Proptech is short for “property technology” and is essentially the complete landscape of established and emerging digital tools used by real estate professionals to complete all aspects of the property transaction cycle—from researching to listing to buying and selling.
Global real estate is the perfect industry to use technology to optimize all stages of the process. We'll explore some of the newest and emerging trends and hopefully provide some useful areas for you to explore and incorporate into your own business. Embracing technology can be a way to streamline your work, reduce paper usage, connect to more customers, and work more efficiently overall. While the subject of Proptechis vast, here are some common digital tools being used across the global real estate industry and others to look out for as technology companies increasingly merge with our industry.
Proptech: From Your Clients' Point of View
How do your clients use technology? The 2022 NAR Home Buyers and Sellers Survey found that 47% of recent buyers looked online first before starting their buying process. According to New Real Estate Trends & Forecasts, 44% of buyers first locate their properties online before working with an agent, with this figure increasing each month.1 More and more, buyers and sellers are looking to digital tools to help them navigate the purchasing or selling process.
1. Preferred communication method: Most people reserve phone calls only for important matters or for the very end of the process. Text messaging and email are the preferred methods to note interest in a property, ask questions, and book appointments for viewings. In the global landscape, embracing technology to be able to communicate seamlessly with customers all over the world is essential.
2. Digital Processes: Where piles of paper and manual processes were once the norm, Proptech systems allow most—if not all—processes to happen through a smartphone. Read and sign contracts, be alerted instantly about mortgage information, and view a property withVirtual Reality (VR).
3. Internet of Things: Internet of Things (IoT) are objects that use technology such as sensors and other communication methods to exchange data and information with other objects. Many clients want properties that include IoT as standard, so technology has worked its way through the entire client journey and even extends to wanting a smart oven! Knowing the capabilities and what is available on the market in terms of a smart home could help you appeal to
your clients' tastes.
Where in your clients' journey can you integrate technology to save time and money or to appeal to their goals?
Proptech: For the Real Estate Professional
Here is a list of ways you can incorporate Proptech into your business:
1. Data: Making data-based decisions is the key to making accurate decisions, assessing risks and opportunities, and identifying trends as or before they emerge. To help build your "big data landscape,"2 look at all of your sources of information from government websites, online reviews, local zoning websites, social media trends, and investor analytics. Analyze all of the data at your disposal to forecast and assess your own market.
2. Fintech or financial technology: Are there any steps in your process where you can use Fintech to make your transactions faster and more secure?
3. Multiple digital tools: As global CIPS designees, you’ll know what is best for your local market. Don’t be afraid to explore Proptech and use it to your advantage. Some ideas include sophisticated property search platforms, using VR in your listings, hosting an open house via livestream for overseas buyers, using photo software to mark up photos,and zooming in on trouble areas to ask questions and get immediate answers.
Proptech: In the Wider Industry
1. Construction technology: Forbes defines Contech as the technology used to innovate the way we plan, design, and build structures, as well as manufacture and install their components.3 Anything from 3D models of buildings, creating models of how to maintain a building with AI, and digitizing construction workflow are all classed as Contech. All of this is changing how buildings are conceptualized, designed, and executed.
2. Construction management: Status updates, communication, documentation, and permits can all be managed centrally and digitally.
3. Fintech or financial technology: Fintech includes digital lenders, virtual inspections, iBuyers, instant mortgages, and more.