Property Technology (or PropTech) is the general name for technology focused on the property industry. Similar to FinTech, which concentrates on the financial world, PropTech is designed with the goal in mind to simplify an industry that is traditionally run on tedious manual processes, with a lot of paperwork involved.
What are some key trends in Property Technology?
The property landscape is ripe for an overhaul when it comes to digitizing its traditional processes, and it’s already come a long way.
Imagine you are a tenant in 1990, how would you have located a suitable property? How many copies of the weekend paper would you need to go through, compared to being able to find all the properties in your preferred area in a single website?
Remember the yellow pages? This was a bible for most landlords when looking for a tradie, but you could easily waste hours ringing around just trying to find one who would be able to service your property at the time you needed them, with no guidance on whether they were properly qualified or reputable to complete the job. Not only have these directories gone digital, but most of them also carry a rating system to help you filter through your options before getting in touch.
The action of finding a suitable property or tradesperson may have become much simpler, there are still many parts that remain cumbersome and annoying for most people later in the process.
Here are some key trends in PropTech that will likely change your property journey in the near future:
Big data is a term you may have heard thrown around a lot in the media when it comes to technology trends, and there can be no doubt that this applies to the PropTech industry as well.
Being able to regularly access innovative market insights will enable property owners and agents to make decisions and efficiently scale their portfolios by reacting quickly to trends.
Artificial Intelligence will also help users effortlessly access and filter through mountains of data to find insights that are directly relevant to their investment strategy.
Machine learning, where a digital tool learns your requirements over time, will be a game-changer in this area.
For example, if you are a property manager looking to grow your client base in a new location, the website or app that you use regularly will quickly adapt and provide you with new search results relevant to your new area, without you having to manually go through and change all your settings.
These tools will take this a step further by making suggestions of other locations that may have similar clients to the area you are researching, that you would not have otherwise considered, as well as providing a snapshot of critical information about the demographics of the area or projected growth potential.
The potential of these applications to drive your strategies as a business owner, investor or simply a tenant looking for the perfect property is pretty exciting and will help take a lot of the guesswork out of your decision making.
Advertising and Networking
Advertising an available property online is now the norm, but word of mouth is still one of the best ways to get good business, and digital networks have just taken this to the next level.
Social media networks have given us access and exposure to large audiences in a way that is far more efficient than what we could achieve outside of these platforms.
These networking sites work both ways - they provide a digital directory of people with the skills that you are looking for, whether you are looking for a qualified tradesperson or a property manager with a great online rating and visible work history. You may even be able to instantly contact a referee for more details before engaging a contractor.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for qualified leads, these platforms can allow you easily search for jobs or projects that agents or property owners have posted, and filter based on your location and other requirements.
Instarent facilitates all sides of the equation by connecting landlords, agents, and tradespeople in a single platform, allowing you to list properties and jobs, as well as building an online profile to advertise your skills as a tradesperson or agent.
Just as improvement in digital networks allows all stakeholders in property to find each other and connect, facilitating transparent and seamless communication between parties is another way that PropTech will assist those relationships to develop and solidify.
Single platforms that allow multiple modes of communication will help to provide an intuitive experience for all. Most of the developed world has transitioned beyond traditional emails and phone calls, with instant messaging, video calls and group chat becoming normal not only in your personal but your professional life as well.
An example may be a tenant contacting their property agent or landlord about a repair.
The notification may start with a video call with both the agent and the tradesperson at the same time, allowing the tenant to visually show all the parties the item that needs to be fixed in real-time.
In the same call, the tradesperson may be to provide a verbal estimate of the cost and be able to share their calendar with the others to quickly agree on an appointment time. The agent may also be able to share the exact location of the property via a map application so that the tradesperson can easily locate it.
Instead of spending hours sending emails or making phone calls back in forth, this issue could be resolved in a few minutes with the right technology platform on hand.
Transactions and Record-keeping
The property industry is notorious for being bogged down in paperwork and manual process, and digital automation is a huge step in the right direction for everyone involved.
Much like FinTech has affected the finance industry, PropTech makes one of it’s most obvious impacts in it’s handling of mundane everyday transactions and record keeping.
Sending and receiving payments on time is the lifeblood of every business, as well as an individual’s finances. A big focus area of PropTech is simplifying and speeding up how you are paid, whether you are a landlord, agent or tradesperson, by automatically doing the background work like sending invoices, and payment reminders and notifications.
Accurate book-keeping of these transactions is critical as well, especially around tax time. A great digital platform will provide ample online storage, and allow you to create statements and invoices on-demand, as well as reporting in cross-compatible files types such as CSV files that you can easily share with your accountant.
Being able to easily share, sign and store rental agreements is a great convenience, but it does open up questions around maintaining privacy and security. This is a major focus area for the PropTech industry, and the use of authentication software and 24/7 support teams will be critical elements for any integrated property technology to assist its users.
How does Instarent work as a PropTech Solution?
The Instarent platform offers many of the benefits I have mentioned above about PropTech, and how it can make major improvements to your property experience.
- A vast and reliable network of tenants, landlords, agents, and qualified tradespeople
- Allows easy and transparent communication between all stakeholders
- A lead generation platform - from listing properties, tenant profiles, to repair and maintenance projects
- Seamlessly manages everyday transactions and paperwork - from collecting rental payments, sending reminders and invoices, storing and sharing tenancy agreements and generating financial reports.
- Allows investors, property owners, and agents to efficiently scale up their portfolios by using Instarent as an artificial intelligence partner that provides relevant and actionable insights.