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  • Writer's pictureJustin Bishop

From Handshakes to High-Tech: Real Estate's Proptech Evolution..

At a recent Proptech Connect event whilst participating in an interesting panel discussion on "Transformation Demystified: The Key Ingredient to Digitalisation”, fu3e CCO Rob Henderson expressed, to chuckles of recognition, “Real Estate was once considered one of the most antiquated industries; often a mere vanilla folder and a handshake in the pub – but we simply cannot do that anymore!”

Whilst once considered traditionally slow on the uptake compared to other industries Proptech – a broad term including digital and hardware innovations for real estate companies- is fast transforming the way the property industry operates with data analytics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality to name a few.

Last year a report by the University of Oxford, Technology, and the Future of Real Estate Investment Management, found that 53% are investing in technologies to help them run more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Technology continues to revolutionise the sector, enhancing efficiency and improving the overall experience for all stakeholders involved. Accelerated post global pandemic, investment in Proptech is estimated to hit almost 1 trillion US dollars by 2030.

Leveraging innovative software technology tools can benefit investors, developers and consumers alike making the market more transparent, efficient and accessible and help manage challenges faced by a volatile market.

Further, Proptech can be beneficial in mitigating the human impact on our environment with everything from automation, smart building technologies, drones, AI and Building Information Modelling (BIM), to better conserve and allocate resources and improve waste management.

Investor: For the real estate investor, PropTech can automate and accelerate data collection and analysis, giving investors quick access to much-needed resources making agile management decisions. It offers oversight managing fund performance, in depth insight at granular detail for feasibility prior to acquisition, calculating expected rental yields and projected profits, collect approvals faster, accelerate operations, automate routine tasks, and drive efficiency. AR (Augmented Reality) can be utilised by off-plan investors to visualize a project providing a realistic digital representation of the planned end product.

Developer: Real estate developers are also benefiting from digitisation of process with data driven reports and analytics with tech tools providing live data against key project milestones, ESG reporting and sustainability information and robust technical reports.

Consumer: Proptech solutions are simplifying the property search process providing potential buyers with 3D virtual tours and virtual reality for example and even aiding communication and transparency between buyer and seller.

From a relatively slow start, Proptech has increasingly gained speed to become an integral part of the industry, changing every facet of the real estate business.

Proptech is making exciting advancements and having positive impacts.

In a recent article discussing ‘digital disruption’ – the accelerated adoption of technology in the industry, Nikolaus Schmidt, Global Head of Technology & Innovation at Commerz Real as well as visiting lecturer across Europe, “Instead of digital disruption I think ‘real estate – powered by technology’ is a much better description of what we are seeing and what we expect to experience in the future.”

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