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How PropTech is changing real estate

Jul 11, 2018

Every industry since we have entered the information age has experienced a large-scale shake up. Now it’s real estate’s turn, and the culprit is something called PropTech — the combination, or the “intersection,” of property and technology.

In 2011, global investment in PropTech totalled just $200 million. By 2016 that number had hit $4.2 billion. Last year it reached $12.6b.

It’s being called a real estate revolution. New companies are coming to market with technologies that are redefining how real estate sector operates. Applications and platforms currently under development have the potential to undercut numerous industries that rely on how real estate is currently purchased, sold, leased and transferred.

Here’s what you need to know.  

‘Space as a Service’

‘Space as a Service’ companies like WeWork are providing a better balance between supply and demand and far greater flexibility than traditional office building landlords and property management companies. That’s because they’re fulfilling a market need: Today’s companies and workers prize flexibility and mobility over all else.

As a result, ‘Space as a Service’ companies are diminishing the role of real estate agents, as companies today are more likely to lease small offices than to purchase commercial properties outright.

Sale and Title Transfer Platforms

Numerous online sales platforms, where buyers and sellers can meet, are making the market for real estate investors more transparent and lowering transaction costs by using big data and analytics. Billions of dollars have also flowed into blockchain-powered platforms that aim to improve the liquidity of real estate. One such platform allows ‘shares’ in a piece of property to be divided up and sold as easily and securely as a stock on the stock market.

Others are promising to end title insurance as we know it by more accurately verifying ownership and expediting the overly bureaucratic process of transferring real estate title.

The applications of PropTech are near endless. Smart buildings will track the usage of not only an entire building, by tracking how many people enter and exit, but also the usage of certain areas and rooms to improve use, efficiency and productivity.

To learn more, check out this excellent article: PropTech: The Costs And Benefits Of A Real Estate Revolution

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