The real estate industry is a huge sector in almost every economy, but despite the huge scale, it has been slow to turn to technology, when compared to other industries. These technologies may not be so novel any more but the late adoption rate by the real estate industry and the recent emergence of newer innovative ideas indicate a more commercial use of these technologies in the real estate industry. Even though the technology adoption by the industry lags the technology development significantly, the appetite for more tech infusion in the industry is increasing as a result of the benefits experienced so far, our Global PropTech Time Survey 2019 pointed us in this direction. Some of the technologies that the real estate industry has adopted are discussed in this section.
Use of Big Data in the Real Estate Industry
Big Data has enabled real estate companies to make informed decisions for investments, operations, and the management of various aspects of a business. Companies in real estate are using big data to provide and extract various information like property history, current value, expected cost projection, information about the neighborhood and so much more. The information in big data comes from public records, market insights and various other data source points that fuel the real estate market. Commercial real estate companies are able to access and harness these data sources with the help of startups like Reonomy and HouseCanary. California-based HouseCanary is helping financial institutions make better investment decisions on a daily basis and also enhance the risk management programs in place.
Use of Drones in the Real Estate Industry
The use of drones has been a particularly controversial activity in most industries owing to the security issues associated with them, but not in real estate. With the help of high quality aerial images, activities like surveying, construction monitoring and inspection of sites are less cumbersome and have a higher rate of productivity, thanks to startups like DroneBase which offers aerial imaging services to a number of industries including real estate. Headquartered in the US, the startup has become a crucial part of several real estate businesses which are now using aerial imaging data as an indispensable tool for developing their products and services. Similarly, another American startup Identified Technologies is helping construction companies to co-ordinate progress through drone imaging, offering real- time updates from the site to remote locations. It is also being used for creating floor plans and high-resolution virtual tours. Drones are also being hailed as a great solution for driving sales and marketing activities. Since its inclusion in the industry, it has helped sell properties by providing important information along with an overview of the property to buyers and investors alike.
Use of Geolocation Technology in the Real Estate Industry
Geolocation technologies in real estate helps convert simple maps into maps with critical data about real estate and properties. These maps are being used to pinpoint the physical location of a property along with the position of the buyer in the traditional sales cycle and has been enhancing investment decisions by providing key data about how well a property or business within a particular property can thrive. Geolocation uses predictive analytic technologies to enable more accurate valuations according to economic strategies; Israeli startup Datumate is among the trailblazing proptech startups using drones to help surveyors and real estate companies incorporate field data for creation and implementation of BIM budgets and schedules. Geolocation technologies also aid in developing innovative and insight-based marketing initiatives. Marketing teams can use this data to show case a property in a better way through detailed tools like county maps, property data, flood-zone maps, soil, etc. Geolocation has so far, largely benefited the land acquisition segment of real estate industry. It offers accurate data related to land use planning and land development, thus, enabling smarter and calculated decisions.
Use of IoT in the Real Estate Industry
IoT has taken many industries by storm and the narrative is same for real estate industry. The idea to fit structures and items with sensors that can be read by internet applications and translated into relevant data has given birth to numerous businesses within proptech. IoT is being used by business owners to better understand various processes and offer benefits like increased energy efficiency, predictive maintenance accelerated decision making, and better connectivity and control overall. These business owners are increasingly seeking out services of startups like Notion which creates sensors for monitoring homes. Users can remotely be notified for any door & window alerts, leak notifications, garage door alerts, and indoor temperature using these sensors. The Colorado-headquartered company has been reinventing how people live and manage their homes with exceptional solutions since its founding in 2013.
There are many proptech companies in the market that are trying to create unique solutions using IoT. One example is creating alternating housing solutions with IoT for aging population. These homes are custom designed for the comfort of the elderly while IoT makes their independent living possible. Greentech is a comparatively new technology to enter the real estate industry but closely involves IoT and sensors. Right now, there are only a few companies dabbling with the idea and trying to do their bit for climate change. For example, a company has created innovative window panes that generates data by sensing the environment around them and converting sunlight into electricity. Another company has developed retrofit solutions that facilitate a reduction in energy consumption while simultaneously improving internal comfort. For IoT in real estate, this is just the beginning. Startups have started tapping into the fast-growing IoT market globally and are offering all kinds of IoT related solutions. Israeli startup Sure Universal is among them. It has created the SURE platform which helps users take control of IoT ecosystem within their homes. Such one-stop-shop solutions are ideal especially for those who want hassle free adoption of smart home and IoT systems.
Use of Virtual & Augmented Reality in the Real Estate Industry
VR and AR have become an integral part of proptech especially for brokerage service providers by reducing the inconvenience related to property viewing. These have benefited all the parties involved, as the buyers do not have to visit each and every property they are interested in and the sellers will save a lot of time too. Rooomy, a startup from California, is serving this purpose through its virtual staging services. The company helps real estate professionals showcase properties they want to sell or lease in a variety of designs and settings. The company claims that such services help in closing listings faster as compared to when physical house viewings are involved. AR and VR bring simplicity and transparency in the buying, selling and marketing of properties. They together provide benefits like intuitive navigation, 3D positioning and location-based AR content. Architectural and interior designing service professionals now have the opportunity to showcase their ideas in a much a more realistic manner with the help of VR. Netherlands based the Construct is the perfect example in this segment. It empowers real estate professionals by providing them with VR tours for properties. These VR services have been designed to be compatible with a variety of systems and VR headsets.
Use of Blockchain Technology in the Real Estate Industry
Blockchain has been the latest entry in the huge list of proptech technologies. It has completely revolutionized the methods used in the industry and brought about both efficiency and speed in transactions. Blockchain has the capability to remove middlemen thus reducing transaction cost. It has helped in better decision making in various processes like leasing and provides access to facilities like a shared yet secure information database that is can be accessed by owners, shareholders, service providers and tenants. The biggest change brought about by blockchain is that now real estate assets can be tokenized and transferred using the technology.