All, Realty, Project Management & Advisory, Interior Contracting, Facility Management
Have you looked at the Uber or Amazon app on your phone in the past week? Chances are that you have. Congratulations, you’re a part of the phenomenon that is the rise of tech.
Real estate is no different. Proptech is the acronym used to describe any technology that is set to disrupt the real estate space. This can include software, hardware, materials or manufacturing.
The University of Oxford's Said Business School suggests there are three global sectors (verticals) of PropTech:
Real estate FinTech – platforms which facilitate the trading of real estate ownership
The shared economy – platforms which facilitate the use of real estate assets
Smart real estate – platforms which facilitate the operation and management of real estate assets.
We are currently living in an age where people are changing their purchasing patterns. Customers are no longer looking for a product solution; they are looking for a product experience. It builds on the premise that consumers dislike complex processes and are willing to hand off those processes to technology companies if they can make it even a little simpler. Entire business models are being reevaluated and consumers’ needs are evolving.
Similarly, real estate is turning on its head. People are increasingly transacting with their mobile device, and companies are able to dig deep and analyze these changes to offer better solutions and improved customer experiences. Those who understand the dynamics of the real estate market, and the chaos that comes with it, will be the frontrunners of the industry. No sector of real estate is spared - real estate sales, development and rental property management already have a few proptech disruptors who are making their way east.
Take into account new trends that are emerging across all sectors of the real estate industry: co-working is disrupting the office space sector, co-living is offering new alternatives in residential real estate, crowdfunding is reshaping new construction and real estate investing, and home-swapping is growing increasingly popular for seasonal rentals. Many new professions such as drone pilots, virtual home staging specialists or data aggregators have also appeared alongside traditional real estate industry jobs. New ideas are continually being floated that will reinvent all or part of the real estate industry.
These dynamics are prompting entrepreneurs and innovators to reflect on various aspects of the industry and to create startups addressing highly specific needs.
However, there is a marked difference between new and existing construction. In existing real estate, numerous startups are lined up to eliminate and replace industry professionals. In new construction on the other hand, startups mostly operate as middlemen or as suppliers of high-tech tools for developers. For the time being, that is.
The key is growth. Growth of business and processes, and growth of customer satisfaction. The reason why certain tech companies have done well in recent years is not because of technology, but because of the value they deliver to the customer.
The important thing to note is to not get lost in the flashy technology and fail to deliver. Promises and flashy ads will get you a customer, but what will keep them is satisfaction. Are you delivering what you promise?
At the end of the day, it’s about client satisfaction. If you’re not making it a better experience for them through technology, none of the innovation is going to help.