The current digitalization trend among consumers is spurring buyers, sellers, renters, landlords and agents to update their offerings and processes, by offering seamless, responsive services and products, Tiger Bridging explains.
The term proptech refers to the tech and digital innovations that are developed for, and implemented within, the property industry. Driven by tech start-ups and scaling SMEs, such innovations are based on existing digital trends such as big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). With 49% of property professionals claiming that they have already built a digital roadmap that will help their business move towards a digital transformation, according to Property Week’s 2018 survey, it is visible that the industry is facing major shifts in the near future.
Focussing on the client
Traditional industry practices for both renting and purchasing property typically involve countless phone calls and emails in the hope of securing a viewing. Whilst this is inefficient, time-consuming and difficult to manage, digital platforms are transforming this archaic process by aggregating large numbers of property listings and offer suggestions individually tailored towards every client’s needs. Purple Bricks, an online real estate agent, has created an online digital platform facilitating quick and transparent conversations between buyers and sellers, as well as altering the pricing model applied by agents, by charging a one-off fee rather than commission. Some letting apps, such as SPCE, not only facilitate the search process, but also enable users to manage and pay for their tenancy through the app.
Sensor technology has made significant strides in building and facilities management within the commercial and residential sectors. With building management requiring a series of repetitive and time-consuming tasks, as well as a strong focus on the maintenance of a building’s health and regulatory standards, smart sensors help to bring efficiency to such tasks. Xelba is a prime example of a company that provides digital solutions to enhance facility management via software and hardware products that identify all IoT devices in a building’s infrastructure. In the meantime, OVG’s sustainable office – The Edge – allows every worker to regulate the light and the “climate” of their workplace though a special Philips app.
AR and VR to improve the user experience
With one in eight real estate companies claiming that they are likely to invest in AR and 360-degree videos for marketing purposes over the next five years, such technologies have already made a significant impact on the property market. Virtual viewings allow clients to remotely view a large number of properties in a short period of time and are already exploited by companies like Matterport. Furthermore, AR and VR technologies can be used by designers, architects and engineers, in order to enhance their understanding and knowledge of a building they are creating.
A new wave of innovation is excepted to hit the property sector as available technology improves. Current industry players should not only anticipate a faster, more transparent and superior experience, allowing them to take take on more projects simultaneously. They should also expect a subsequent increase in the number of players on the market in the future, in turn, suggesting that any decisions regarding investment into new technologies should not be postponed.
Read also about London’s property tech bubble.