Over the past few months, there has been a lot of buzz around proptech, and for a good reason. Property technology is growing at a fast pace and changing how the real estate industry is run. Thanks to the emergence of tools that help to automate real estate processes, there has never been an easier time to sell, buy, manage, or even construct properties.
In this post, we take a look at four proptech trends to watch out in 2020 as an investor, property owner, or real estate professional.
Space as a service (SPaaS)
The concepts of co-working and co-living are nothing new, especially after platforms like WeWork popularized the idea. However, many other ideas continue to come up with some real estate companies now packaging spaces as a service, instead of selling them as commodities to rent or own.
What this means is that landlords are now offering more than just spaces, and tenants can now enjoy additional services like internet connectivity, laundry services, furniture, and pretty much anything that enhances their stay. This has led to increased growth of companies like Blueground that help business travelers, students, and expats find fully furnished and managed rental apartments to stay at, whether in the short-term or long-term. You can be sure to see more SPaaS coming up in 2020 as the demand for this type of housing model continues to rise.
More services to simplify transactions
While technology has helped to streamline the majority of real estate management processes, some like payments and transactions have proved to be a little challenging to automate fully. The reason for this is the complicated nature and size of real estate transactions. What’s more, typical transactions often involve multiple players who include inspectors, property appraisers, title reps, and real estate agents. This makes it difficult to track the stage at which the buy or sell process is, thereby leading to unnecessary delays and frustrations.
The good thing is some innovators, having seen or even experienced this common challenge, are now creating solutions to bridge the gap. Just recently, a tech company named Qualia launched a service that seeks to simplify the process of completing real estate transactions. The idea is to have a platform where buyers and sellers can store the necessary documents and share information freely for easier collaboration. Again, expect to see more of similar services emerging in 2020 and beyond.
The growing importance of big data
It’s often said that data is the new currency, which is the reason every business today is doing more than just serving clients: they are also looking for ways to collect and store customer data for the future. The case is no different in the real estate industry.
Now more than ever, landlords and developers are doing everything to gather information about their properties using tech tools like sensors and cameras. The idea is to track aspects like occupancy levels, air quality, environmental temperature, and humidity. Some services like Airbnb whose businesses involve dealing with tenants are continuously collecting information such as customer behavior based on their history and reputation.
In 2020, more and more real estate brands will get serious about big data and artificial intelligence to try and improve their decision making based on predictive analysis. This should see an increase in the number of tools for estimating and forecasting the value of properties, as well as those that help to conserve real estate resources and cut costs of production.
Time for blockchain to finally count?
The past couple of years have been quite disappointing for the blockchain tech compared to 2017 when Bitcoin hit its peak levels, and many other cryptos shone as a result of the resulting wave. While the market is yet to recover fully, the potential for blockchain to transform the financial industry soon is there for all to see.
In the real estate investment space, blockchain has remained largely untapped, save for the few transactions that have taken place over the technology. However, this is an area that looks very promising, especially if more investors keep using it and interest continues to grow.
Blockchain comes with numerous advantages which include quicker transactions, especially the cross-border ones that require easy tracking. What’s more, advanced users can even translate properties into tokens to be sold through crypto exchanges.
The future is digital
We cannot completely eliminate the physical bit of managing and owning real estate, but one thing is certain: the future of most property processes lies in technology. The earlier you adopt proptech, the bigger your edge will be over the competition.