Five New Technologies That Are Truly Reshaping The Real Estate Industry

August 29, 2018 | Commercial Real Estate

Mobile platforms, wearables, the Internet of Things and real-time reporting are just some of the many new technologies disrupting markets around the globe. And real estate is no exception.

Here are five real estate tech trends to watch out for in 2018…

1.Blockchain

Gold coin with blockchain symbol on blurred blue background

You may have come across the word ‘blockchain’ and dismissed it as a fad or technical buzzword. But it is completely revolutionising the real estate industry as we know it!

Now, we won’t spend too long explaining the technical complexities of Blockchain and how it works (Block Geeks does a great job of this). But, put very simply, Blockchain is a decentralised, digital platform that allows information to be securely transmitted between businesses, removing the need for clearinghouses, such as banks.

According to the authors of Blockchain Revolution, the platform is “incorruptible” and can record, encrypt and protect any type of information that has been assigned a value.

That is a massive deal for the real estate industry.

Real estate is the largest asset class in the world and, eventually, the blockchain will enable contracts, guarantees, property records (e.g. deeds) to take place and monies shared without ‘middlemen’ like title companies or solicitors.

Last year, the first properties were sold using the blockchain platform, and it’s only a matter of time until blockchain is used to underpin property transactions in Australia.

There have even been some blockchain real estate companies that have popped such as Propy, Propify and RentBerry.

Of course, blockchain will not be able to replace the experience and knowledge that real estate professionals bring to the table. However, money handling and property transactions will inevitably change. So stay tuned!

2.Virtual Reality

Lady with dark skin sitting down wearing a VR headset and smiling at the real estate layout that she is seeing

Virtual Reality (VR) also known as ‘immersive multimedia’ or ‘computer-simulated reality’ not only enables a user to be immersed in a 3D world (whether real or imagined), but also allow them to interact with that world.

Not surprisingly, VR has become a game changer in the real estate industry.

With VR, potential buyers and renters can simply pop on a headset and virtually tour any space without leaving their homes or offices. Properties can literally be open for inspection 24 hours a day!

What’s more, VR technology allows people to see the potential of unfinished or undeveloped space and allows empty properties (‘warm shells’) to be virtually staged, for very little investment.  

Mobile apps are turning VR from future technology into a mainstream technology. So get ready for it to explode!

3. Real Estate Robots

White commercial real estate robot looking at camera holding an ipad

Robots are disrupting the real estate industry.

Yes, you read that right – robots.

Some agencies and startups have begun to employ robots to do some of the ‘mundane’ jobs that realtors would usually have to do.

For instance, chatbots and voicebots can be programmed to listen to users (or read what they type) and respond appropriately, book appointments or inspections, create reminders and send reports.

That allows for timely assistance, the ability to automatically capture lead data and helps reduce the number of inbound enquiries.

Chinese real estate website Juwai.com has even recently partnered with a robot company to build a robot that speaks Mandarin to remove the language barrier between English-speaking agents and Chinese buyers!

Now we are not saying that robots will ever be able to run the sales or leasing process from end-to-end without the help of humans. But they are clearly beginning to have an impact.

4. Big Data

Lines and lines of code for big data

‘Big data’ is a heavily used buzzword that really just describes extremely large datasets that can be broken down to reveal patterns, trends, and associations in order to make predictions about consumer behaviour.

It has started to affect every area of our lives and is shifting the way that businesses operate and speak to their consumer.

The real estate industry has been relatively slower to invest in data and analytics software. However, this is changing.

More and more, agencies are using big data to make strategic real estate decisions and streamline workflows. For instance, big data can help you determine whether a workspace is being used efficiently or whether one part of the building uses more power.

Some companies are also starting to use big data to build customer-centric platforms that can optimise online property searches and offer a personalised approach based on individual client needs.

5. Greater Mobility

Lady wearing watch on iphone which gives her greater mobility

In today’s digital age, it’s extremely rare to find someone who doesn’t use a smartphone or some sort of mobile device. Some might even argue that a mobile phone has become almost as important as the air we breathe.

So, it’s no wonder mobility is affecting the way everyone does business.

When it comes to real estate, people no longer need to consult the property section in the daily newspaper to find their perfect space. All they need is an internet connection.

Some of today’s real estate mobile apps can immediately hone in on your location and will tell you all you need to know about a property and its surroundings. And push notifications will instantly notify buyers or renters of new listings, price changes and more!

There are also online calculators and apps that allow you to create floor plans by simply switching on your phone camera and canvassing the room.

Popular real estate CRMs even have their own apps so that real estate agents can access their contacts, property data and other tools from the palm of their hand!

So, this year and beyond, expect more and more real estate agents to embrace mobile technologies to stay flexible and improve their results.

About Tenant CS

Tenant CS is a commercial tenant advisory service. We represent tenants, not landlords, which means we are looking out for your best interests at all times. Give us a call if you are looking to relocate your office, have an upcoming lease expiry need help to manage your property portfolio or simply want to know if you are paying a fair market rent!

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The Author

Timothy Battut joined Tenant CS Australia in 2018 in order to support the tenant representation Sydney team. Prior to this, he worked as part of the Tenant CS Singapore branch as a Research Analyst intern.

Timothy has a Bachelor Double Degree in International Business from Groupe ESC Clermont (France) and can speak three languages (English, French and Spanish).

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