Real Estate Investing for the Virtual World

Blockchain, News, Opinion | January 28, 2022 By:

Virtual investing has begun to pick up traction since 2020 when traditional ways were limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a survey published by the University of Chicago, more than 1 in 10 Americans invested in cryptocurrency in 2020. This shows signs of the rising popularity of digital currencies like bitcoin and ethereum. With the emergence of cryptocurrency and NFTs, the concept of virtual real estate investment has also recently come about.

Often times, the term “virtual real estate investing” is associated with using digital payment to buy digital space. However, the concept refers to the process of utilizing digital tools — such as real estate software — to buy physical property. During the pandemic, personal experiences such as home walk-throughs were limited. Software application then allowed a virtual walk-through experience, 3-D mapping, and drone surveys of properties located across the U.S. The virtual walk-through technology can be replayed at any time and also allows the buyer to play with angles and fill the room with furniture if needed. With this new technology, the National Association of Realtors reported rebounds in sales during 2020 even with the limitations of the virus.

Beginner Investors

This new type of virtual investing in real world assets can help those who are new to the world of investing and want to earn some extra income. The new technology has benefits for investors to scout the best deals, match funds for projects and analyze numbers from their computer or phone. The geographical barriers that once confined investors are no longer an issue and they can nowextend into other territories of the country or the world due to the powers of technology.

First Steps for Virtual Real Estate Investing

The whole process of virtual real estate investing eliminates some difficulties, but also comes with another new set of obstacles. Luckily, the online tools available now offer decent tips and guidance on the process and ultimately help with planning. Doing research and determining the type of market you’d want to invest in is the first step in the process. Once you’ve finalized your market, proper tools can be used to begin putting plans into place.

Types of Tools

There are three types of tools investors can use to begin the process. First is the basic tool which includes your everyday technology such as a laptop, a smartphone, internet connection, printer and scanner. Property research sites are a great tool for scouting deals and properties. Examples include Zillow, Google Maps and Google Earth. Other tools that allow the transactions to be made and the investment to be secured are products like DocuSign, G Suite and Microsoft Office. However, additional technology is required to discover and close deals on actual properties.

Online Platforms Available 

With virtual real estate investing having such a prevalence today, more and more platforms are catching onto the trend.

FlipScout is a free platform backed with data using artificial intelligence technology. The platform is beneficial for flips and rentals and provides metrics such as rental income. The platform is available for properties across the country and provides investors with data to help them make the best decisions.

Roofstock is an online marketplace for investing in real estate properties. The company analyzes properties by market rent and net cash flow to come up with the listing price.  There are also other features such as tools for financing and being able to buy portfolios.

Fundrise is another platform that helps beginner investors get their feet wet by offering e-REIT’s to virtual investors on the platform. An e-REIT is a real estate investment trust which is a company that owns income-producing real estate whether tangible properties or mortgages on properties. Fundrise helps to make real-estate investments available at lower costs.

Future of Virtual Real Estate Investing

The concept of using technology to propel the world of real estate investment does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact companies and platforms are beginning to use cryptocurrencies to pay for homes and buildings. This new implementation of digital currencies in the real estate industry creates a buzz and an exciting opportunity for future investors.