In recent years the term “Prop Tech” has extended notably, as has its implementation, boosted significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic which has driven technological transformation in the sector at a greater pace than expected, as in other key industries.
What does “Prop Tech” mean?
The term can be applied to any technology used in the real estate sector, brining innovation and efficient solutions together with automation in planning, building and management of the sales and rental processes.
The expansion of Prop Tech in Spain, and all over the planet has been notable over the last few years and the pandemic has accelerated the proliferation of new technologies and tools in our business sector. Most of these solutions are now here to stay and their development is making the whole sector evolve towards this tendency.
At UCI we have been analyzing the major factors that explain why the sector will become Prop tech in the medium term, affecting much more than just the start up ecosystem.
Movement restrictions caused by the pandemic have created the need for technological tools that allow virtual visits to properties, with new 3D formats, 360º videos, virtual tours and online presentations incorporated into real estate websites to enhance the visibility of properties for sale or rent
- Remote contact:
Before Covid, the relationship between the client and their broker was predominantly “in person”, based in the real estate agency. Over the last few monthly the relationship and process has become much more digital, which has led to big savings in time and resources.
- Digital paperwork:
Growth in the use of signing digitally has also contributed to the speeding up of many processes involved in real estate operations, from signing documents for purchase to the mortgage process and all documents being sent digitally.
- Big Data:
The ability to analyze and manage the data from real estate operations, both public and private enables greater precision towards the value of properties on the market and in the operations we manage; the economic result of a real estate investment, evolution of prices in the area, buyer and seller profile in a given area, or the ability to select properties that fit the lifestyle of each house seeker.
- Virtual Reality:
This technology is especially useful for properties being built, renovated or refurbished, enabling us to see the end result, dimension and aesthetics. Due to the current high cost of this technology it is currently used mainly for this purpose, in order to increase the success rate of sales of properties which currently only exist in blueprint. Renders and other tools make the properties more “real” and more attractive to potential buyers.
- Artificial Intelligence:
The application of AI in the sector is feasible on many levels and can help reduce operating costs and give us useful information such as the average transaction value in a given market, precise and complete property evaluation and so on.
Additionally, AI allows us to improve the service given to our clients and the strategy of our agencies. One of the most popular tools currently in use to improve customer service is the Chatbot, used by many real estate companies to speed up simple transactions and respond to frequently asked questions. However, expert opinion suggests that these technologies cannot substitute the individual personal attention required in our sector where each case is very different.
Another widely used AI tool is the CRM, which allows us to improve the management of our relationship with buyers and sellers, enables correct segmentation of clients, and helps us offer services based on the clients’ interests and needs, hence adding value to the relationship.
For real estate clients, being able to access AI tools in the search for their property makes the whole process smoother, and they can focus on properties that fulfil their needs and interests. At the same time, AI makes the mortgage process more fluid with certification of documents in real time, data processing, the ability to verify information submitted, all of which allows the client real time updates. Technology also gives us greater guarantees regarding processes and personal data, thanks to tools such as blockchain and biometrics.
- Intelligent homes:
The future of the sector is Green and Digital, being two of the most attractive aspect to those looking to buy properties with intelligent energy saving systems, temperature control, virtual assistants, intelligent lighting and renewable energies to pollute less.
These seven reasons give us an indication of how technology, digitalization and innovation are a reality in the whole of the real estate sector, a growing tendency that will nudge the whole industry towards Prop Tech.