Real estate has long lagged behind other industries when it comes to technological innovation. Or has it? In fact, there are billions of dollars being poured into property technology, or prop tech, and it’s transforming the landscape for 2020 and beyond.
John Minns, Managing Director of Independent, says that ‘proptech’ will completely change how we buy, sell and live in our properties.
“Technology keeps on improving our lives. I’m not brave enough to predict what any particular market will do but I can see a bright future ahead for anyone buying or selling a home.”
More and more real estate agents are using artificial intelligence (AI) to create ‘virtual agents’ that can respond to your queries no matter what time of day.
“When we launched Sam the Virtual Assistant as a prototype on a major project development in Braddon this year, we found that 40 per cent of enquiries were received between 8 pm and 5 am,” says Minns. “Obviously, our offices are closed during those hours, but consumers were able to interact, ask questions and request an agent in real time. We found that they were five times as likely to decide to buy then if they’d had to wait for answers.”
With success stories like this, it’s highly likely that within 18 months buyers will be able to use AI to self-serve information and buying details, access real-time updates, and engage with an agent when it suits them.
Agents are also using Big Data and data analytics to better understand both buyers and sellers.
“If you’re selling a home, we use our insights to figure out where your buyers are likely to be. Do they read print newspapers or browse online? Are they influenced by social media? Different demographics make different decisions about when and why to buy property, so the more we know, the more focused we can be in marketing your home.”
For buyers, this customised approach can save some serious time. As analytics get smarter, you’ll start seeing more of the properties you are interested in and less of the ones you aren’t.
“With the latest proptech,” says Minns, “we can create a personalised online environment so that buyers can find suitable properties faster – including homes that aren’t even for sale yet!”
Once you’ve bought that dream home, proptech makes home ownership easier than ever before. We’ve already seen how the Internet of Things (IoT) has made its way inside the home. Smart fridges, smart meters, home hubs and more make today’s home an intelligent, user-friendly place.
Now, IoT is helping us buy and maintain property as well.
“Commercial buildings in the Sydney CBD are already saving massively on power bills, reactive maintenance and lift breakdowns using digital twin technology, smart meters and data analytics,” Minns says. “This technology already exists for residential buildings but has only had limited impact to date. I expect the rapid innovation of technology, economics and value to make this real for many homeowners within the next few years. If you could save thousands of dollars undertaking preventative maintenance or timely upgrades, it will pay for itself very rapidly.”
These examples are just the beginning. With billions of dollars pouring into research and development, technology is set to keep improving our lives and make buying and selling real estate easier than ever.
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