The Top PropTech Trends in Turbulent Times
As PropTech advances - and it is highly likely to do so quickly following the COVID-19 crisis of 2019-20 - more and more tools will be developed.
“Acts of God” and other significant large-scale events can result in widespread job losses and severe recessions. Whole business sectors can be devastated and livelihoods wiped out. In these circumstances, the property market is often the first to suffer a significant blow.Start typing here! You can add more paragraphs, images, videos, and more by clicking the icons in the toolbar!
It can be difficult to plan for occurrences that severely alter the behaviours of society, whether the issue at hand is a natural disaster, a pandemic or a war.
However, in these difficult times, it is vital for at least some players within the business world to continue operations in some shape or form in order to buoy up the economy.
There have been recent technological advancements in the fields of property investment, development and management which are able to streamline and simplify certain activities and enable specialists to continue their work without having to place themselves in harm’s way.
Property technology (PropTech) can be applied to many areas of real estate, lettings and property management, keeping professionals and clients safe as they operate within their particular field.
In this article, we’ll explore the PropTech trends that are most likely to gain popularity throughout challenging times.
Automation and AI
Automation and AI | PropTech
The more services that can be undertaken by AI and automated processes, the fewer individuals need to be present in-house to perform them.
Automated email responses and chatbots can answer basic questions relating to an estate agent’s practices and processes, reducing the need for face-to-face meetings and cutting down on unnecessary emails and phone calls that may otherwise distract from more urgent work.
3D “tours” of a property can allow buyers to get a clear feel for a domestic or commercial building without having to visit in person, maintaining the safety of all parties.
Certain processes handled by landlords and property management companies can be automated too.
By keeping records of due dates for rent, warranty expirations, inspections, maintenance and other factors besides, those responsible for certain buildings can arrange for appointments of all kinds to be made automatically.
This means that unnecessary visits by service providers can be reduced in number - and automatic rent or renewal reminders can be sent to tenants without any need for in-person interaction.
Remote Working | Turbulent Times
If all essential tasks and activities can be undertaken from any location with access to the internet, then the need for in-person attendance at an office or property will be significantly diminished. Staff members will be able to work effectively from the safety of their own homes.
Meetings with clients can easily be undertaken by way of video conferencing rather than face to face, and some documentation can be accepted with e-signatures.
Certain types of property transaction - including auctions and cash up front “fast-sales” can be undertaken remotely from start to finish, without any need for face to face contact whatsoever.
Reducing contact can prevent the spread of disease and will reduce the risks involved in travelling when the surrounding environment is in any way unsafe. For this reason, PropTech that supports remote working is likely to be highly desirable in turbulent times.
Centralized Management | Property Technologies
In recent years, more and more applications and pieces of software have been developed to assist in the overall running of a property portfolio. The ability to manage all processes and paperwork from one central hub can be extremely useful for everyone from property developers to landlords.
These tools offer property managers the ability to electronically send and receive bills, invoices and communications to and from tenants and service providers.
They can also allow landlords to work closely with tenants, endowing them with the capacity to sync calendars with one another, for example, so that both parties will always be aware of when inspections will be taking place or rent payments are due.
Images of damaged fittings or faulty appliances can be easily shared, making the reporting of such matters easier.
Receipts and evidence of income can also be saved for use in the payment of taxes. Checklists of tasks - from insurance renewals to new tenant inductions - can be created, with catalogs of activities assigned exclusively to their relevant properties.
In the same way, property developers can keep track of payments due, tasks required of clients and contractors, the number and identity of all individuals on site at any one time, the condition of the budget and multiple other factors involved in a project.
Centralising all activities involving the upkeep and management of a portfolio or project can keep everything running smoothly without the need for in-person property visits, the handling of hard-copies of paperwork or unnecessary maintenance bookings.
This approach can also help the managers of a development project to decide which contractor or employee needs to be where, and at what time, streamlining operations and preventing the overcrowding of workplaces that may lead to the spread of infection during a pandemic.
These are just a few of the PropTech trends that are likely to prove extremely valuable - and therefore very popular - during times when the safety of both property sector staff and clients may be considered at risk.
As PropTech advances more and more tools will be developed that will improve the scope and capacity of AI and automation, the flexibility of remote business model and the resources available within a centralised management system.
With these developments, the capability of property-related businesses to operate under severe restrictions and during difficult times will grow significantly.