While many industries have been quick to adopt technology, the real estate industry has conventionally been among the slower ones. However, the growth of property technology (proptech) is changing the landscape quickly, with new solutions being introduced that implement new ways of buying, selling and interacting with properties.
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing a shift to digital solutions for many industries, property observers maintain that proptech is on its way to becoming a significant force.
Proptech is designed to plug into all the stages of the real estate process, from potential buyers being able to virtually walk through houses, to software that can split rent payments. Broadly, the following categories capture where much of the advancement has occurred in this regard:
- Smart Homes: Smart homes incorporate digital technology that can monitor and even manage specific features. Examples include a smart thermostat that can regulate a home’s temperature, smart bulbs that can be turned on using a mobile app, or an intelligent security system that sends out warnings should it perceive a threat.
- Sharing Real Estate: Solutions in this category facilitate the processes involved with renting or sharing property assets such as offices, apartments and storage units.
- Property Fintech: Applications in this space make it easier for parties to buy and sell property, for example a platform that reduces paperwork.
In reality, proptech start-ups are pushing the boundaries of innovation, and many are combining several areas of knowledge to accomplish this. Increasingly, these start-ups have a competitive advantage because they are willing to innovate each step of the process and reinvent existing systems. Their solutions offer tools that support real estate professionals, or replace these professionals entirely through technology.
Proptech will likely continue to make waves in the industry, making it imperative for real estate professionals to embrace technology and integrate it into their processes. As Razi Salih – an experienced property investor – knows, it is the developers and investors who keep updated on the latest trends and are willing to invest in and experiment with new technologies that will find the best ways to make proptech work for them.
Indeed, the real estate professional with a portfolio of clients is in an excellent position to investigate and anticipate their needs. By realizing proptech is a means to an end, they can be at the forefront of embracing solutions that take the industry to greater heights.