PropTech, a combination of the words ‘property’ and ‘technology,’ is the digitalization and automation of the real estate sector. The term includes the vast majority of solutions that facilitate the expansion of real estate and commercial real estate software programs.
PropTech is further divided into two categories. First, CREtech refers to commercial real estate technology. Then there is Retech, which involves software tools and applications designed for the real estate sector.
The advancement of technology in the real estate sector has changed the industry’s landscape. Among the first firms to integrate PropTech include the likes of Zoopla and Rightmove, which broke industry standards by creating state-of-the-art sites and applications.
PropTech is being utilized by numerous real estate companies that can now engage in better and efficient practices.
Real estate firms use the latest technology to provide customers with better experiences and professional solutions. Online catalogs, rate calculators, and online consultation platforms are among the many solutions that PropTech provides.
Real estate technology has now become critical for firms operating in this sector. Technology allows real estate companies to leverage advanced tools and software programs to cut costs, improve operations, make quick data-based decisions, and streamline asset management.
This guide will explore the components of real estate technology in detail and elaborate on how real estate firms can use PropTech technology to improve operations.
Automated Rental and Purchasing Property Platforms
Searching the internet for homes and properties is the first step for most homebuyers and renters once they’ve decided to move. According to a 2021 survey by the National Association of Realtorsresearch, 43% of all buyers browse the internet for properties before contacting a property brokerage.
Considering this, real estate companies that deploy advanced tech to list and showcase homes are placed at an advantage. For instance, firms that use AR (Augmented Reality) can empower customers to view the property in 3D and envision themselves in the living space from the comfort of their homes.
This allows customers to identify their wants and provide their real-estate agent with a better understanding of what they are looking for. In addition, by exploring the digital rental and purchasing property platforms, customers and realtors can save time and money (in commute) when looking at properties.
Some of the most popular platforms to explore rental and purchase property include:
- Zillow: Zillow is an online platform with one of the largest databases of properties. Customers can explore more than 135 million homes through the vast database. They can also sort through these listings by several different criteria. The platform also provides users with links to websites that offer pre-qualified financing. Additionally, Zillow has an app that gives users easy access to its services via their smartphones
- Realtor.com: Realtor.com is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors. 99% of the platform’s database includes Multiple Listing Properties (MLS) that are frequently updated. Homebuyers and renters can also filter properties in specific school districts. Like Zillow, the platform features links to pre-qualified financing sites for the convenience of its users
- Trulia: Trulia is another platform that showcases properties for homebuyers and renters alike. The platform has a website, along with two variations of mobile applications. Trulia Real Estate is designed for individuals interested in buying properties, whereas Trulia Renters is meticulously engineered for renters. Both applications come with an easy-to-use interface, giving users the ability to sort by geographical locations. Additionally, users can find links to pre-qualified financing and financial calculators in the app
- Foreclosure.com: This platform is exclusively designed for people who want to invest in properties in foreclosure. The application features more than 750,000 foreclosure, pre-foreclosure, bankruptcy, and tax lien listings from across the country. Moreover, the database is updated regularly with information from tax rolls, government agencies, financing companies, and legal initiatives. Foreclosure.com is also easy to use. It offers simple search criteria, sorting, quality listings, and resources to learn more about foreclosure property dealing
Virtual Tour Software Programs
PropTech also provides customers with the convenience of exploring properties before visiting the actual property. The use of virtual and augmented reality has become an integral component of real estate, especially during the ongoing pandemic.
By integrating virtual tour software programs, real estate companies can allow buyers and renters to closely explore the property from their computers, smartphones, or other smart devices. This technology saves time and effort, enabling customers to narrow down their list of preferred homes with a virtual viewing.
On-site viewings usually follow virtual home visits if all goes well. However, the entire process still saves time and cost for both the realtor and the customer. Advanced VR technologies let customers inspect every detail of the home and try out different furniture, design aesthetics, and color stories to see the property personalized to their taste.
The technology also lets real estate firms track the number of virtual visitors for each property. This data can be used to segment the visitors by demographics and gather data on potential clients using the analytics feature. With this information, firms can perfect their marketing strategies and feature their digital marketing campaigns to customers with a high potential for conversion.
Real estate companies that are on the lookout for a dependable virtual tour software program can try RICOH360 Tours. The program facilitates high-quality virtual tours, using a 360-degree view in a single capture per space.
Big Data and Analytics Tools
In this growing digital age, companies across the globe are using heaps of data to make knowledgeable business decisions. This is why it is essential for real estate businesses to utilize big data and analytics such as Google Analytics to optimize their decision-making processes and guarantee a high ROI (Return on Investment).
Big data combines structured, non-structured, and semi-structured data that is immensely large in volume. The big data industry enables businesses to manage and analyze this large amount of data methodological using advanced technology. For example, big data tools and processes extract customer preferences, store information from databases and data warehouses, and use machine learning models to make predictions and informed decisions.
When it comes to PropTech, machine learning technology extends convenience to customers and real estate agencies alike. This is because machine learning tools can use heaps of historical data, study trends, and make near-accurate predictions related to the industry and pricing. This information helps customers feel more confident about investing in a property. In contrast, real estate agents can use the data to land the best deal for their clients.
For instance, real estate firms can use the analytics feature in RICOH360 Tours to gather and interpret information about probable clients who are interested in the property. The software also includes an analytics dashboard that enables firms to track visitors exploring their websites. Real estate companies can also leverage the analytics feature to check the website turnover rate, the number of inquiries received, and the closing rate on properties after the virtual tours are added to the website.
Artificial Intelligence is a cutting-edge real estate technology that’s finally coming of age. It promises to change the property business as we know it.
AI refers to a machine’s ability to perform tasks that humans or animals typically perform. The AI model is based on machine learning, where the device uses the combination of data and prior experience to evolve and make better decisions.
In real estate, AI can be used in chatbots, helping real estate companies provide customers with a streamlined and responsive experience with AI-powered chatbots. The chatbots enable customers to contact the agency at any time and get answers to frequently-made inquiries. This way, the communication channels for customers are open 24/7.
Additionally, since AI technology functions primarily on data, the likelihood of error reduces to zero. Customers are also provided with responsive and quick service, enabling real estate firms to avoid missing out on probable leads.
It’s interesting to note that Artificial Intelligence can also be used beyond conversational chatbots. The technology can be applied to various domains within the real estate sector to provide complete assistance and optimize the end-to-end processes of the firms.
For example, real estate companies can use AI-powered search tools to help real estate agents and clients find properties based on specific criteria. The algorithm used by AI tools collects data based on customer preferences and presents properties that meet those requirements. Moreover, AI algorithms can provide alternate listings that best fit the client’s needs. This helps firms and clients save time on searching for properties.
Real estate agencies can also use AI-powered tools to optimize their transactions. For example, companies can use different Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems that use machine learning to carry human-like tasks. For example, AI-powered tools can be used for auto-fillable data and report generation tasks. Using AI to perform these functions allows firms to allocate their team’s energy towards tasks requiring more human touch (such as communication with customers). Additionally, companies can avoid errors in data entry, thus enabling efficiency in work operations.
Smart Locks and Access Control
Real estate technology companies also advise firms to invest in smart locks and access control. This tech heightens up the security of homes, enabling sellers and developers to keep an eye on their property and their assets. In addition, smart locks allow homeowners and realtors to manage the access of visitors, delivery persons, service providers (stagers, open houses, or cleaning services) to the property.
The smart lock gadgets are not only convenient, but they are also quite affordable, secure, and hassle-free. By installing smart locks, real estate companies can build their trust with their clients by ensuring the safety and security of their property. Moreover, the locks do not require continuous engagement. In fact, authorized visitors can easily enter the property by typing in an authorization code.
Real-estate companies must stay ahead of the competition, introduce upgraded tech to streamline and optimize their processes in this highly competitive and unpredictable market. Whether improvements can be made with a virtual tour, using big data and analytics to make better decisions, or adding innovative hardware, such as smart locks, initiating PropTech can optimize the firm’s operations and take their services to the next level.