What is PropTech?
With the ever-increasing wave of technological advancements, it can be hard to keep track of the new and exciting tech sectors that could one day drastically change how certain elements of our lives work.
One such sector is PropTech. Originally known as Property Technology, PropTech is often described as a movement that’s looking to drive a mentality change within the real estate industry and its consumers. Simply put, the PropTech industry is at the forefront of trying to create a change in attitudes towards technology within the real estate industry through the innovation of property related technology.
What PropTech means for the real estate industry
As with every rising trend in technology, people may start wondering whether it will affect the industry it aims to improve. If you’re someone who’s livelihood lies within the real estate industry, you might be especially concerned with what these developments mean for you. Could the technology within the real estate industry reach a point where there are very little roles needed to be filled by humans? Unlikely. There are, however, certain aspects of working in the real estate industry that will begin to change over the next few years as new technologies emerge.
What these changes will be are anybody’s guess, but the current focus within the PropTech community seems to be on improving data assembly, transactions and the process of design for buildings and cities. When it comes to public opinion, many consumers feel as if the real estate industry is quite archaic and out-dated. As buying or renting property is something nearly everyone deals with at some point in their life, it’s obviously a serious issue if many people feel this way. This is what those who are working in the PropTech business are hoping to change.
In summary, for consumers, PropTech represents a future where all your business and dealings involving real estate are made easier and more adaptable to the modern age. For those working within the industry, PropTech represents a shakeup in the way things are done and adapting your job to fit with the requirements of the modern consumer.
Examples of PropTech technology
None of this means anything until you look at some examples of what’s already been done. With so many start-ups launching constantly, it was inevitable that some things would eventually stick.
‘Purplebricks’ is a service that exists as an online-only estate agent that uses local advisors to help with the buying and letting process. Unlike your regular estate agent, Purplebricks has no physical presence, meaning their focus is entirely digital. Instead of waiting for an estate agent’s office to open, people can oversee every aspect of their property transaction online as it happens.
As previously mentioned, a service like this can be seen as a threat to some working within the real estate industry but seen as a blessing for the average consumer looking to buy or sell property.
Another example of PropTech technology comes in the form of ‘Seeable’, a start-up company that focuses on integrating both augmented and virtual reality into the process of pitching and viewing property designs. Doing this allows sales & marketing teams to simplify their pitches and talks as well as add some creativity and flair to their presentations.
This technology also allows refurb teams to plan ideas and then visualise them through AR or VR. Safety teams can also use the service to create situational awareness of a location. Seeable is a much easier alternative to the traditional method of blueprints and drawings and allows people to get a stronger impression on what they’re seeing. The VR aspect can also save a lot of time for people, instead of travelling to the location they can just see it in virtual reality.
This next PropTech company is very different to the couple we’ve previously mentioned. Instead of focusing on individual properties or increasing the efficiency of modern day real estate transactions, ‘Pavegen’ is looking to re-evaluate how entire cities function. Their aim is to change the way cities are built by implementing flooring that generates renewable electricity when people walk across it.
Whilst Pavegen installations are currently limited to small sectors around the world, they could one day be found along every street within major cities. Converting the kinetic energy from footfalls into electricity is certainly a clever idea, only time can tell if it will catch on.
The Future of PropTech
PropTech has already begun to disrupt the real estate industry and alter the way in which we view it. However, this wasn’t always the case, a couple of years ago very few people could tell you what PropTech was.
This begs the question; how will we view the PropTech sector years from now and will the real estate industry be revolutionised by it?
It’s looking more and more likely every month that this will be the case. With a steady stream of new ideas and young entrepreneurs looking to turn them into a reality, the real estate industry is sure to get the surge into the modern world it so desperately needs.