Proptech has become quite the buzzword. It’s disrupting the real-estate industry at a considerable pace. But what is proptech, really? What paradigm shifts have proptech companies already brought in the industry, and what can be expected from the future? Is it only relevant to new properties, or should owners of old buildings also care? What about tenants and other building users, can proptech make their lives any easier?
From automation to decarbonization; from sustainable construction materials to healthy indoor climates; the benefits of proptech are far-reaching. Here’s all you need to know:
What is Proptech?
Proptech can be defined as the application of smart technologies and approaches to the real-estate sector, making it easier for people to search, buy, sell, inhabit, and manage properties. From a software that automates ventilation and heating, to hardware that integrates with appliances and makes them smarter; from websites that intelligently connect people with relevant properties, to manufacturers that help significantly reduce a building’s carbon footprint; proptech can be anything.
Real-estate is the world’s largest, and by far the most important asset class. Commercial and residential properties from around the world are worth a whopping $228 trillion collectively. This is why we have been seeing rapid growth in the proptech industry for the last few years.
In 2013, the proptech deals worldwide amounted to approximately $475 million. By 2019, that number had grown by 1800%, to reach around $9 billion. What’s more is that investments into the proptech sector have also increased exponentially in recent years. See below:
What does Proptech have to offer?
Proptech is a very diverse field. Let’s have a look at some of the ways it’s revolutionizing the real-estate market:
Proptech companies from around the world have found innovative ways to automate buildings. From HVAC control to lighting; from security to appliance monitoring; virtually everything can be automated. Using cloud-based dashboards and smartphone applications, property owners and managers can control any of their building’s appliances without actually being there.
Proptech companies are playing a pivotal part in the journey to make our planet clean and green. Since the real-estate industry is the largest contributor to atmospheric CO2, these technological advancements couldn’t have come any sooner. There are companies that help buildings complete the renewable energy transition smoothly (like First Solar), and there are companies that retrofit old buildings to make them more energy-efficient (like ClevAir).
From creating interactive models using architectural blueprints, to estimating property measurements and materials from pictures; some proptech companies are changing the way we buy and construct properties.
Residential and commercial properties collectively consume approximately 40% of energy in the US. This is a main reason why an increasing number of proptech companies are focusing on creating efficient energy management systems (like ClevAir). By interconnecting all the appliances within a building, monitoring their energy usage, and applying modern data analytics, intelligent systems can find avenues of optimization. From HVACs to elevators and fire detection systems, even some of the most energy-intensive machines can be optimized.
By converting nearby restaurants into safe workspaces (see workchew), and housing different companies together under one roof, proptech companies are enabling small businesses to grow.
Digital Property Ecosystems:
In an attempt to digitally connect the entire real-estate market, many online property ecosystems have been launched. They allow businesses to advertise online, and buyers to quickly navigate to the most relevant properties.
Benefits of Proptech for your building
- Save energy: Property owners are helping the world fight the battle against climate change by incorporating intelligent systems into their buildings. Solutions (like ClevAir) can reprogram HVACs on the basis of subtle changes in occupancy and outdoor climate, resulting in energy savings, in the Gigawatt hours.
- Decrease maintenance costs: By automating most of the maintenance work like HVAC reconfiguring, turning lighting on/off, locking/securing the premises, and appliance monitoring, a considerable amount of savings can be made.
- Get real-time insights: Building management solutions (BMS) can integrate with existing systems and appliances to give you a holistic overview of happenings within your building, in real-time. From energy usage to forecasting; from occupancy to energy saving tips; modern BMS dashboards are rich with features.
- Automated fault detection: By aggregating and processing historical data, smart building software can predict when an appliance is about to malfunction. This not only helps in early-and-automated detection of faults, but in also significantly reducing downtime.
- Better market outlook: A technologically advanced building garners a strong competitive advantage. Tenants and customers are willing to pay higher rates for cool features and improved living standards that smart and green buildings offer.
- Manage multiple buildings using software: When you own or manage multiple buildings, it’s especially difficult to be present on-site. This is where modern proptech software can help. All you have to do is open your laptop or smartphone, visit your management dashboard, and check how each of your buildings is doing.
Leading Proptech companies from around the world
ParkHere is a parking space digitization solution that simplifies the complicated process of parking management in the real-estate sector. The application can detect if there are any free parking spaces, in real-time, reserve and cancel parking slots, and authenticate on entry and exit.
ClevAir is a plug-and-play solution that optimizes your building’s energy usage, automates its operations, revitalizes its climate, and reduces its costs. It can reprogram your HVAC on-the-fly if it notices any change in occupancy, outdoor climate, or weather forecast. You can find ClevAir on the Norwegian proptech map, under the smart properties category.
Opendoor has simplified the process of property selling. All you have to do to get a genuine offer for your home, is enter your address on their website. They will pay for it in cash, and then resell it to other customers. They also have a 90-day buy-back policy for people who weren’t satisfied with the purchase.
Oriient is an indoor-GPS application that that can help visitors, customers, or tenants navigate their way through a building. Users can search for people, products, or places within a building using the application, and find optimal routes to them in real-time.
Thingsdust combines sensors, a central network, and a dashboard to give you an accurate representation of office space usage in real-time. You can find available workspaces and meeting rooms from the dashboard, and check historical occupancy data.
Mowea’s wind energy based power generation system is demand-oriented, energy-efficient, and of course, sustainable. Their small wind turbines can be used on their own, or in a hybrid energy generation system, depending on the property needs.
Hover is making it easy for people to buy properties by creating 3D models of listings on their website. Instead of imagining the feeling via photos, people can get an immersive experience of the house, without actually going there. Additionally, Hover users can also use the 3D technology to visualize what an additional feature in the house might look like (added living room, extra washroom, bigger TV etc.).
Proptech companies have revolutionized the real-estate industry manifold. Not only have they made the lives of building users more convenient and easy, they have also reduced the operational costs, and high energy utilization of many buildings.