Property technology, or proptech, is changing our real estate industry. Real estate is the largest asset class, according to Wikipedia, and billions of dollars are being spent toward innovations that are changing how we buy, sell, design, contract, and manage real estate. For example, in the first six months of 2019, investment in proptech totaled $12.9 billion, Wikipedia says. That investment is equal to the amount spent in all of 2018.
Proptech is the talk of the town — or at least the talk of the real estate business. It’s changing and moving quickly. And all real estate agencies will want to understand and use it to make their real estate agencies more utopian.
What is proptech real estate?
Proptech is a term to refer to all the startups providing technology for the real estate market and to the technology itself. It is “the application of information technology and platform economics to real estate markets,” according to Wikipedia. Proptech is a broad term that covers many aspects of digital technology. Proptech real estate refers to using this technology to improve processes, decision-making, sales, or other aspects of a real estate business.
The history of real estate technology
Real estate technology has developed through three stages. The first stage occurred when real estate agencies moved property listings online during the dot com(.com) boom. While this was controversial at the time, e-commerce in real estate is now part of daily life. The second stage saw the emergence of smart buildings and smart homes. Virtual reality tours began during this stage, and real estate companies used data analytics in decision-making. More fungible real estate options began to emerge, with individuals exchanging and renting vacation homes, storage sheds, or rooms in their homes for parts of the year. Airbnb is a good example.
The third stage, which we are currently a part of, now uses all manner of proptech, including artificial intelligence, big data, and solar power. Let’s take a closer look at some of these technologies.
Proptech real estate technologies
Proptech is available across the various real estate business functions, including architecture, construction, sales, finance, transaction coordination, and strategy. Mortgage lenders and escrow agents also use proptech to streamline processes and free up time for other activities.
Real estate listings have been online for some time. In fact, a firm that fails to list its properties online has a distinct disadvantage. Many proptech tools exist to display the properties and help you develop a good relationship with potential clients who search those listings.
Let’s face it. A lot of real estate tasks are repetitive and dull. Smart real estate agencies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to handle these routine tasks so that their team can focus on other tasks. For example, AI can automatically classify listings according to styles and features. It can also help with market analysis. It can auto-generate personalized emails, and it may be able to automatically tag relevant photos.
Many real estate agents already use virtual reality to give virtual tours and the number is increasing. Goldman Sachs believes 1.4 million real estate agents will use the technology by 2025. The consulting firm says VR is becoming a much more valuable sales tool than a simple online ad.
Drawing up contracts is a repetitive, time-consuming job that few agents enjoy. Automated documents and digital signatures can speed up the process and give agents back their time to spend on making deals.
Many agents cringe at the very mention of “lead generation.” It’s a time-consuming task. Proptech, however, provides automated lead generation and other sales and marketing tools.
Big data refers to data sets that are too large or too complex for traditional data software. This data typically provides information about consumer behavior or market trends that can help with pricing, seeing market trends, and determining the risks or benefits of a particular investment.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a smart network of devices or systems that constantly send signals back and forth to each other, although not necessarily just over the Internet. IoT can dramatically change how property managers keep track of maintenance needs or security at their buildings or allow a homeowner or agent to turn on lights or unlock doors from a distance.
Proptech also includes management tools, especially to help buildings meet energy-efficient or green standards.
Chatbots are a simple proptech invention that can dramatically improve customer satisfaction numbers while also taking repetitive tasks off a team member’s plate.
To Sum Up
Proptech is a term that refers to all the companies and technologies seeking to make the real estate industry more customer-friendly and efficient. Proptech can do many repetitive, noninteresting tasks that currently fill team members’ days, freeing them up to do high-value tasks that they enjoy. Proptech tools are essential to creating a real estate utopia, which exists when every team member can perform the tasks they enjoy most.
Proptech is a growing trend and a global phenomenon. Startups are entering the proptech real estate space all the time. In existing real estate, proptech can do many functions that your team used to do; in new construction, progress has been slower. The proptech industry will continue to evolve, forever changing how we operate in the real estate business.
A real estate virtual assistant will be up on all the emerging proptech tools. They can help your agency to gain time savings and sales benefits from proptech.