With new tech coming out every year that drives change in the property market and shapes consumer behaviour, it is important to stay on top of these tech and PropTech trends to help predict what would happen next in the real estate market.
Technology is no longer something to be feared (yes, yes there is the dooms-day tech apocalyptic scenario caveat as you read on), but a handy tool to be embraced that makes life and work easier. While there is still the niggling thought that AI or some really advanced robots will rise up and rule the world as we know it, we still take the tech disruptions in stride and use them to make ourselves more efficient and effective.
The property market is just one of the markets that have been disrupted by technology, with property investors, builders, managers, and engineers making a mad dash to update everything they know with relevant technology or risk becoming obsolete.
The Property Market Tech Trends for 2020 show how technology is positively influencing the real estate market. It has helped reduce operational costs, improve tenant and customer relations, increase energy efficiency, and boosts the overall value of property assets – to name a few impacts.
Virtual reality has become so accessible that by end of 2020 it will be a $29.7 billion industry. Virtual reality (VR) allows interested property buyers or renters to look at a property anywhere, anytime, and decide on whether to make the investment or not, without physically inspecting the property. Properties are open every day of the week around the clock, and both parties involved can save their time and resources while at the same time increase engagement and efficiency.
Augmented Reality (AR) is what we have to thank for Pokémon Go! AR apps superimpose computer-generated images (CGIs) of objects into the real world, so that people can run around trying to catch rare Pokémon, or virtually decorate a living room or a kitchen using a phone or a tablet. With AR, property developers can show off an unfinished project using AR, without having to build physical models to scale and reducing the amount of time on the market.
This refers to automated data analysis that helps to inform artificial intelligence about consumer behaviour and preferences. A good example is looking at Google search results for a particular question from 2 years ago and today. The question remains the same, but the search results will differ, becoming more tailored to what you need. This is because the Google search engine has ‘learned’ what you need by taking into cognizance your response to the results 2 years ago. Machine learning can be used to learn more about property market trends and a host of big data applications, cutting down on the cost of collecting data manually.
Property Market Robots
Virtual assistants, chatbots, and voice bots. These all help in fielding questions from consumers and simplify the workload by scheduling tasks and meetings, creating reminders, or scanning the internet for news on the property market. Examples of property market virtual assistants include Alva, and voice bots are more popularly known: Siri and Alexa. Chatbots include Chatfuel and Holmes, robots that were created specifically for millennials searching for property; and they are usually found on many websites and social media platforms. Yes, the robots’ world domination scheme might just work!
Property market robots, push technology, social media, emails, property accounting, invoice processing… all these make it necessary for tasks to be automated in the property sector. Use these technologies to your advantage to keep your edge: automate tasks like data collecting and processing, giving you more time to focus on management and communication to take your business to greater heights.
Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that records transactions without the need for a central authority. It is the technology behind cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, and the absence of a central verifying figure, such as a bank, means transactions and settlement processes are faster, with reduced legal costs.
Properties have been sold with blockchain tech since the last quarter of 2017, and blockchain property market companies have even been established, such as RentBerry and Brickblock. With its increasing relevance in the property market sector, it is important to stay knowledgeable about blockchain technology. We expect this to be a key property market tech trend for 2020 and beyond.
As of 2017, 85% of the UK population use smartphones, surpassing the number of people who use laptops at 78% (Source). Smartphones are very mobile and carried around to practically anywhere, which makes it imperative for CRMs and property management systems to create smartphone apps that give property market agents accessibility to their property tools and data anytime, anywhere. This saves time and makes collaboration on projects easier and efficient for both parties involved.
Fractional Property Investment
These are platforms that allow investors to buy only a ‘fraction’ of the desired property. As such, several investors can own a single property and will all make a profit from the capital returns (if the property is sold) or from the rental income (if the property is rented). Instead of investing in entire property, this option allows investors to own just a part, making the property market more accessible to first-time investors.
There are successful property investment platforms that are helping achieve this globally, especially in the US and UK. Successful players in the UK include:
- Property Partner: https://www.propertypartner.co/
- Zisk Properties: https://www.ziskproperties.com/
Noting, that’s self-promotion
- UOWN: https://www.uown.co/
- The House Crowd: https://www.thehousecrowd.com/
- CrowdLords: https://www.crowdlords.com/
- Yielders: https://yielders.co.uk/
We will be posting an article about comparisons of the best UK property investment platforms in due course so make sure to check that out.
These property market tech trends are not all that has disrupted the industry: there is more to take note of and incorporate in your business, such as the cloud, big data, home search and reviews, and iBuyer companies. This year, more and more property market companies will be using these innovations to stay competitive and be more efficient in meeting consumer demands.
So to stay in the game, you need to learn, adapt and evolve. And the real estate market and the players in it are no different – although the speed at which the change is coming about is a bit too slow for our taste. Having said that, property market tech trends for 2020 are likely to continue over the next several years, continuing to adapt, improve, and challenge us as an industry – as new tech finds its feet. We hope to continue to lead the charge in positive change for our investors and clients.