What Is Proptech And How Is It Impacting Real Estate?
What is proptech?
Remember the time of endless phone calls, the yellow pages and leaflets? That was how the property market got its message out. There was no scrolling through pretty pictures of white stucco mansions on the internet or opening an app to call a plumber. Simple tasks took longer and cost more money.
Now, you can find your dream home with the click of a button or simply text a property maintenance company to service the boiler. Proptech has propelled this change and redefined how we operate in the property market.
As early as 2000, bright new start-ups came to the market delivering eager solutions. Companies like Zoopla and Rightmove – now household names – were some of the first to make shopping for houses something you could do from the comfort of your sofa.
In the past decade, there has been an explosion of innovation and not just from estate agents. Property management companies, gas providers, interior designers and more are looking at ways customers can get the most out of proptech to suit the ever-increasing demand for easier and hassle-free solutions.
However, the KPMG Global PropTech Survey 2019 showed that the property market was slow to change. While it is increasing year on year, only just over half of the survey respondents had a digital strategy in place. As leaders in the proptech industry, we at Bold & Reeves want to lead the charge in this digital revolution.
How is proptech changing the property market?
For anyone that bought or decorated a house during lockdown, you might have already experienced the multiple ways proptech is making our lives easier. From helping you to choose furniture to letting you walk round a virtual design of your new home, proptech innovations are endless.
CGI renderings have allowed property developers and hotels to really push creativity and also save on costs. As designers and architects work on the planning stages of projects during the pandemic, 3D architectural and visualisation helps to create a detailed picture. It also provides peace-of-mind to a client and helps them see the vision for the project. Photo-realistic 3D renders also help to add value and can be a great tool for marketing and engagement.
Take Ademchic, for example, they are a team made of designers, CGI artists and marketing experts who use CGI imaging and proptech to help property developers visualise their goals. They pride themselves on “adding value well in excess of our fees. Our clients consistently exit their projects sooner, achieve record sales prices, save on internal fitout and add value to their floor plans.”
Augmented and virtual reality
Augmented and virtual reality (VR) take this a step further. Instead of looking at a 3D design, you step into it. With the help of leading electronics companies like Oculus and HTC, the use of VR in the property industry is becoming much more common. Rather than dashing around London to see properties, you can stay at home and use VR.
With a VR headset, you can move around a house and get a feel for how the space flows. You’ll also get a chance to spot any decorative details or issues that may be missed on a photograph. It’s used for interiors brands too. The paint company Dulux has an AR smartphone app that allows you to change the colour of your walls, and Ikea has created an app to let you place items of furniture in your homes before you purchase.
Property management software
One key area where proptech is transforming real estate is through property management. Proptech is used for ease, inclusion, accountability and record-keeping – in short, it make’s life easier.
At Bold & Reeves, our clients have access to a property logbook on desktop and app 24/7 in order to provide complete transparency as to who did what maintenance task, when and for how much, when they were paid, and what cost savings have been made.
Clients can gain detailed insights into scheduled and reactionary maintenance tasks, as well as all the documentation, from invoices to up-to-date records of all electrical assets in a property. Clients can also book a service and report a problem to the team 24 hours a day and also see any outstanding balances. We work by paying all the invoices on behalf of a client so that they only have to pay us one monthly bill. This offers complete transparency, value for money and enables discounted rates.
Through the use of all this proptech, we are able to assimilate the information into a detailed cost analysis, including monthly and annual breakdowns of the exact percentage of work related to reactive and planned maintenance, from air conditioning to plumbing. Each month, we will review these figures to ensure we are on track, and if there are any anomalies in costing and price, we will provide a breakdown of exactly what those costs are and why they were submitted. This also helps us to improve on the service and ensure any costs incurred are done so as preventative measures to save money in the future.
Also included in the Bold & Reeves logbook is a section on remote monitoring, a key part of our proptech solutions. We work with international AI and sensor specialists Infogrid and Shepherd to deliver the ultimate remote monitoring solutions for a property. As standard, we install sensors on boilers to monitor the temperature and flow. If the temperature drops off or the flow spikes, we will be notified and can support the problem immediately, sometimes even before a client knows there is anything wrong.
This allows us to provide a unique service for international clients who may be absent from their properties for long periods of time, as well as those clients who live in their properties all year round.
Lastly, but by no means least, with these proptech innovations, many naturally lead on to Greentech. Think of the Bold & Reeves remote monitoring solutions for example. They allow you to check on water flow, energy and heating, so you can tone it down if you are using too much or spot leaks earlier on.
Proptech is revolutionising how we live, making property maintenance and management more cost efficient, better for the environment and completely hassle-free. At Bold & Reeves, we are proud to spearhead this movement into the future with our unparalleled property maintenance solutions.