There are an almost countless number of ways that technology has turned the world on its head in the last decade or two. From the arrival of the internet to the sudden ubiquity of the smartphone; we’ve seen something that’s been nothing short of a revolution. So, it’s hardly surprising that the property world, all around the globe, is also facing one of its biggest shake-ups ever, thanks to the phenomenon that is proptech.
In its broadest sense, this is the use of technology to transform every aspect of the industry, from the construction of property to its marketing, and even shaping the way in which people live.
It encompasses so many facets of modern technology that it’s impossible to single out one in particular, as these include everything from using complex algorithms to accurately calculate and compare prices, to using blockchain technology for the fast and secure passing on of data. In absolutely practical terms, it also includes the use of augmented and virtual reality that can enable would-be purchasers to personally experience what an apartment or house, that’s yet to be built, will feel like to occupy.
In fact, of all of its features and attributes, the one that ties the vast majority of them together is that they have the customer experience at their heart. In the past, the focus may more have been elsewhere, so this represents a distinct shift in balance.
One of the more surprising things about proptech is that the big players in this emerging sector aren’t in Silicon Valley but, according to Crunchbase News, over on the East Coast in New York. The entrepreneurial nature of the industry means that many of the leading start-ups in the field have found that physical proximity, to the sources of the all-important venture capital, is justification enough for their decision about location. Naturally, they’re also in the heart of one the world’s most vibrant property markets, where their innovations such as smart searches for accommodation and energy efficiency measures can be put to good use.
The universal relevance of proptech can also be seen, thousands of miles away across the pond in Leeds, Yorkshire. where the City Council is already rolling it out to remotely monitor the physical condition of some of its social housing stock.
Meanwhile, in the UAE where new building has been a feature of the landscape for many years, it is also being used to great advantage. Dubai, along with outskirts including Ajman and Sharjah, is especially popular. Figures from Property Monitor show up to 1000 house sales and 2000 apartment sales going through a month in the area.
According to portal Bayut, property prices in Ajman range from around $30,000 for the most basic accommodation up to around $460,000, with rents at around $500 per month. But, whatever the price of the property, proptech is already enhancing owners’ and renters’ experience in a wide number of ways.
Furthermore, as more and more properties are built in the region, this will certainly become even more the case – a phenomenon that will surely also be repeated all over the world.