Apr 08 - 4min readDigital Transformation in the Property and Real Estate Sector: 5 Trends in PropTech for 2020By Jennifer Green
There is no industry that is immune to technological advances, but traditionally real estate is one niche that has been slower to adopt new trends. This is no longer the case. Proptech is booming and it is shifting the way we sell, buy and interact with our properties. Significantly more companies are looking to digitally transforming in their industry space. As the traditional real estate market has been really shaken by the global pandemic that is COVID19, the traditional real estate sector will have to adapt moving forward into the future once lockdown has been lifted.
Here are our top 5 trends that we at Borne have seen over the course of 2020 so far:
The property management and real estate industries are uniquely positioned to benefit from using big data within the industry because the more data we have, the more data-driven decisions we can make safely. Websites like Redfin, Trulia and Zillow have disrupted the real-estate industry by using big data effectively. These companies can compile and collect data on selling and buying trends in an area, demographic information, consumer survey results and traffic and many more to collate and analyse that data to offer insights on pricing, home-value trends and potential value in specific neighbourhoods.
For property managers and owners, big data is about gathering historical and real-time information about all kinds of building systems — like HVAC, fire/life safety, electrical, utilities and telecommunications — and using this information into proactive maintenance. In some cases, it may even alert a property manager to an equipment failure before it even happens which allows for minimal downtime. This will keep both property managers and tenants happy!
Machine Learning and AI
Machine learning and AI will help make the data collection process more actionable. For example, currently property search sites rely on simple preferences like size and location to display properties for sale; soon, however, AI may enable these sites to recommend properties based on personality traits, preferences and values.
Chatbots on these search sites may be able to answer consumer questions easily and quickly, and they might even accompany buyers to showings. Several companies are working on software that would allow estate agents to conduct showings via a chatbot or a tablet, allowing one agent to increase their showing potential in a day. AI will also be able to predict pricing trends more accurately. This type of tech would look at previous trends in the market, but also consider schools, area crime, marketplace activity and transportation. This would also make the buying experience easier and faster. Startup companies are already creating ways to digitise the entire home-buying experience.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
A survey was conducted by the National Association of Realtors, nearly half of all potential homebuyers search for properties on the internet first. Augmented and virtual reality will make the home buying and online search experience even more accessible and enjoyable. Realtors can create virtual tours of properties for potential buyers which could also help long-distance buyers virtually tour a potential property. Staging is a great way to increase the perceived value of a property, but it can be expensive. Companies like roOomy are expanding the online buying experience by allowing realtors to virtually stage a property by digitally adding accessories and furniture to interior photos.
For new builds, VR can create realistic architectural images and walkthroughs to help buyers understand and experience the property, even before construction begins. And for the property managers, creating a VR tour of the space may help tenants get acquainted with the property. Instead of providing lengthy packs of documents on how to use the thermostat, a virtual tour could quite literally walk the tenant through the process, demonstrating each step along the way.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things refers to “smart” appliances and devices that are digitally connected to the cloud, constantly receiving and sending information. Machines that include smart sensors can alert property managers and owners to potential problems and even allow for predictive maintenance. But in the future, homebuyers may be able to download a comprehensive history of a home’s upkeep and maintenance through its smart devices. These sorts of devices also help with energy efficiency and can crate real cost savings for the property owner or home buyers.
As the IoT grows, we’ll go beyond individual smart devices and start seeing entire smart buildings that are constantly connected, receiving and sending data. This will pave the way for AI, machine learning and big data to create even more improvements and insights we may not even be able to predict yet.
Drones may seem a bit gimmicky in the property sector, but they are not going anywhere and they do have the potential to change the market.
Multi-perspective and digital site visits are now possible, creating emotional storytelling around a property for its’ potential buyer. They provide relatively budget-friendly and easy aerial photography for displaying bigger properties and homes, giving a feel for the real size of a place. Drones can also be used to spot potential maintenance problems, which could lower the price or be used in negotiations of the property. Some drones may even be used to tour a property remotely. But for large industrial sites or commercial areas, the potential is significant.
Real-estate professionals and property should not ignore technological innovations. PropTech trends are just the beginning of the wave of changes and improvements to come.