Housing and the Internet
There are currently over 60 million users of the Internet world-wide - this figure is expected to triple by the year 2000. People are adopting the Internet faster than any other media.
The housing industry is well positioned to capture the potential benefits of the Internet, as long as it continues to be innovative and aggressive in expanding its presence on the web.
Business-to-business sales are predicted to reach about $260 billion by the year 2000. Users of the Internet in the housing industry are planning departments at 38.1%, architectural firms at 19.4% and real estate/property developers at 17.6%.
Some of the uses of the Internet by industry sector are as follows:
Real Estate Industry - Current uses include on-line access to the MLS listings and conducting on-line market research. Future uses include "virtual reality" technology for viewing properties and sophisticated tracking of clients who visit sites.
Developers - Current uses including project marketing. Future uses include performing interactive housing preference surveys and reserving or pre-selling units.
Government Housing Agencies - Current uses include marketing products, programs and services. Future uses include adding in-house libraries on-line.
Architectural and Design Firms - Current uses include e-mail and on-line research. Future uses include the creation of virtual teams working together on a single projects from different geographical locations.
Import/Export Industry - Current uses are limited to e-mail. Future uses include electronic bidding and the buying and selling of products.
Real Estate Finance - Current uses are for marketing, particularly among mortgage lenders, and processing loan applications. Future uses include taking loan applications over the web and processing CMHC insured high ratio mortgages.