Proptech is the umbrella term used to classify the property-related technologies, whether hardware or software, designed to serve landlords, property managers, portfolio owners and tenants. It’s a sure fire bet that technology will have a considerable impact on the way real estate professionals work in 2016. Read on to find out about some of the key functions Proptech is already delivering and our predictions of what it could deliver in the near future.
Proptech – Marketing
From a property owner’s perspective, the positioning and marketing of their real estate is crucial. It’s no good having great property if no one knows about it or it is not marketed effectively to stand out from the crowd. There is growing evidence that 3D walkthroughs, streamlined listings tools and tailored marketing platforms are having a tangible impact on reducing vacancies, increasing rental incomes and acquiring reliable tenants.
- Virtual walkthroughs of real estate developments in planning, remodelling designs or office space to let – 360-degree captures of interior spaces, similar to Google’s Streetview, but indoors, along with virtual, 3D rendered models that can be viewed in a browser, on a smart phone or tablet and with a VR headset such as Oculus Rift.
- Platforms for matching landlords interested in short-term lettings with brands/retailers looking for short-term display and pop-up store space.
- Listings tools that allow listings to be posted (and seamlessly edited or updated) across numerous listing platforms.
Proptech – Property Management
As with any area of professional business management, a number of tools have already become indispensable. For property managers interested in gaining competitive advantages, reducing management costs and making sure that the properties they manage are ideally placed to meet future challenges, software tools are available (and dropping in price) to fulfil almost every task imaginable. One criticism of these types of tools is that they have traditionally been limited to analysing existing data. This will change as tools incorporating predictive technologies become more and more widespread and affordable.
- Data analytics at portfolio and individual asset level will allow owners and managers to really understand their property’s performance, identify potentials and deal with underperforming assets.
- Cloud-based data storage, space management, deal and lease tracking, tenant, rent roll and budget roll tracking will ensure managers have the information they need at their fingertips.
- Predictive technologies, programmes that can analyse huge amounts of data and use determined criteria and variables to anticipate developments and allow property managers to get ahead of the curve.
Proptech – Smart buildings
With investment in the US alone set to amount to more than USD 58 billion in smart building technologies by 2020, it is clear that the way we use and manage our buildings is set to become more efficient, more cost-effective and more personalised. The list of the technical systems in a building that can be managed “smartly” is long, but primarily includes heating, lighting and energy management systems.
- Energy management systems (EMS), combined with occupancy and usage-pattern data, can enable tailored HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and lighting schedules.
- The systems can also produce detailed trend analyses and energy consumption forecasts, both of which are powerful tools for property owners and managers.
Proptech – Tenant Acquisition and Services
There are already a number of platforms and applications designed to make managing tenants easier and smoother than ever before, and more are on their way. Startups with large amounts of investors‘ money in their bank accounts are promising to deliver the tools that will streamline and optimise the acquisition, management and communication with tenants.
- Platforms to match tenants with landlords in the same way that e-dating sites match potential partners. Tenants‘ requirements are analysed and checked against a database of available properties, matching tenants directly with the apartments that fit their bill.
- App-based tools will automate tasks such as the submission of tenant requests, generation of work orders, etc.
- Track rental payments and delinquency in real time
Proptech – Finance
A last prediction for now (and a topic that we have blogged on before) is that the influence and importance of crowdfunding and crowd-investing platforms will increase throughout 2016. There have already been a number of high-profile (although admittedly not major) project developments funded via these methods and there are a considerable number of developers assessing the potentials of such financing options, so it will be really interesting to monitor how the sector develops over the next 12 months.
What are your predictions for the real estate industry in 2016?
Do you also see technology and software playing an increasing role and becoming more widespread, or do you think that many of these tools offer more than they can ever deliver?
We’d love to hear what you think in the comments section.