, there are generally at least 6-10 parties involved in the transfer of ownership, all of whom charge fees. Soon, blockchain technology will create a major disruption in this process, leading to potential savings of up to $217 trillion globally.

Data storage
Real estate, like law, is still an industry that runs largely on paper. Soon, however, with the emergence of smart contracts, secure digital storage is going to be essential. The global data-sphere is not something most real estate agents probably think much about, but it is critical to the future of real estate. The global data-sphere currently offers around 33 Zettabytes of data storage but is expected to grow to 175 Zettabytes by 2025. It’s going to be necessary to store all the millions of current hard copies that will soon be transferred to digital storage.

Virtual Reality
While buyers can currently narrow down their options significantly by browsing listings online, there is still no substitute for actually walking into a space to view it live and in person. Soon, however, buyers may attending showings from their living room. VR technology is poised to revolutionize shopping on some different fronts, and real estate is no exception. Not only can VR technology give you a full 3D experience of a walkthrough, but it can even allow buyers to custom configure their dream kitchen or see what the living room would look like with a bright red accent wall – and then quickly test out lime green instead.