An amalgamation of property and technology, PropTech is changing the way the property sector operates by using the latest advancements in modern technologies to enhance the service provided for buyers, sellers and renters of property.
In recent years, the level of progression in the technology industry has been astounding. Instead of reading a book, you can read a Kindle, as well as now being able to use a banking app as opposed to visiting the bank itself. With other sectors adapting to the change, the property market is no exception.
On the whole, PropTech is redefining all things property. Visiting an estate agent is a thing of the past. An extensive display of properties is now available to view at the click of a button through a mobile phone or tablet app, helping those wanting to buy, rent or market a property. Other tools include property management platforms, flat mate seeking and office sharing apps, as well as bill calculators for tenants.
Virtual Reality in Property
The rise of PropTech is recently seeing a number of high-street estate agents provide a means for potential buyers to visit a property as many times as they desire through a virtual reality headset. The client can explore properties of interest through an unbelievably realistic and detailed computer-generated experience which saves time and money.
When thinking about virtual reality, the first thing that springs to mind is modern-day gaming. However, it’s now making an appearance in the property industry too.
A similar feature is also now available on most property websites which display 360-degree tours of rooms inside houses and apartments, meaning that buyers can get a true feel for a property without visiting it first-hand.
Virtual reality technology is so advanced that it even has the capacity for customisation. Customers can relay their preferred design schemes for specific rooms and watch their projections come to life in a personalised, artificially generated image. This is going to transform the way customers view properties and is likely to increase their inclination to buy, which is great news for the property market.
Augmented Reality in Property
Seemingly similar to virtual reality, augmented reality focuses on brining 2D shapes into three-dimensional being using a mobile phone or tablet.
A specialist scanning marker brings printed materials to life in a portable and presentable format that is useful for property agents wanting to show investors more than just a floor plan for a new development.
This tool is helpful to those who find it difficult to visualise what a building will look like purely from technical drawings. By holding a phone or tablet over the flat design, the expert technology converts the image into a user-friendly perspective that can be inspected from all angles.
This is perhaps a more suitable technology to transport to meetings in comparison with virtual reality headsets. Augmented reality makes it easy and quick to combine a plan on paper with your mobile phone in order to portray a property in more detail.
Smart Technology in Property
Smart technology is a multifunctional outlet that allows property owners to gain maximum control over home technologies through remote access. Functions include anything from automatic timed lighting to doorbells with cameras.
It’s now possible to regulate so many elements within the home without even being there in person. Smart technologies link up mobile phones or tablets with systems within a property such as heating, sprinklers and refrigerators to enable easy optimisation whatever your location.
Having a property that possesses the latest smart technologies is attractive to prospective buyers or renters and also increases its market value. In addition to this, owners of property can save money on monthly bills such as electricity by ensuring that energy usage is kept to a minimum.
With the PropTech industry growing rapidly in recent months, more and more businesses are emerging on the scene.
- Online agents such as Zoopla and Rightmove are connecting millions of users with a myriad of properties whilst also introducing 360-degree tours to develop the consumer experience.
- Airbnb has revolutionised the way we search for holiday accommodation and has made it easier for property owners to make extra cash when renting out space during vacant periods.
- Foxtons is one of the first estate agents to implement the virtual reality experience inhouse across the UK.
- In 2014, London-based firm Rainmaking Loft launched the first augmented reality property app in the UK.
- HIVE, developed by AlertMe connects home boilers with external devices.
With the world of technology constantly evolving, the PropTech industry can expect to look very different in upcoming years. A decade ago, virtual reality was something we knew very little about. Now regarded a mainstream technology, just imagine what the future will look like for PropTech sectors like this. The property industry will continue to thrive as the process of buying, selling, renting, building, designing and managing becomes even more effortless.