There are few industries where the classic approach to sales (literally pounding the pavement) is still used. Besides a few quaint small businesses offering daily milk delivery, the era of door to door vacuum sales and the like are behind us. You can do pretty much everything online, including real estate buying and selling, but this industry is one where some people still demand a more hands-on approach. Luckily for everyone involved, that’s slowly shifting.

According to Ashford Realty, buying a house is one of the biggest investments of your life and making mistakes is common. Working with a realtor can keep buyers and sellers on a better path, and it’s no longer necessary to form a strong bond in person. In fact, some transactions are done without buyers ever even seeing the property in person. Here’s how technology has revolutionized real estate and what’s to be expected in the future:

  1. Drones make aerial photography easy

Besides military usage, drones are most popular amongst real estate agents. Although there has been some recent kerfuffle over FAA regulations and drones, as reported by media outlets like MLive, there will likely be a resolution that allows for some real estate usage of drones. It’s a cheap, effective and easy way to snag those aerial photography shots that previously required a helicopter.

  1. Street views allow for virtual neighborhood tours

Buyers aren’t just purchasing a house; they’re also buying a space in a neighborhood and want to know it’s up their alley. With options like Google’s Street Views, non-local buyers can check out what the streets looked like during a specific time. You can see if there’s a hoarder across the street, the sidewalks are ill-kept (a huge red flag for outdoor runners) or if there’s a veritable used car lot at the house next door.

  1. Video virtual tours make in-person tours moot

Photographs can lie, but video tours are pretty transparent. If buyers don’t have time to physically visit every property that interests them, video tours are the next best thing. While video cameras are far from revolutionary, having quality tours on smartphones (or mobile sites and apps) is. Buyers can quickly see if a house has the kind of backyard they want, the size of the kitchen and get a feel for the landscape.

There are also apps for everything, including this Forbes list of apps just for real estate agents. With information at your fingertips, massive financial transactions are streamlined just like everything else.

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