Will proptech in Ireland be able to compete with the UK’s lead in Real estate tech sector, especially around proptech has given a tough fight to other countries in Innovation and attracting talent, the Real estate Tech Story is yet to unfold.
Ireland has been leading the international real estate game for a significant period now. It is a constant debate whether Ireland has reached its peak for optimum returns or that the realty market will soar to render more results for investors. All arguments though do conclude that Ireland is one of the world’s top 10 cities for real estate investment, as also mentioned in the 2017 Jones Lang LaSalle’s Investment Intensity Index. This has given rise to a host of proptech start ups that deal with property and real estate innovatively, in Ireland.
THE STORY OF SOARING IRISH REAL ESTATE
As we seek to understand the Ireland real estate market, we should also shed light on the key drivers of this growth. Other than the soaring housing market, Ireland is now home to leading tech start ups of the world and commercial real estate has fueled the soar of real estate here, with focus on Dublin. A report from Colliers International suggests that Dublin’s booming tech market is now pushing corporate property deals at such a pace that it is close to overtaking London’s tech real estate market. US tech giants have alone invested more than USD 130 bn into Ireland in between years 2008-2012, as per the report. As per the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Ireland, house prices continue to rise strongly, mainly driven by strong demand as well as supply shortages. The national residential property price index rose by 8.44% (7.48% inflation-adjusted) in 2018.
It is predicted that offices in Dublin will see rental growth, but due to real estate constrains the increased demand for office space in Dublin will not be satisfied in the coming several years. According to recent Pwc predictions, people who have already invested in real estate here or the ones that shall invest in the immediate future, will reap highest returns from their investment in land. Dublin has witnessed a large volume of capital for acquisition of retail assets, and the retail recovery has just begun. CSO also suggests that in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, the residential property price index was up by 6.31% (5.36% inflation-adjusted) during the year to October 2018.
HELLO ROPTECH IN IRELAND
A decade ago, it was common site to see property brokers and dealers hooked on to their fax machines to send details to interested customers. From paper brochures to dial up internet, the property sector has continuously evolved, but intelligent technology is what drives the industry now.
Before the advent and adoption of some leading proptech startups in Ireland, real estate hunting as well as viewing has been a big challenge. While there might be property listings available to view for users in Ireland, one could not conduct/ view real estate online. Remote buyers always faced the problem of only being able to view staged photos, badly produced agent videos, not getting to see the neighbourhood or building. Even after these troubles, if a buyer is interested in putting in an offer, most estate agents would not accept it without a walk-in to the property. With these additional expenses and troubles, the real estate market in Ireland was on the verge of innovativeness to thrive. There was the need of intelligent tools that re-invent the wheel and make the process easier.
The new game changer in the realty market of Ireland is proptech, the new kid on the block that revolutionizing the market as it was known. New technologies have paved a path for the emerging proptech start-up scene in Ireland, especially Dublin.
Ireland’s proptech companies are using technology intelligently to solve different aspects of discovery and sale of real estate. While some are simplistic real estate agencies or resource websites, some have taken it a step ahead to provide digital relocation services as well as online bidding for top property. AR and AI have garnered a large chunk of the customers by providing advanced services like AR based house viewings and even using AI to discover and choose retail spaces in the city. 3D visualizations to view the property from the comfort of your couch and laptop has seen great response, and in turn changed the way consumers interact with this industry.
The issue of resistance to emerging advanced technologies has been debated in Ireland for sometime now. Traditional realtors as well as the industry has been slow in adopting new technologies that can provide ease of doing job, better management and even post sale service. The problem in adoption does arise from a customer willingness aspect also as the nature of transaction is so infrequent that consumers are ready to put up with poor processes, inefficient delivery and bad service. This is also the reason why the proptech movement has been fueled by mostly the rental sector. Hence, innovation was needed in not just integrating technology with business models, but also to effectively influence user behaviour.
FRONT RUNNERS IN REAL ESTATE TECH IN IRELAND
Proptech in Ireland is picking up, There are a number of innovative startups in Ireland that have revolutionized the way consumer and estate agents interact with property buying and selling.
A leading startup in this space is Moovingo, that is helping people in Ireland simplify the process of selling their home by having more control and saving up the extra euros. It is an online real estate agency that empowers its vendors by personal dashboards, with viewings and valuations available 24/7.
Other than online listings, there are also startups like Wikibuild that offer resources related to your construction project. It is a collective source of knowledge that educates and guides an average homemaker.
The other home bred Ireland company that has been able to capture an international market and brand-name is Property Button. It is an award winning, cloud based SAAS company that streamlines all processes relating to clients and their tenants. It boasts of servicing tasks relating to over 42,000 properties, 143,000 products and ’60m of revenue per annum.
Also highly technologically advanced platforms like VisionAR, 3D Design Bureau and 3D To Sell that are true by their name and provide AR and 3D based visualisation services to their clients. From virtual property viewings to house-hunters through web, mobile and virtual-reality platforms to architectural visualisations of proposed developments or new communities, these companies do it all. There is also Popertee in this same line of technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) system to help agencies and brands find retail space in Ireland. By identifying unused and/or underused spaces that can be available to pop-up retailers, Popertee has managed to attract interested investors and big rounds of funds.
After capturing the London market, AirSorted opened up operations in Dublin to provide their services to AirBnb hosts. AirSorted is in the business of providing these hosts with help to manage their properties via booking request verification, guest support, cleaning scheduling and even linen laundry.
Amongst many other proptech players, BidX1 stands out as the innovative platform for a more transparent, easier and faster way to bid for properties online when buying. It also provides services for time and cost-effective ways to complete contracts. Here are some of the top proptech startups in Ireland:
Using FenestraPro from early stages and through the whole design process can help the designer understand how to best optimize the façade, understand the implications of their design decisions and guide on the optimal performance to meet the design intent. It is a platform where the biggest impact can be made on the passive considerations of energy performance of the building, specifically the Thermal Performance & Heat Loss, Solar Heat Gain and Natural Daylighting considerations, which can so often work against each other.
This startup provides convenient services platform for the corporate and residential market and was founded in 2015.
This startup provides AVM models THAT are constantly monitored and improved in order to be aligned with the highest market standards. They are a valuation market leader in the Irish and British market and have technology that is already used and trusted by Industry leaders. They deliver a unique and reliable overview of the neighborhood. This includes aspects like schools, transport, population, crime rates, you’re covered with the most comprehensive analysis you can find in the market.
Founded in 2017, this estate agency is designed to save time & money when selling your home. It was developed from experience of property, technology and a frustration with the current options to sell a home in Ireland. They have a fresh approach to selling property where ellers get the best of both worlds. They provide the expertise of a dedicated Moovingo agent to guide them through the sale, combined with the efficiency, trust and value technology brings.
Established in February 2013, Property Button’s vision is to maximise occupancy by bringing transparency to all parties. They significantly reduce administration costs and manage your time more effectively and offer clients a streamlined experience using our cloud-based solution and ensure repeat business! They also reduce the time it takes to move people into new properties by an average of 37%
This website brings together the best innovators in the sector with ready investors, many of whom have experience in the construction and property industries. They bring together investors, addition to the finance necessary to scale and grow, to provide innovators with valuable mentoring, supported by the frameworks in place through PropertyDistrict.
THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE TECH/ PROPTECH IN IRELAND
With technology being an enabler of commerce and efficiency in the property sector in Ireland, this trend is here to stay. The early adoption may have been sluggish but it has long picked up for the benefit of the vendor and consumers in Ireland. Technology is being used to solve the current problems of the market, project and plan for the future demands and ensure seamless (and intelligent) execution in property transactions.