The latest roundtable hosted by the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and haysmacintyre sees a group of experts discuss the topic of prop-tech and the future of the real estate industry, using their knowledge and experience to let us know what to expect next for prop-tech.
The advancements in technology have been the cause of major changes in many industries - one especially being the real estate industry. Where renting, buying, or letting out a property was once all handled in person, and over the phone, we are now experiencing far different processes - and it is only going to become more advanced, as technology, and people’s dependency on it continue to evolve.
The likes of Airbnb and booking.com have introduced revolutionary property technology that allows people to view properties all over the world, converse with their owners, and book to stay for short and long stays - all on one platform, and since the pandemic the buy and sell property market has also seen changes take place.
When covid hit, people were forced to social distance and minimise their socialising as much as possible, so viewing properties became almost impossible for some time. To overcome this the real estate industry had to create solutions using technology that allowed people to view properties online, speak with agents, and still feel as connected to the property as possible without physically seeing it.
Due to this, we have seen huge advancements in prop-tech, and this is only bound to continue. The latest roundtable hosted by the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and haysmacintyre sees a group of experts discuss the topic of prop-tech and the future of the real estate industry, using their knowledge and experience to let us know what to expect next for prop-tech.
Discussing how the property market has changed in recent years Vann Vogstad, Founder and CEO of COHO explained how he has seen a huge surge in shared living as people became increasingly more lonely throughout lockdown, and have recognised the importance of having regular meaningful social interactions.
“We’ve seen a huge amount of growth in this side of the property market because people, either in a shared house or on their own, were pretty much locked up over the pandemic. Access to friends and social interactions were made impossible, and what became noticeable was that people living on their own naturally wanted to be around others, and people who were living with others that they maybe didn’t get on with - were seeing worse impacts on their mental health.
“So we’ve seen a shift where younger people are recognising the importance of their mental health, and because of this, we’ve seen more and more people moving towards shared living as a lifestyle choice, not just an economic decision, as living with positive company can be great for your mental health.”
Abdul Shakur, Founder of Shakur Investments, added to this by discussing how recent years have caused a huge change to proptech.
“During covid, some traditional businesses died, and some businesses were born, and think with everything that’s going on for PropTech as an industry, it’s one where there is going to be an influx wave of investment coming through. There are going to be more niche services and more niche products out there for the property industry to scale,” he said.
“The second aspect of it is there’s going to be entirely new industries coming from within. For example, Airbnb, when it launched, they created a new niche within the sector by letting people rent out their homes. This allowed people to make some extra money, and build a community, and that started the whole service accommodation industry. So we’re definitely going to see more of that.
“We’re also seeing a rise of coworking spaces being launched, and there’s going to be some level of innovation at all levels, but we’re definitely going to see more niche, interesting consumer-led businesses that will thrive during this period,” he continued.
Alfred Dzadey, Director of Real Property Ventures discussed how he thinks proptech has created huge benefits for the real estate industry. “I think Proptech is great, and for a number of reasons. For me, property investment doesn’t have to be so complicated and hard. Having a tool such as a landing site, where all the information you need regarding the asset is readily available, at your fingertips, at the click of a button, is so beneficial, versus having to go and find something in one place, then go to another place to find another piece of information, and so on - this method is a bit old school in the property and investment world.”
“Another element is in regards to transactions. At the moment, everybody I know who acquires property feels the pain of going through the whole complicated, time-consuming acquisition- and it doesn’t need to be as complicated as it is. A lot of the information we’re requesting for this process can take three weeks to get from the council. This information is readily available and all it takes is for someone to pull the data and send it across to somebody else. I’m big on accelerating things and trying to compress time. We want things to move quickly, and technology can help us do that in the property industry,” he added.
Roger Tofft, Founder and CEO of Proptech Sweden, discussed how although, proptech is causing change, it is also down more traditional businesses to adapt their business models to stay up to date. “I think it’s a transformation and an adaption for leadership and the business model. Yesterday, Apple came out with an app where you can scan your flat or your house in five minutes and get a 3d picture - and it takes five minutes.”
Sankha Deep, Founder and Product Lead at Lattice.site told the group about what the advancements of proptech have meant for the construction side of things. “Consumers have become more aware of the things, like how the buildings in their area are built, and what effect this is having. For example, in Croydon, there is a building called 10 degrees, which was completely built off-site, so essentially it was built two years ahead of its time because it’s completely module. This is good for more than one reason, one being that it helps faster building, but it’s also cutting down the environmental impact by 40 to 60%. So that’s the impact which we are seeing from proptech, and I feel this type of building will continue.”
“What we have seen is the younger people who are in construction want new technology to work with. They don’t want to walk around with pen and paper anymore. They’re very excited by these new technologies, for example, there are 360 cameras recording how the progress is happening on a construction site, and the machine learning they have access to,” he added.
Jake Pearlman, Director at haysmacintyre, said: “The real estate industry has continued to adapt and thrive through a challenging period, no doubt assisted by the proptech sector. It was fascinating to hear the entrepreneurs take on the real estate market, and their optimism that proptech, with the right investment, will continue to excel.”
To conclude, proptech has already made huge changes to the property industry and with the recent changes in consumer behaviours, it is helping enable people to have easier lifestyles, and access to property management, investment, and construction services - and it doesn’t seem to be stopping here, as technology advances, it seems the real estate industry will follow suit.
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