It was really only a matter of time before the property market would begin to become impacted as advanced IT-systems, applications, software and devices disrupt the way deals have been conducted in the real estate space.
That movement is known as PropTech, an ecosystem of businesses using technology to enhance and improve methods of purchase, rental, design, construction or management of residential and commercial properties.
Over the past couple years, PropTech has emerged as technology continues to play a part in our daily lives.
Tech-savvy entrepreneurs and startups are stirring up this largely traditional business segment with unique solutions that bring a new level of accessibility and convenience to the real estate industry.
The more tech-related businesses get involved in the property market, the more value there is to provide to customers, investors and owners of property (whether residential, commercial and beyond). Tech saves time and makes jobs that were previously difficult much easier such as security management or surveying occupied care homes where disturbances must be kept to the minimum.
Today, as developments in VR (virtual reality), drone, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) persist, property as well as technology firms have begun to adjust the way they do business accordingly. Many of these technologies fit extremely well with and are very suitable for the real estate industry.
Physical viewing of a property, organizing spreadsheets for potential mortgage lenders or traditional interactions with agents are all slowly being challenged as PropTech continues to make a mark on the market.
An educated public
The public awareness of PropTech is on the uptake. According to CB Insights, an estimated $6 billion in venture capital has been invested on a global scale in PropTech since 2011, with about 70% of that colossal growth occurring roughly within the past two years. That trend is on an upward climb, as financing volume for PropTech enjoys a steady surge of 36% year on year amid projections looking at $3 billion by the end of 2017.
In the wake of all this excitement, it is the consumers that may stand to benefit the most as they become empowered through the wonderful possibilities brought about by technology.
The Asia Pacific region is now considered the world’s largest testing ground and central hotspot for real estate technology. Home to at least 179 PropTech startups including Roomz, this region’s recent accumulation of power revolves around the $4.8 billion in funding that it has obtained since 2013.
The blockchain revolution and cryptocurrency is the talk of the town with recent reports claiming that bitcoin’s creator may be on the way to becoming the world’s first trillionaire. Dubai’s land registry announced its own cryptocurrency, Singapore has begun tokenizing its dollar via the Ubin Project – a Monetary Authority of the nation’s ongoing distributed ledger technology trial.
Cryptocurrency payments are an automatic process thanks to blockchain technology. Julian Kwan, the founder of InvestaCrowd has said that “Cryptocurrencies are obviously one of the hottest spaces in real estate right now,” adding that “We’re watching it very closely.”
Bitcoin, Ethereum and other forms of cryptocurrency are now helping property buyers avoid lawyers, notary requirement and other middlemen. They also enable easy cross-border transactions due to the fact that they are not bound by country-specific interest rates and transaction charges (although they may have their own fees).
Internet of Things:
Consumers are fast to catch on to the latest smart home appliances and devices. Many of those in the property industry (including developers) are well aware of this fact. Smart homes come installed with the latest IoT devices that enable inter-connectivity. As the field of property merges with the growing Internet of Things, users quickly become comfortable with the idea of devices that allow access/control or mobile apps that help people manage their units from anywhere in the world.
You may or may not have heard of ‘The Edge’. Purportedly the ‘smartest building in the world’, this 15-storey structure in Amsterdam is decked out with hi-tech gear including 28,000 sensors that give it the ability to detect and respond to changes in temperature, humidity, lighting and more. Chungha Cha, founder of the nonprofit ‘Re-Imagining Cities’ mentions that “If we have a lot of these buildings, which connect the physical layer, the bricks and mortars, to a digital layer, you can enjoy additional income as a real estate developer.”
Augmented and Virtual Reality:
Being able to create virtual dimensions with interactivity and function has been a shining technological achievement in its own right. Now, virtual reality is in the midst of implementation into the real estate sector. VR headsets, AR software tailored to architectural requirements and the possibilities brought about by virtual property viewing are beginning to become a part of the industry. These and other breakthroughs in technology set to completely transform the way in which the property sector works. This is only the beginning, as even more interesting developments loom on the horizon.
Roomz has entered the sharing economy with a mission to bring renters the best value in the best environment. Along with unique themes and concepts for renters, Roomz also assists property owners that are looking to make full use of their spaces. Follow our blog and find out how Roomz is disrupting the property rental industry.