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What is PropTech?

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It’s the biggest buzzword in the real estate industry right now but what exactly is PropTech? And more importantly, what does it mean for the future of the property industry when it’s facing unprecedented times?

Property technology (PropTech) is an umbrella term that incorporates any and all technology that is being developed for the real estate or construction industries, helping property owners, managers, landlords and even tenants to manage their assets. As is the case with most future tech, the end goal is to streamline the entire process – ensuring owning, leasing and interacting with property is more accessible while also reducing paperwork and transaction times. 

So what does PropTech look like on a practical scale? The rise of the resident app was a sign of early adoption in the industry, creating improved, seamless connections between tenants, landlords and developers. Whether it’s a tenant making rent payments or a landlord sending maintenance updates through push notifications, these resident apps have helped streamline the entire rental process. 

That said, this is just the tip of the iceberg. As technology has advanced and adoption has become more widespread, PropTech has helped build deeper links with construction companies, financial bodies and even contributed to integration within the smart cities movement

This means that in the future, companies could be using ‘big data’ to locate potential building sites, utilising blockchain technology during the purchasing process and offering virtual reality tours to sell their properties around the world. 

Likewise, individual homeowners and investors are already finding new opportunities through PropTech. Whether they’re opting to sell their property, manage their portfolio or even start their own property business, property technology is making the process incredibly simple.

So what does this mean for the future of the property industry?

The main thing to consider is that businesses that are slow or resistant to change risk being left behind. The changes that technology could bring are immense and the threat of being caught out, especially in an industry as competitive as property, is very real.

For investors and property developers, this means adapting to systems that make life easier for ‘clients’ – whether that’s tenants, contractors or any other people attached to the business. If you’re managing a portfolio for example, we’re already seeing the emergence of platforms that make the whole process more manageable, where everything you need is just a click away. 

In terms of technology integrated within a physical property, things like resident apps demonstrate a higher standard of quality, acting as a great foundation to adopt new tech further down the line. This has the added benefit of being attractive to tenants in a busy market, ensuring the product stands out from the crowd.

Fortunately, if technology continues at its current pace, it also means that the real estate market will be much more efficient and accessible. There’s a major emphasis on control when we look at current PropTech leaders – the most popular platforms all look to provide the investor with a wider degree of control over their assets, which is a positive step to reducing transaction times and creating more opportunities for those interested in investment. 

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