Technology is continuing to flood the real estate industry. According to a report by Re:Tech, venture capital investment in real estate technology grew to almost 12.6 billion in 2017. The proptech sector is clearly showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
From online mortgage platforms to tenancy management software, the proptech sector is modernising what was once a very traditional industry.
It’s important to remember that real estate technology isn’t designed solely for the consumer; agents benefit as well, whether it’s using virtual reality to show clients a property or nurturing clients via a chatbot any time of the day.
There’s a lot of valuable insight that agents can glean by keeping track of proptech trends and considering how they might integrate this technology into their own work.
Here’s a look at the top five problems proptech companies are solving now.
1. Managing tenants
Proptech has provided many great solutions to help agents reach new clientele, and it’s also making it easier for landlords to manage customers once they become tenants.
There are many tedious elements of managing tenants. Tenancy management software helps eliminate communication errors by providing instant communication between tenants, contractors, and agents.
For example, does the tenant need to request a repair? Fixflo allows residents to report any issues online, provide pertinent information, and give the status of their availability for contractors to perform the repair. This alerts contractors in the database of the location and time they can perform maintenance, removing the agent from the process.
Property managers can use Arthur to handle everything from onboarding tenants and managing work orders to fulfilling accounting and reporting functions. Proptech solutions make tenant management easier for each party involved using technology to solve tedious issues.
2. Securing a mortgage
Proptech is reinventing the mortgage process, from start to finish. Mortgage applications usually take about a month to process, depending on the lender. In some locations, the process can take as long as three months. However, many homebuyers are opting to handle the entire mortgage process online, without ever stepping foot in a traditional bank.
Online mortgage platforms, such as LendInvest, significantly reduce the process to just a few days. Better Mortgage also simplifies the mortgage process, helping borrowers find the best rate online. These online tools provide homebuyers with a quick, transparent mortgage experience.
3. Finding workspace
Professionals can experience a lack of community and collaboration when working from a traditional office, home, or the local coffee shop. Coworking spaces encourage human connections and creativity. Workers can tap into this community to get feedback on their latest product or simply grab drinks after work.
According to JLL’s 2018 Flexible Office Space report, coworking spaces have grown 200 per cent over the last five years. Flexible office spaces have been emerging in different cities across the globe, providing businesses and professionals the flexibility to work from any desired location. In addition to affordability, coworking spaces are an attractive option for those seeking an environment conducive to productivity and innovation.
WeWork is a key player in the industry, transforming buildings into collaborative workspaces. Members can sign up for short-term, flexible agreements with options ranging from a shared workspace to a standalone, private office. Amenities such as high-speed Internet, mail handling, and front desk service are available.
Workspace network LiquidSpace not only makes it easy for workers to find their perfect office space but offers an online marketplace where property owners can list workspaces for rent.
4. Hunting for a flat/flatmate
Securing a rental and finding an ideal roommate can be overwhelming tasks, but proptech is solving both of these dilemmas. Those who want to find or rent out a room can do so from the comfort of their couch.
Barcelona-based Badi makes it easy to find or rent a room anywhere. Visitors can list an available room and find a compatible flatmate based on their preferences. Additional sites like SpareRoom and Roomgo focus on matching tenants with existing residents as well.
5. Showing remote properties
Using virtual and augmented reality, agents can show prospective tenants and buyers properties from across the globe. Agents can even provide a tour inside properties that haven’t been constructed yet. This technology makes it easier for agents to sell to prospects worldwide. Agents can give clients the confidence to make a decision knowing exactly what they are buying or leasing.
SmarterListings is a platform that brings real estate agents and their prospects together to experience a property online. Its AI-powered guide, Ella, can tour prospects around the property when agents are away, highlighting important features and amenities. It also records questions and comments and gathers contact information so agents can follow-up with prospects when they are free. EyeSpy360 is another tool agents can use to create free virtual tours and show clients a property without ever leaving the office.
It’s clear that proptech is shaping the future of the real estate market. It will be wise for agents to embrace technology, so they do not risk getting left behind in an industry that is increasingly becoming modernised. Proptech is only getting started and will continue simplifying the complexity of building, selling, buying, and renting homes.
Adrian Fisher, Founder and CEO, PropertySimple
Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa