Property technology, otherwise known as proptech, has taken off in recent years. Investors are sinking billions into new solutions aimed at improving the real estate industry. According to CB Insights, investments in proptech startups reached $4 billion in 2018, compared to just $20 million in 2008.
Mobile technology, in particular, is changing the way people buy, own, sell, and rent properties. From mobile applications that provide better property management and neighborhood news to smart homes and 3D floor plans, real estate agents and consumers have access to more robust mobile technology than ever.
Summer is a crucial time in the real estate industry. More homes are bought and sold during this time. And now that technology is helping to make that process even easier, buying and selling rates will likely hold this summer. Here’s a look at five mobile proptech trends that will dominate this summer.
1. Accurate property valuations
Before the rise of proptech, buyers had somewhat limited access to information that would help them make quick, informed decisions about a property. Today’s consumers no longer have to view a home multiple times to evaluate its condition. Instead, mobile tools are sprouting up to provide valuable information that consumers need to make better-informed buying decisions.
For instance, HouseCanary is a mobile app that provides property valuations based on algorithms that identify which factors have the most significant impact on a home’s value. Users can evaluate properties by forecasted home price growth, crime rate, school rating, the price per square foot, and other factors.
Mobile technologies give prospective buyers all the information at their fingertips to understand home valuations. As a result, they are better equipped with the knowledge to make quick, informed buying decisions. Technology like this makes it easier for the real estate agent as well. When buyers have more information on-hand, they can make informed decisions and review all basic facts easily. Agents can then help with harder decisions and more detailed information.
2. Streamlined property management
There are many tedious aspects of managing a property along with tenants. However, property management software streamlines the process by facilitating instant communication between landlords, tenants, agents, and contractors.
ManageCasa, for example, is an all-in-one app that helps property managers streamline their businesses. Landlords, tenants, service contractors, and property owners can ensure they are all on the same page when it comes to payment for rentals, maintenance tickets, and resolved issues. The app also offers robust accounting features.
Buildium, an additional mobile-based platform, offers accounting, payments, marketing, and communication tools for landlords and property managers. Buildium also provides a variety of educational resources for clients, such as news, informative video tutorials, and a cost savings calculator aimed at improving their competency of real estate.
Mobile technology is making property management easier for both the landlord and tenant. This trend will likely soar as this technology advances.
3. Community building among neighbours
Like most technology, mobile proptech is making it easier for people to connect with others – particularly those that live in the same neighbourhood. Numerous apps help people stay in the loop about what goes on in their community and learn about their neighbours.
Nextdoor, for example, is a popular free app that residents can use to instantly communicate concerns, events, items for sale, recommendations, and other services. Similar to a private bulletin board, users can create posts within different categories and use the app’s built-in messaging system to chat with neighbours about different interests.
In the summer, there are many more activities and ongoings, which makes applications like these necessary.
4. Energy efficiency and predictive maintenance
Smart devices connected to mobile apps allow homeowners to create more intelligent and energy-efficient spaces based on their schedule. Residents can monitor the activity of smart devices through their mobile phones and gain greater control of their household energy use when it comes to utilities such as electric, water, heating, and cooling.
For example, homeowners can use thermostat sensors connected to mobile apps to adjust their heating and cooling anytime, anywhere, and create a custom program based on their schedule. Temperature settings can automatically adjust to save energy while residents are at work or sleeping.
Nest, for instance, provides a smart thermostat that users can mount on their wall to monitor temperatures. Residents can use the app to monitor energy use reports and control their home temperatures from anywhere.
Not only do smart devices linked to mobile apps increase energy efficiency, but they also automate and resolve building maintenance issues. This convenience offers a definite selling advantage for property owners and agents.
SiteWatch is a platform that uses sensors to monitor equipment irregularities and sends real-time alerts and reports to users’ mobile devices. It can also predict a maintenance schedule based on energy consumption.
5. Creation of custom 3D floor plans
Buyers who are looking for the perfect house can create bespoke floor plans directly from their mobile device. Using mobile proptech, consumers can get a better sense of the home they want to purchase or rent.
Magic Plan, for instance, is a mobile app that lets users create 3D floor plans quickly. All they have to do is use their device’s camera and while turning around, mark the corners of their space. Magic Plan then generates a floor plan, saving users the time and money it takes to hire someone to develop a floor plan for them.
Mobile proptech innovation brings change
The real estate market has traditionally lacked innovation. However, the rise of mobile proptech has significantly impacted the way people buy and sell properties in recent years. As the number of mobile technology solutions increases, agents and consumers will find themselves gaining more convenience than ever.
This summer, there are a slew of mobile proptech innovations to choose from in many arenas. From buying and selling to maintenance and control, mobile proptech options are endless. And as more technology enters this somewhat traditional industry, the role of agents, landlords, tenants, buyers, and sellers will change. Technology will make once mundane and frustrating tasks easier, especially in the mobile realm.
Adrian Fisher, Founder and CEO, PropertySimple