There’s a great saying that ‘constraint breeds creativity’ and we’ve certainly seen that in the real estate industry’s embrace of PropTech over recent years.
From real estate-specific trends such as the use of virtual inspections to more general shifts like working from home and a reliance on the cloud, technology has evolved and been creatively employed to combat the constraints of a global pandemic.
But with a period of rapid change now behind us, how will PropTech and more general technology continue to change in the future? What major trends will we see moving forward into 2023?
At :Different, these are just some of the PropTech shifts we are keeping a watchful eye on and the trends we expect to see moving forward.
It’s all about the smartphone
It’s hard to believe the iPhone is already 15 years old. As a leader in the smartphone space, this device has revolutionised the way people work, communicate, and even manage their daily lives.
Now, almost everything is in the palm of your hand and that’s a trend we expect to see keep evolving in the foreseeable years to come.
In terms of its impact on real estate, smartphones will be used to make both property management and property sales effortless.
They’re able to manage everything and communicate more efficiently than ever before.
From upcoming inspections, to repairs, maintenance and end-of-year accounting information, managing a property and even communicating with your team will be intuitive, effortless and increasingly mobile.
That’s something we’re doing at :Different, with a range of high-quality apps for both landlords and tenants that will allow property management to be transparent and seamless.
All in one space
Tech built for a mobile world will play into a larger theme of simplifying the customer experience.
Over the past few years, technology has often been focused on finding a singular problem and solving it.
The result is a whole lot of technology created to address different pain points or issues in a customer journey.
But as we move forward, there will be a bigger-picture perspective where all these tiny processes which have been unbundled will be re-bundled together with a focus on the overall customer experience.
Using property management again as an example, it’s common for property managers to use more than five different apps including things like SaaS tools, phone, email and WhatsApp to do their job effectively.
Many apps claim to be all-in-one solutions that help property managers, but they are effectively stop-gap solutions that force agencies to build processes around them, instead of the other way around.
Using multiple platforms and methods to manage the various steps involved in renting a property is far from ideal.
The future will see all of these steps handled within one space.
And this trend of rebundling is not isolated to real estate or property management.
Uber is a great example of a business that initially provided a transport solution for users fed up with traditional taxi services, only to morph into an all-in-one app that now provides food, groceries and other logistics like package delivery.
Technology that continues to touch only one individual piece of any overall experience is going to be hard to sell, because at the end of the day, it doesn’t fundamentally make that experience better.
Smart homes and a 3D world
In a trend which impacts real estate but extends far beyond it, the coming years will see homes become smarter and a greater reliance on new technologies such as 3D printing, virtual reality and augmented reality.
In these scenarios, 3D printing will allow technology to manufacture items in the physical world, which will have flow-on effects for sustainability and environmental standards.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will have important roles to play in maintenance as well as with renovations and general construction, as they allow for a virtual preview of what can be achieved.
Smart technology will then enable us to understand more about our homes, allowing home owners, residents or property managers to identify when something needs maintenance or track the energy efficiency of that property.
These are interesting spaces where hardware and software come together to improve the way we live and the environmental footprint we create.
Are you living your customer’s experience?
Ultimately, all this technology will allow people to better manage their properties in a host of different ways.
But the question for the real estate industry looking to adopt new technology remains ‘How does it improve your customer’s experience?’
This perspective will become increasingly important over the years to come.
The real estate industry is and always has been about people. Technology should focus on humanising that experience and revolve around making it simple.
Which begs the question, are you living your customer’s experience? Have you seen the world through their eyes and viewed the implementation of PropTech through their lens?
In other words, is the technology you adopt making their customer journey easier and more intuitive? Is it simplifying their lives in an increasingly fast-paced and complex world?
Because make no mistake, the customer experience is key.
In real estate, there are two potential differentiators between one agency and the next: the service you provide or the fees you charge.
And in the current landscape, which arena would you rather be competing within?
You can find out more about how :Different is improving the customer journey for agencies and their customers here.