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Before the internet, you had to rely on phone calls and leaflets when purchasing a property. Now, buyers can get their dream home in just a few clicks, and PropTech has been at the heart of this change. PropTech can be defined as an umbrella term for the companies fuelling the evolution of real estate towards digitalisation and automation. Early companies in this field, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, emerged in the 2000s and formed industry-leading sites and applications. In the last decade, there has been an explosion of innovation. PropTech companies are now enhancing the services in the property world with efficient alternatives to traditional practices.
Today’s real estate industry is more dynamic and exciting than ever before. Spurred on by our ever-changing digital landscape, more PropTech companies are taking on real estate to push it to the next level. There are several growing trends in the PropTech market, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality (VR), big data, and analytics. PropTech is no longer confined to small start-ups, gaining interest and investment from larger companies. For example, Tesco is set to introduce iSite PropTech software, to help manage its property operations.
There are hundreds of dynamic PropTech companies making the industry better by offering efficient solutions and improved customer experiences. Move Bubble, for instance, is putting an end to the frustration of trawling through websites to find an available property. Move Bubble’s app ensures all properties that show up are available to buy. It saves you having to ring an agent, as you can book viewings in the app anytime.
Nested is another online estate agent which helps homeowners sell their property as fast as possible. They provide data-driven value estimates of your home online where you can learn your expected sale price. PropTech companies are making the real estate industry more accessible through simplifying the process. It is now much easier to make a decision about a property. Companies such as Fixflo have made reporting repairs easy for both tenants and agents. In a few clicks, you can report any issues online and receive guidance to solve these problems. Fixflo uses a picture-based system and you can report repairs anytime.
Virtual reality is another tool that is growing in popularity. It’s no longer a sci-fi dream, thanks to market leaders like Oculus and HTC. The use of VR in the real estate industry is transforming the norms of how buyers and investors do business. VR can give you the ability to visualise a property without actually stepping into it. Rather than travelling around to see various properties, buyers can use VR for touring homes. Roomy is one company that enables buyers to visualise properties through VR and augmented reality. Their platform offers virtual modelling options, so anyone can become an interior designer for their own home. Also, VRPM is a UK-based company that is utilising VR for accurate, 3D visualisations of homes and buildings.
In the following years, new technology could provide richer data across the entire real estate cycle, from design and construction phases to facilities management. When combining AR and VR with Computer Aided Design (CAD), and Building Information Modelling (BIM), there could be a new generation of tech-driven buildings and homes. Amsterdam’s The Edge is a great example of the power of using smart apps and super-efficient systems. The Edge has been dubbed ‘the smartest building the world’.
PropTech is shaking up the industry and changing the way realtors and their clients do business. It’s re-imaging the world of real estate for the better. Digital technology is providing more opportunities for business growth while delivering more value to customers. It’s important every real estate company gets up to speed with property technology. Today, every business needs to be agile, dynamic and forward-thinking. Companies planning for the future must embrace the digital transformation and keep up with the changes in our fast-paced, digital society.
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