Advanced technologies are impacting many industries, with the growth of the proptech sector being fuelled by both the increased availability and widespread adoption of new technology. These, almost futuristic technologies, are transforming traditional processes and are already demonstrating their ability to completely disrupt the way we buy and sell. The future of buying property is anticipated to change significantly, with these technologies anticipated to drive new build property buying, almost exclusively to digital platforms, with only the smallest punctuation of human interaction, to calm the nerves of buyers here and there.
Let’s take a closer look at the technologies transforming the future of buying property:
The blockchain is a safe, secure, and most importantly, a non-manipulable ledger that records, tracks, and stores transactions. It is a technology that is already utilised heavily within the cryptocurrency world, removing the chance of human error and completely eradicating the risk of transaction manipulation and fraud. Blockchain, however, holds the potential to impact many more industries, including prop-tech. With blockchain, the infamous real estate paper trail can be removed, with exchange data held securely within the digitised system and available to those involved on both sides, to the developer selling the property and to the buyers. Legal teams may also be involved, although smart contracts created on the blockchain utilising standardised clauses and actions may eventually change the role of the conveyancer (although this may take a while!).
Automation is taking over many areas; from customer support and marketing to banking and even property buying. While the home buying process may appear complex it comprises many distinct linear actions, many of which are somewhat predictable. Where there’s predictability, there’s the possibility of automation and we can automate through AI. Artificial intelligence, basically, is a computer ‘learning’ what actions are required next because it has gathered numerous amounts of data and recognised patterns in those actions.
In terms of finding the right buyers, artificial intelligence ‘learns’ prospective buyer behaviours, gaining an understanding of who and what they are — and what they aren’t — looking for, making it easier to match the right properties with the right buyers. This is already happening in, for example, the form of visual search. AI can now study images of a house before going away and finding other similar houses. The theory is, if you liked that one, there’s a good chance you’ll like this one, too.
Augmented reality — the overlaying of additional ‘virtual’ information onto what’s in front of us — stands to completely change the world of new builds. Developers will be able to get a head start on marketing and attracting buyers, through the ability to show buyers the design and layout, as well as the planning and building practices, without the need to have everything physically ready to go. For property developers especially, the concept of augmented reality, or AR, is expected to bring massive cost savings. After all, pixels are cheaper than bricks. While augmented reality is considered to be somewhat futuristic, adoption and acceptance of this technology by home buyers is expected to rise rapidly, as more and more devices such as smartphones and tablets integrate AR into their design.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data and communicating with each other. So, like an excel spreadsheet, the idea is ‘if this, then this’; essentially, it is based on the notion that one action triggers another. For example, an IoT coffee machine, which is turned on when an alarm clock rings. IoT is already transforming the proptech sector, particularly when it comes to home buying. Here at Yourkeys, we have broken down the 60+ steps of the buying process and the process automatically moves forward as each distinct buying stage is completed, removing the need to chase those responsible for the next step and the numerous associated mistakes, essentially automating and massively accelerating the ‘sales progression’ process.