Property technology, more commonly referred to as PropTech, has significantly improved over the past year. The real estate industry has always been regarded as a slower sector to adopt necessary digital transformations. While there have been concerted efforts throughout the years, most were too small to present substantial impacts.
The unique challenges of the global pandemic forced drastic changes upon countless industries, and the real estate industry was no exception. As various government restrictions and safety guidelines were implemented, daily operations had to transition to the digital realm to mitigate the spread of the virus. This fast-tracked the real estate industry’s technological advancement.
Real Estate Technologies
It was observed that from 2015 to 2019, venture capital investments on PropTech grew by 1,072%. This suggests that the industry’s awareness around the increasing relevance of better technology was already on the rise before the pandemic.
Nonetheless, several companies pushed to integrate innovative technologies over the previous year alone to cope with the global health crisis. The unfortunate circumstances that came with the pandemic severely disrupted traditional processes in real estate.
Comprehensive PropTech enabled real estate businesses to adapt accordingly. These are the most impactful technological trends that reshaped — and continues to reshape — the real estate industry amidst the global pandemic.
Rental Management Software
The relationship between landlords and tenants was terribly affected, especially as lockdowns and physical distancing measures continued to be enforced. Likewise, threats of mass unemployment and economic downturn caused distress for both parties.
The movement of rental management activities to the online realm helped address this issue. On the part of landlords, it assisted in automating tasks like relaying their liability claims, which are upheld in landlord insurance policies. As for renters, it allowed them to foster better connections with their landlords, especially when it came to payment terms and other concerns.
House viewings are one of the most crucial steps in buying and selling properties. Unfortunately, this process also suffered some of the most adverse effects due to the pandemic. Real estate agents and potential home buyers alike were unable to go on house tours at the height of the pandemic.
The industry was immediately able to solve this concern through the adoption of video platforms. Whether it was a live video or filmed-and-edited, video tours proved to have a huge difference in improving the marketing side of real estate. Likewise, 3D-rendered house viewings through virtual or augmented reality fostered better buyer-seller relationships and even elevated the speed of transaction.
AI, Data, and Machine Learning
There is an immense amount of data that revolves within the real estate industry. From finding prime locations to property valuations, most of this information was usually gathered and processed through very traditional means.
Over the previous year, real estate professionals have made the necessary shift from manual data collection and spreadsheet computations to an increasing reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) processes. The adoption of these technologies has presented more accurate and reliable estimates without having to sacrifice efficiency.
Smart and Sustainable
The demand for smart home technologies has been increasing steadily over the past few years. The majority of households throughout the country have at least one piece of smart technology in their homes. While smart homes are not entirely new, the development of certain devices has altered.
Along with smart technology, plenty of homeowners have also started looking for sustainability in their own homes. Threats of the climate crisis became more apparent in the previous year, which also defined 2020. The link between homes and health has also been realized as buyers want homes that provide safety and wellness. Sellers are taking all of these preferences into consideration for their properties.
Opening New Doors
The real estate market experienced an unexpected boom at the height of the pandemic in the previous year. This was primarily due to the mass migration of people from dense city centers to the more spacious rural suburbs. Moreover, people demanded better living spaces as remote work and distance learning became common.
Given the sudden surge in demand, the real estate industry was forced to accelerate its technological capabilities. While it’s true that the industry has been slow to embrace the importance of technology over previous years, it’s catching up at a rapid pace. Thanks, in large part, to the extraordinary challenges that the health crisis brought.
The industry’s technological revolution has begun. As more sophisticated PropTech continues to be developed and adopted, the real estate sector is definitely headed towards greener pastures in the post-pandemic world.