What is PropTech?

PropTech is the common word used to explain the wave of tech innovations set to disrupt real estate markets. The future is both interesting and hard to predict for the real estate business at the moment as PropTech is already starting to make its presence felt in both the household and commercial property worlds. There may be some effort to get through before its effects are as game-changing as the FinTech (Finance Technology) disruption we are currently witnessing, but as with all other disruptive technology waves, the future is more related than you might imagine.

How will PropTech turn real estate?
Whilst it’s difficult to predict the future of technology with any level of certainty, we can get some pretty educated assumptions based on the present PropTech ecosystem as well as the evolution of previous tech waves. The adoption and longevity of any technology hinge ultimately on whether it improves the lives of its users. In the world of real estate, this indicates that many specialisms will be improved by new and emerging tech solutions whilst others may be replaced entirely.

This is not hard to imagine a future only a few years away from now when a company might be able to find and acquire properties by leveraging Big Data. Blockchain technology can then be used to drastically speed up the purchase. Thereafter a model of the renovated property can be rapidly generated with 3D printing technology and, finally, interactive tours of the property can be offered with the use of Virtual Reality to assist with selling.

But this is only one scenario in an ever more complex landscape and how tech might shape for any given specialism within the real estate sector is best assessed by an experienced head with a good understanding of the emerging trends in the industry.

The technology revolution is disrupting all industries and presents huge opportunities to early adopters. As has always been the case however, professionals and companies that are slow or resistant to change risk being left behind and so the threat of becoming obsolete is real. We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution which is seeing the lines between the physical and digital worlds merged ever closer. The change that technology brings is demonstrably game-changing and as a result, the benefits to those who capitalize on it early are similarly game-changing.

Here are some tips to ensure you stay ahead of the PropTech curve:

Clients: How are your clients’ needs evolving? What technology can you adopt that will ultimately make a life for your clients easier?

Read: Keep up to date with industry news and in particular emerging tech. Keep yourself informed and view technology as a crucially key topic

Invest: Set aside a budget for investing in technology. Be sure to develop a good base understanding of PropTech before assigning funds but make sure this is considered a priority in your business.

Proptech includes so many aspects of real estate that ignoring it or trying to be involved with the industry without the use of it will likely leave you in the dark. Since the concept expands into every sector of real estate, from finance to new construction, and office space to rental properties, Proptech reaches them all on a worldwide basis.

Banks that are willing to join the Proptech craze by developing a faster mortgage process and easy to use apps are more likely to survive the technology era. Keeping up with Proptech is important when it comes to moving forward. This is a recurring theme to remaining competitive.

Proptech is a fairly new concept, but there are hundreds of startups in the category. In fact, some companies have found success worldwide. There are numerous Proptech startups that are known as unicorns, or startups worth more than $1 billion. Many lower valued startups in the Proptech sector are rapidly expanding. Examples of successful startups in Proptech include Opendoor, Compass, and Airbnb. Bowery and HqO are other companies that are also finding success.

Proptech is the future. The numerous startups that have already found success are just a hint of what’s to come. 2020 will bring forth existing and new companies that will bring together all aspects of real estate. The technology on the construction side will dip into the real estate sector, just as the financial aspect will do the same. This will make for a more fluid real estate industry, as channels of communication will be more open.

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