Mention real estate, and your mind will probably jump to images of houses or skyscrapers. But it’s not all bricks and mortar. In the same way that banking has been disrupted by the advent of e-wallets and online-only banks, technology has also been giving the property industry a facelift.
Be it apps and websites for buying property, drones for building inspections, or 3D printed building materials, PropTech — the amalgamation of property and technology — has helped the real estate industry deliver value more than the sum of its parts.
It has already changed the way real estate professionals are doing businesses all around the world. In a recent KPMG survey, nearly 80 per cent of respondents asserted that digital innovations had exerted more influence on their work in the last 12 months. But with two in three still saying they do not have a good organisational vision and strategy to support PropTech innovations or practices, savvy property professionals are starting to leverage technology and get ahead of the competition.
Consider how the smartphone puts a world of information right at our fingertips. For rental space providers, how about putting together an app that allows a prospective customer to view your portfolio, refine searches and book quickly? That could be the difference between landing new business and watching it slip away to the rival that has already started to use similar technology.
By putting business processes online and automating them, you can also cut down on laborious paperwork, and give back precious time and energy to yourself and your workers so that you can create real value. One example is global flexible workspace provider IWG’s Broker App, which helps agents and brokers to quickly connect their clients with the co-working offices they want, access information about their ongoing referrals and speed up the time they get their commission. Even something like an online meeting room booking system or payment platform could cut down on unnecessary and laborious paperwork.
The Internet economy has given rise to a surfeit of data out there that can help the smart professional spot trends and find new business opportunities. Automated booking enables you to collect clients’ latest information, which means you can tailor your offerings to suit their desires and needs. Targeted marketing communications become more possible, resulting in more business down the line. With the Internet of Things (IoT), property managers can leverage user information to understand how workers are utilising the space and what they truly need — allowing them to then be able to make improvements that can help workers be happier and more effective at work. The point is: the better you know your customers, the easier it is to understand their needs and deliver value specifically for them.
From delivering productivity to creating new business leads, the benefits of PropTech ring loud and clear.