The real estate sector accounts for nearly 60 percent of the world’s mainstream assets, out of which 75 percent belongs to the residential sector. Yet, this huge market has been one of the later ones to adopt innovative technologies. The real estate industry has been a rather silent participant of technological transformation for almost four decades, but it has only become the hotspot for investment and entrepreneurship development over the past few years. Companies like Airbnb or WeWork were formed that are currently valued at $20–30 billion each. Redfin soared 45 percent after its IPO and VCs are looking to invest hundreds of millions into PropTech, which has become its own sector in the start-up ecosystem. PropTech is also called Real Estate Tech.
What is PropTech?
PropTech can be defined as an amalgamation of real estate and technology. It constitutes a range of businesses that are as sundry and extensive as the real estate industry itself. Anywhere that technology is innovating how property is occupied, managed and transacted, from leasing and property management to co-working to investing can be captured under the name of PropTech.
Following are the top trends in PropTech that provide an overview of the industry and highlights the projects that can be the prospective game changers for the real estate industry. We provide some handpicked examples for innovative companies that are working on innovative new ideas at the intersection of real estate and technology.
Big Data. Use of big data in real estate has observed an exponential growth in the past few years. It has enabled companies and individuals to take informed decisions with respect to investing, managing and operating based on data. It is being used by the real estate companies to extract and provide information on various aspects such as history of the property, ownership cost, current value, details of the neighborhood, estimate of mortgage payment and estimated forecast of future valuation of the property to count a few.
This information is based on public data records, market information and various other data points. CARBON DELTA employs Big Data technologies to automate quantitative analysis to expose potential climate risks in the financial markets, which enables companies to protect assets, optimize performance and reach sustainability goals.
TOWER360 is a Big Data Multi-App Platform with flagship modules dedicated to Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Asset Class providing real time and data driven insights to asset managers and landlords to manage assets, deals, leases, Tenants over one single platform (web and mobile) across the entire value chain of CRE.
Blockchain. Blockchain use can potentially revolutionize rental property payments by removing middlemen and reducing transaction cost. It can facilitate cost effectiveness and better decision-making in leasing processes with the use of a shared database, where an entire vertical of stakeholders including owners, tenants and service providers can interact with ownership information, or transaction history in an open and secure way. Real estate assets can be tokenized and made transferable with the use of blockchain. Brickblock is a smart contract platform that allows users to buy tokenized shares of real-world assets with cryptocurrency with an aim to remove barriers to entry imposed by traditional financial institutions.
The introduction of smart contracts into real estate ledgers and transactions have the capability to restructure various processes such as transfers of ownership and documents. Propy integrates blockchain technology for governments to instantly verify online title deeds issuance for a property in a secure and cost-effective way.
Building Information Modelling (BIM). Building Information Modeling is a smart 3D model-based process that enables architects, engineers, and construction professionals to plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructures efficiently and the information can be used throughout the life cycle of the property. Snaptrude is an intelligent CAD (Computer-aided Design) software for real estate, which transforms a hand drawn sketch of a floor plan to a 3D BIM within seconds.
Construction Technology (ConTech). Proceeding from an economically necessary view of the entire property life cycle, ConTech has the potential to automatically become the focus of interest. The global construction industry is booming and there is a need for technological advancement with the current explosion in construction cost. CyBe Construction is pushing the boundaries of 3D concrete printing and as a result, is driving this change in the Construction industry. These technological advancements will not only make the industry cost-effective but also sustainable.
Drone Technology. The extraordinary aerial imagery of real estate that we are able to look at today has only been made possible through the use of drone technology. It can be used for everything starting from high rise office buildings to pre-eminent properties along the coast to sports stadiums to wildlife parks. It has helped agents in selling large estates by providing important information and property overview to the buyers. On the other hand, camera drones and its ground-based substitute, glide-cams, are being used to create indoor virtual tours and videos for both residential and commercial spaces. GIRAFFE 360° enables effortless digital space capture for virtual tours, floor plan and wide-angle photography and improves the experience of property viewing for the buyers.
Geolocations. Geolocation technology transforms simple maps into full sets of critical data about real estate and properties. It can not only pinpoint where buyers are in the traditional sales cycle by utilizing predictive analytic technologies but can also pinpoint their physical location. It enables real estate developers to make far more accurate valuations based on economic strategies. Further, geolocation technology plays a very crucial role in real estate marketing and has the capacity to change how properties are marketed and traded. geothinQ visualizes property data, county maps, topography, flood zone maps, soils and more in order to analyze the value of land. It provides more accurate access to parcel data that accelerates risk versus reward analysis for land acquisition, land use planning and land development and therefore enables smarter decision making.
Internet of Things (IoT). In simple terms, IoT can be described as items and structures equipped with sensors that internet applications can read and can translate into usable digital data. IoT can improve both the real estate industry and individuals everyday lives by its varied application from predictive maintenance to accelerated decision making to increased energy efficiency to count a few.
There is a rising opportunity for alternative housing solutions equipped with IoT as the age demography in Europe changes with the increase in the aging population. Better @ Home offers a tailor-made and modular expandable solution for equipping real estate with age and comfort. The concept is designed to enable older people to live at home as long as possible without compromising on safety and self-determination.
Sharing Economy. The ‘Sharing Economy’, interchangeably used for the term ‘Collaborative Consumption’, represents an economic revolution built around an economic philosophy that space and capital goods are better shared. In the real estate industry, it has its application in nearly all domains including residential, hospitality, retail, storage and office spaces. Estimates suggest that there is a rise in the number of single households, and this has and will increase the demand for shared services, as it provides lower fixed cost for people involved.
The drastic increase in the number of co-working spaces in the last few years is also indicative of the increase in the demand for shared services. Containerwerk upgrades used shipping containers by an innovative insulation process into a high-quality buildings and space modules that can be used for student hostels, co-working spaces or micro-living to count a few.
Sustainability and GreenTech. The increasing concern for climate change and sustainable living is not alien to the real estate sector anymore. Efforts are made to incorporate technology that makes living more energy efficient and sustainable. PHYSEE is the first and only company to provide completely transparent windows, which generate data by sensing the environment and convert sunlight into electricity, simultaneously.
Enerbrain has developed energy retrofit solutions for large buildings that allow drastic cuts in consumption, as well as a significant improvement in internal comfort. The credit goes to innovative IoT hardware and powerful algorithms in the cloud to fine-tune energy usage that allows operational savings.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). VR and AR applications in real estate have reduced the inconvenience of property viewing by multi-fold for all involved parties. A potential buyer is able to fully see a property from even thousands of miles away or properties that haven’t been constructed yet with the help of VR. On the other hand, AR could also allow an agent to amplify, or more closely describe, parts of a home to the probable buyer. From property viewing and walk-through to augmented hoardings and property brochures, AR provides transparency, simplicity and beauty to the marketing and selling of property. Insider Navigation is using augmented reality for indoor navigation and enables 3D positioning, intuitive navigation and location based AR content.
We create an accessible and easy to use peer-to-peer investment platform aiming to connect retail investors and business founders to finance forward-thinking ideas and to share future profits. STOKR will be a crowd investment platform which is powered by Ethereum blockchain to create independent access to new capital markets. Through EU-compliant security token offerings (STOs), everyday investors can directly fund innovative start-ups and SMEs in return for a share of the venture’s future profits. Our focus is on supporting projects committed to making a positive impact and creating a community of educated participants empowered to make better investment decisions.