A couple of years ago hardly anyone knew what PropTech was. But a number of real estate startups were already preparing for major changes in the sector. The US online agency Zillow, for example, has been leading the way for many years. Today the landscape is beginning to change as the global marketplace moves at a faster pace. The property revolution is underway.
The catch-all term, “PropTech” or “property technology” is used to describe any technology used within the real estate sector, with a specific emphasis on innovation.
PropTech can be associated with planning, construction, renting, buying, management or selling.
What is Proptech?
The aim of PropTech is to streamline antiquated processes within the research, planning and construction phases as well as the stages of renting or purchasing and the on-going managing and maintenance of properties. Essentially, PropTech cuts out the middle man and removes the more onerous tasks associated with real estate and replaces them with efficient, automated solutions.
In Spain around 160 companies already operate in the PropTech arena – from companies dedicated to Big Data,to real estate management portals, as well as businesses involved in real estate investment.
PropTech in 2020 and beyond
Globally, PropTech presents some exciting opportunities during 2020 and many years to come.
The industry is becoming increasingly competitive as investors keep an eye out for real estate startups that will bring in major changes to the industry and, ultimately, investors’ property portfolios.
Globally, real estate accounts for around 13% of GDP yet the growth of technology has been relatively slow compared to other industries. Many real estate companies have found themselves struggling to create an effective technology platform strategy to cope with the rapid changes.
The new real estate companies entering the market are embracing new technologies and this, combined with rapidly changing buyer demographics, has created disruptive models within the sector. This is presenting new opportunities for others who choose innovation over traditional techniques.
Big Data is part of the PropTech revolution, bringing with it enhanced analytics that can predict market fluctuations.
AI (Artificial Intelligence) also comes into play. AI can help predict which locations will be the most beneficial for developers, for example, optimising profitability. AI can also help predict a client’s requirements and collate results.
Cloud Computing will further drive better business relationships, enabling a historically rigid industry to become much more mobile and flexible.
Augmented Reality (traditionally linked to the gaming industry) may soon overtake virtual reality. Unlike virtual reality, which requires a headset, most augmented reality applications work on mobile devices with smart glasses and other hands-free devices, all of which is particularly beneficial for off-plan developments.
Crowdfunding allows anyone to become an investor via an online platform, enabling access to a market that would otherwise be prohibitive to many.
Bcn Advisors’ commitment
“PropTech is beginning to reshape the real estate sector in the developed world,” explains Francisco Nathurmal, CEO of Bcn Advisors. ”It helps remove inefficiencies within the sector by replacing them with advanced technical solutions in order to improve productivity and efficiency. New advancements in PropTech will massively improve the customer experience. For example, on our own website, buyers will soon be able to make appointments to see properties without having to liaise with an agent beforehand and sellers will be able to enter the site directly to see the latest statistics about their viewings.”
“Our goal will be to consistently keep on top of the latest trends in PropTech – we will remain open-minded and keep on top of changing consumer patterns. We will continue to invest in equipment and marketing tools to ensure that our users get the very best experience and ultimately find their new home according to their requirements,” adds Nathurmal.