Real estate technology is not about passing off living out in the sticks as life in Tuscany
Property technology (or prop-tech) is the application of platform economics and information technology to real estate markets.
The platform economy is economic and social activity facilitated by platforms. Examples of transaction platforms include Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, and Baidu. A second type is the “innovation platform”, which provides a common technology framework upon which others can build, such as the many independent developers who work on Microsoft’s of Apple’s platforms.
Proptech is one small part of a wider digital transformation in the property industry. It considers both the technological and mentality change of the real estate industry, and its consumers to our attitudes, movements and transactions involving both buildings and cities
Real estate technology’s first focus was during the dot.com boom (circa 1996), moving listings onto digital media. This has been successful, with companies like Zillow (US) and Rightmove (UK) being in the top listed companies in their respective markets acting as marketplaces for thousands of properties for both sale and rental purposes.
The next wave (circa. 2008) involved making physical spaces more fungible – from holiday homes all the way to storage spaces. A notable example is Airbnb, which has made it possible for property owners to rent out their property for part of the year.
The current wave of is driven by a range of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data, which has already disrupted other areas such as finance. The application of these new technologies is furthermore shaped by social distancing requirements and regional lockdowns arising out of COVID-19 which have introduced changes in the way we are required to deal with real estate.
Some goals of real estate technology include reducing paperwork or making transactions quicker and more efficient, often thought of as overlapping with financial technology. Contemporary digital real estate technologies could therefore include property management using digital dashboards, smart home technology, research and analytics, listing services/tech-enabled brokerages, mobile applications, residential and commercial lending, 3D-modeling for online portals, automation, crowdfunding real estate projects, shared spaces management, as well as organizing, analyzing, and extracting key data from lengthy rental documents.
As Cyprus banks, government services and the private sector increasingly become more digital and their services are automated this will put additional pressure on other companies and service providers to follow suit. At the same time, it’s an opportunity for those who are active in the sector to see how different services and/ or products can be linked together, data analysed, etc so us to reduce time and costs, as well as provide insights and value.
Real estate has become digital. However, that does not mean home-tour videos and beautiful aerial photographs that pass off living out in the sticks as life in Tuscany. Moving forward includes data analysis, collected by dozens of sensors in real time and processed by Artificial Intelligence programs, which, as time progress, will become all the better in their predictive capabilities.
With Siri in our phones, Cortana in our computers and Alexa in our homes, the Terminator isn’t far behind.