There seems to be an ever-growing list of buzzwords that many people use but few truly know what they mean. One of those buzzwords is PropTech. With this article, we will answer the following questions: what is PropTech? and how is PropTech helping traditional businesses?. If you are in the Property sector, technology will help you to ONEUPYOURBUSINESS.
PropTech is an acronym for Property Technology, although sometimes is also referred to as Real Estate Technology, and is of the use of Technology to increase efficiency, maximise sales, reduce costs, and improve customer experience in the Property sector. Many people often use the term PropTech to refer to the startup companies that operate within this sector, but PropTech is more suitable for the technologies themselves.
Property Technology is often linked with Finance Technology (fintech) and with Insurance Technology (insurtech), which we will cover in future blog articles.
Some of the technologies most frequently used are: 3D scanning, 3D Modelling, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Data Analytics, Blockchain, Smart sensors, etc.
As some companies have demonstrated, like Rightmove, Zoopla or Purple Bricks, using technology makes a drastic improvement of the Property sector. These three companies were the pioneers of using complex websites to list their available properties either for sale or to let. These websites that gather rich data have given these companies a deep understanding about customer trends and insights, allowing them to maximise their profits and sales by changing their strategies accordingly.
Some forward-thinking companies that still operate in a more traditional way are starting to make use of Virtual Reality and 3D Modelling. These two amazing technologies give your clients the possibility to interact with your property portfolio from the comfort of their homes. They can navigate around your properties, interacting with them in a totally different way than when they visit them in person. You can enrich your Virtual Reality tours with additional content, like documents or reports (thermal efficiency, floor plans, etc) for your clients to read or even download.
Technology can also be used to streamline the contract signing and financing processes, by validating the parties involved, which is where Blockchain comes into play. We are not going to do a deep dive into Blockchain right now, but in layman’s terms Blockchain is a set of blocks that contain an encrypted content (called cryptographic hash) of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction information. These three elements combined and the chain produced by linking all the related blocks together validates the integrity of the transactions. Despite being first described in 1991 and then conceptualised in 2008, it is still a phase of early adoption of this technology, but it is definitely the way forward for approving and signing smart contracts and finance operations.
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