It’s hard to avoid the impact that technology has had (and continues to have) on all industries, with wide ranging consequences to production, revenue streams and the workforce. PropTech is looking to bring that very same change to the property and real estate sector, with an array of inventive technologies that will drastically change the way that we build, buy and run our homes.
There’s lots of information, reports and discussions on how PropTech will shake up the industry, but what does it mean for consumers and how will these changes impact the average person’s life?
What is PropTech?
The term itself is the key – Property Technology = PropTech. It has become something of a buzzword in the property and real estate sector, but its definition can be a little loose.
PropTech encompasses all technology which is directly within the sector or will have a big impact on how it functions. This can range from property listing websites like Zoopla, to virtual reality home viewing and algorithmic design. Due to the wide range of start-ups and technology that fall underneath this umbrella term, it has grown to be a catchall for any disruptive businesses, and it is frequently being used as a rallying call for change within the sector.
The discussion and debate around PropTech is an interesting one, as this is one of the few examples of an industry understanding and preparing for the impact that changes to technology will have on how they do business. The sector is doing its best to learn from the mistakes of the past, such as the failure of the taxi/hire car industry to adjust to the impact of ridesharing or the finance sector to embrace the blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Some of the biggest names in property and real estate are embracing PropTech, picking up new start-ups, investing in tech and adjusting the way they conduct business.
What Does That Mean for Me?
That’s all very well and good, but what does the growth of PropTech mean for you directly? Well, the disruptive nature of the sector is all about finding new ways to appeal to consumers or reduce costs for companies – it is business after all! That means that broadly PropTech will make it easier and possibly cheaper for you to find, view and purchase a home.
Some PropTech start-ups are already having a big impact on shaking up real estate. For example, Opendoor purchases homes directly from sellers to revamp and sell on. The twist is that Opendoor sales are done entirely online, with a seller submitting details about their property and receiving an offer 24 hours later. For sellers, this can remove the cost of managing the sale of their property themselves and make the prospect of moving home or raising capital much easier. Opendoor also revamps the way that you view and purchase homes.
Pairing an app with a digital security system to allow prospective buyers access to the property, Opendoor significantly speeds up the viewing process and submitting an offer to purchase is just as pain free as putting a property up for sale. Opendoor is just one of the examples of how PropTech is completely changing the way that we approach property and real estate, with other start-ups offering help with mortgages, networks for renting with reviews and ratings for both renters and landlords, and data-driven help to buy loans.
It’s safe to say that in just a few years the true impact of PropTech will become clear, so be sure to keep your eyes open and make the best of what’s on offer next time you move. You never know what new technology might be out there to help you save on time and money.