Technology has entered almost every aspect of life from education and healthcare to the construction and automotive industry. Designed to make life easier and streamline almost every task we encounter, it was only a matter of time before the real estate market saw the integration of technology as well. Agents and investors are now seeing first hand how tech is transforming the way they do business. By definition, PropTech (or property technology) is the application of technology and economics in the real estate industry. In order to stay ahead of the times, you need to understand what tech options are available and how to apply them.
Keep reading to learn how it’s done!
Augmented and virtual reality (also known as AR and VR) are some of the most popular and impressive forms of PropTech available. Although both augmented and virtual reality are still new to the real estate world, they’re quickly evolving. Now, showing homes and closing deals are simple, fast, and convenient. This is especially true if you’re selling or buying international property. VR allows investors to visualize property concepts during the development phase. AR creates an interactive buying experience thanks to user-friendly apps. Now, buyers have a clear vision of their bright future, even before it arrives.
Switching gears from augmented reality to everyday life, the Internet of Things (IoT) is now a basic tool in everyone’s life. Sometimes, we even take it for granted. But you shouldn’t. IoT is an essential tool for connecting people and places across the world by streamlining tasks and procedures. The IoT allows you to sign digital contracts and network safely and securely. The Internet is also an invaluable tool for keeping up with ever-changing market trends and values. You now have vital information at your fingertips - literally. You can search and compare agents, insurance companies and property managers using easy and convenient sites like Rentround. You can also advertise properties and open houses, schedule repairs and maintenance, and monitor several properties at once thanks to the IoT.
You’ve seen large-scale models created by developers to help investors and agents envision a future build. You’ve also probably seen architectural blueprints and even 3D models and tours created by graphic design programs. But have you ever seen a 3D printed house? That’s right - some real estate developers are actually printing large scale 3D homes for people to purchase and live in! This PropTech trend is turning the real estate market on its head and transforming the landscape of affordable housing. Some homes cost as little as $4,000 to “build” (print)! The savings are almost as mind boggling as the concept itself. Advantageous developers are in the process of designing entire neighborhoods made from 3D printing alone. Stay tuned to see how this PropTech feature evolves in the near future.
The world is constantly searching for easier, more efficient ways of doing business. People are more conscious now of their carbon footprint than ever before. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to sacrifice service or efficiency in the name of a sustainable lifestyle. Thanks to PropTech, they don’t have to. Energy-efficient building materials, appliances, and power sources help reduce pollution without reducing quality. Another tech trend making its mark on the real estate industry is SMART home features. Things like automatic door locks, camera and security systems, and even SMART appliances make everyday tasks simpler than ever. This is in, at least in part, thanks to the millennial generation. As of this writing, millennials comprise nearly 40% of homebuyers - the largest percentage of any group. If there’s one thing millennials know about and want in their new homes, it’s smart tech and gadgets - all while living a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly life.
Think drones are just for kids and nosey neighbors? Think again. These cameras fly-high and allow real estate agents to create breathtaking photos and views that capture the entire essence of a property. Drones are now going where no man has gone before and offering 360-degree aerial photos of property listings. Telling a potential buyer that a house has amazing views or a certain amount of acres doesn’t make nearly the impressive impact as showing them those picturesque scenes and rolling hills, mountains, and other natural surroundings. This is an essential PropTech tool for international buyers and sellers. But the exterior of the home isn’t the only angle that drones capture. Using VR and drone footage together, agents can now create a visual map of a home’s interior for a truly one-of-a-kind virtual tour.
Money and real estate go hand-in-hand. With electronic transfers and online banking, buying, selling, and closing deals has never been easier. Blockchain is taking things one step further by streamlining the process even more. Blockchain is fast, efficient, and secure, helping put everyones’ minds at ease. This new form of revenue also allows multiple parties to view and interact with financial documents simultaneously. Facebook Libra is one of the newest blockchain platforms that allows users to securely exchange money using one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.
The more you know, the better equipped you are to make smart, lucrative decisions. Technology has changed the way we collect and access data for the real estate market. Thanks to more efficient and in-depth data collection, realtors and investors have access to buying trends, predictions, future mortgage rates, and property history that helps drive their decisions and investments. PropTech has also changed how information is gathered, structured, and stored, for faster and more accurate results. Armed with this information, estate & letting agents, property managers, and investors can make smart, strategic plans to help build their clientele and businesses.
If you’re not up with the time then you’re behind the times. The real estate market is fast-paced and constantly evolving. Ignoring these PropTech trends and tools means missing out on big sales and even bigger opportunities. Technology is designed to simplify your life and streamline tedious tasks. With access to more information, faster, you can now reach a broader audience and expand both your horizons and your income. With PropTech in your wheelhouse, there’s no telling where your real estate or property investments will take you!