The ‘proptech’ removes the foundations of the traditional real estate sector



Technological innovation is already spreading through the real estate sector, in line with the imperative of digital transformation: ‘tech’ is applied to the identity of the 21st century in finance, insurance, legal services, etc., in business models that seek be more agile, more competitive, by being more innovative, from the emergence of startups to the performance of large corporations.

The innovation carried out in ‘proptech’ (‘Property Technology’) becomes, therefore, indispensable, even more so if it is applied to the management of the OPEX of the companies, the current management of their expenses.

From the search for land to the sale and after-sales process, the real estate sector faces a challenge that not only consists of implementing technology as such, as Gustavo López, Director of Operations at AIC (Association of Real Estate Agents of Catalonia), highlights. ANAI (National Association of Real Estate Agents) and Tecnoapi: «One of the great dilemmas presented by current management is to find out how these disruptive companies create their businesses to generate change and what are the knowledge and new practices that companies and more traditional organizations to try to defend themselves and become disruptive of their own markets ”, he explains.

“The dynamics of the current competitive environment require more agility on the part of organizations to change their traditional way of acting and adapt to the new rules of their markets”, adds López, who is also director of and co-author of the recent book ‘ Proptech Revolution ‘.

From ‘big data’ in the treatment of information to virtual reality when presenting a proposal to a client, companies must therefore include an adequate use of technological processes in order not to be left behind. This is the case in cases such as the one undertaken by the Appraisal Society, which has its Smart Appraisal service as an added value proposition due to the increase in the speed and efficiency of the service, even more so in processes in which the client expects agile solutions that shorten deadlines. A tool that incorporates WhatsApp and Bizum into the communication and payment processes.

Another outstanding contribution to this ‘tech’ panorama is that of the Forge tool (belonging to Atlas Real Estate Analytics), a company that operates in a sector in which information, in the face of the high investments to be made in many cases, is essential .

This option of real estate analytics facilitates knowing the demographic, economic and real estate parameters of any area of ​​Spain thanks to the collection and analysis of the ‘data science’, which allows the client not only to know the current status of a specific property or area, but also prospecting for the future. An innovative proposal that has just received the confidence of the market, with a contribution of 500,000 euros in its first round of financing (another recent news is the round of financing of ten million euros for Housfy, 2% by Banco Santander) .

At the rate of change

The Real Estate begins to move at the pace of technological innovation, removing the immobile label that has accompanied it for years. The challenge, that disruption reaches the entire value chain. For now, there is still a long way to go, as López points out: “The ‘proptech’ is finishing the second revolution, the digitization of all real estate processes”. As the expert points out, the sector has to be prepared to adapt to the exponential advance in fields such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, proactive home automation, etc .: «The ‘software’ is better, the ‘software’ has nothing to do with it from ‘big data’ from five years ago: there has been a huge evolution … what will happen, for example, with ‘big data’ when we can apply quantum computing to it? “

Impulse ‘blockchain’

An environment in which López highlights the emergence of the ‘blockchain’: “For example, now you can ‘tokenize’ real estate and buy and sell those ‘tokens'” … However, and as commented on the III Blockchain Economy conference in the past October 25, “blockchain platforms cannot replace the legal accreditation of the Registry. This technology would only facilitate access to building data by digitizing the real estate register, which is currently handwritten in books.

This activity is also carried out in a globalized, highly competitive environment, which is why the need to work well and as a team is increasingly ratified. This is highlighted by Enrique Criado, country manager at PlanRadar, a company specialized in communication and digital management of tasks and documentation ‘on site’: «The construction and real estate sector is still anchored in too traditional processes and needs to take advantage of the possibilities of digitization to undertake its final big step. Numerous protagonists and teams who have historically worked in a decentralized manner participate in any construction and real estate project. Our experience with clients in more than 40 countries indicates that these processes require enormous dynamism to be efficient. It is here where technology, in general, and ‘proptech’ in particular, allows a truly effective solution that deepens its strength and competitiveness ”.

In line with this commitment to competitiveness, a PlanRadar survey with executive staff in their work area showed how 58% acknowledged having incorporated technological tools into their project management during 2020, in the midst of the outbreak of the pandemic. They could combine images, voice or 2D digital plans, with the exchange of information, task management, defects or preparation of minutes, etc. Innovative processes applied, in this case, to mortgage management in companies such as Hippo, a startup created in 2018 that has the power of the algorithm to navigate the difficult environment of mortgage offers, according to factors such as the global vision of the customer and predictions about the possibility of conversion.

Black Swan

In the case of Gilmar Real Estate Consulting, they have the Gilmar Excelence digital project, with the ‘customer centric’ as a reference. Ignacio Mallagray, Chief Digital Officer, points out how times of pandemic have accelerated the natural implementation of this artificial process: “The ‘black swan’ of Covid has changed the paradigm and has forced us to continue innovating in search of the best remote experiences for our customers. Our project has therefore sought to replicate the physical experience in our digital ecosystem so that, every time our clients ‘land’ on our digital channels, they enjoy a personalized service just like they were used to living in our physical offices » .

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