When we look at the advances prop tech has made in different areas of what used to be a fairly traditional real estate market, we are seeing a tremendous impact on the way we build, rent or buy property. From rental agreements to finding a suitable company to haul your stuff, there are digital solutions popping up in almost every sector. Three years ago, prop tech was starting to make a name for itself and gave us a little taste of what was to come.
Companies like WeWork and Compass, who both received enormous funding, paved the way for prop tech with its goal clearly set out to vastly improve the property industry in any way shape or form. The innovation didn’t stop there and with it emerged yet more prop tech subdivisions such as Contech, the technology used to innovate the way we plan, design, and build structures, as well as the manufacture and installation of their components.
Followed by Fintech, a technology crossover, and typically referring to companies or services that use technology to provide financial services to businesses or consumers. One could argue all these belong under the prop tech hat and are just further definitions of the individual sectors that make a whole.
Let’s look at the way companies like Opendoor have changed the way people sell their homes. Imagine you are planning to sell your house. Back in the day you probably needed a broker to sell it for you and find you a new home to buy. Then, you needed to find a loan in order to finance your investment let alone home insurance. All in all, this could be considered a stressful undertaking. Now imagine a company that does all this for you including finding a company to haul your stuff to the new place.
It’s this kind of thinking that pretty much defines what prop tech aims to achieve. How can we improve existing procedures and processes in real estate and make every bodies life easier?
Technology has come a long way and through cloud-based applications, real-time data, and intelligent information architecture, many of these prop tech start-ups are able to dive into a segment of a process such as letting, depositing or selling a property and totally digitize and revamp it. When we look at Reposit, a company from the UK, we see exactly how this works. Reposit is a simple alternative to handling a traditional tenancy deposit. They handle the depositing process from start to finish allowing properties to have lower void periods as the property is more affordable and tenants can move quickly rather than waiting to receive their previous deposit back.
On the office rental side of things, what started with simple co-working, has now become a real movement that aims to change the way people work. Co-working offices are now in every major city further manifesting the idea that traditional office rentals are outdated and that there are perhaps more efficient ways for people and companies to work together. The market reflected this and companies like WeWork, who received billions in funding making it one of the first prop tech unicorns let alone the mismanagement of funds that led to its near demise.
But it doesn’t stop there, HomeBeat a prop tech company from Berlin has found a brilliant way to address the problem of transparency and communication within a property consisting of multiple parties. It connects tenants via an app and completely digitizes the neighbourhood from finding a babysitter to informing the letting agency about a leak.
The reason the prop tech market has literally exploded is largely due to increased funding, tons of potential for new innovation, cloud-based applications and the proliferation of mobile. These 4 factors have created the perfect recipe for innovation to thrive with more and more start-ups looking for opportunities to make an impact and become part of a promising industry and secure a piece of the pie. Companies like Homelink or SMS Assist have managed to secure investments over a billion dollars, helping make prop tech a lucrative marketplace for upcoming companies who see clear potential in a rapidly growing market, where there is still much room for improvement.
The sheer innovation we have recently seen in the property market is just at the beginning and there is a lot more to come. Robert Courteau, CEO from the Altus Group beliefs that the innovation we have seen so far in the industry is just scratching the surface. He says:” What you are seeing is the ability to really get full visibility of your business as we have in other enterprises.
Technology gives you a competitive advantage to insight.” The real shake up is already being felt and technology is starting to get rid of what some perceive to be mundane jobs. Take Giraffe 360 for example. Their product allows for professional property pictures to be taken by one device making the job of the property photographer obsolete. Entire estate agencies are being digitised, from augmented realities; where buyers walk into a building and get all the information needed in order to find a buyer for their current home. As a result, we will see a massive revamp in the property market.
Let’s look at some of the upcoming players in 2020:
DABBEL, winner of 2019 prop tech innovation award 2019 disrupts the long as well as expensive implementation and operation of the classic Building Automation Systems. They aim to democratise green buildings. Their mission is to develop the most scalable, cost-efficient and sustainable Building Automation Technologies.
Cloud kitchens is a Los Angeles-based start-up that offers commercial kitchens optimized for delivery and promising software to help delivery restaurants save costs, work more efficiently and lower upfront costs.
This Munich based start-up offers smart thermostats and apps. In the future, every home will be intelligently heated and cooled. tado ° offers climate control solutions and services for every home.
4. The Qoob
The “Tinder for property”, on The Quoob a swipe allows you to move through homes on sale in the same way as people peruse potential love matches.
Homerez allows owners to list their vacation rental properties on over 20 websites via its app. Founded in 2014, the company produces advertisings in five different languages and broadcasts them on rental platforms like HomeAway, Booking.com, and Airbnb. They also offer different services to landlords, including booking management, customer calls, and e-mail communication and contract signing.
Updater is your partner for a simple and relaxed move. They integrate with thousands of apartment communities, real estate agents, and moving companies to streamline the moving experience for their clients.
Based in Berlin and Munich, they offer cloud-based cost controlling for real estate, risk management and quantity surveying of large construction projects enabling project managers to effectively manage multiple project portfolios in real time.
Based in Denmark, Brickshare allows you to invest in real estate with little money. They open up the real estate market to everyone and connect the best of both worlds. Each month, they launch 1-2 new investment projects that give you a unique opportunity to build a diversified property portfolio. This means you can distribute your investments in multiple projects and spread your funds into different real estate funds.
HomeBeat brings together tenants in rented properties or communal living spaces. It is a platform to bring full transparency, create a vibrant community and a better run property.
Spotahome is helping you find a new home abroad and works in a similar way to existing online platforms that specialize in travel or other short-term stays. The basic difference is that they focus on finding a home for at least 30 days, usually several months. Their extensive selection of ads for apartments, studios, 1-room apartments, shared rooms or student residences, allows you to make the booking 100% online.