When you think of real estate, cutting-edge tech might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But real estate technology companies have been hard at work changing the way we live in, work in, and manage buildings. You might be surprised to learn how much property technology can help you, whether you own, manage, or develop buildings.
In this post, you’ll learn what real estate technology is, why it matters, and why you should adopt it. Finally, you’ll read about the top five real estate technology trends disrupting the industry and see why they’re useful.
This post covers:
- What is real estate technology?
- Why is real estate technology important?
- Real estate technology trends that you can adopt now
What is real estate technology?
Real estate technology, also known as proptech, is a collection of software platforms and hardware innovations that simplify how commercial and residential real estate professionals buy, sell, market, manage, and use buildings.
Until very recently, real estate depended primarily on analog methods of data storage and building management. Think paper records, or a doorman who’d be in charge of managing package deliveries.
Nowadays, with the rise of inventions like smartphones and the internet, the future of real estate looks a lot more efficient. Instead of spending hours searching different filing cabinets for a paper record, imagine saving a lot of time and energy by just pulling up whatever you need online!
What technology is used in real estate?
Many technological advances from other industries are finding new lives in real estate.
Some technology used in real estate includes:
- Robotics in property construction
- Artificial intelligence in real estate chatbots and data analytics
- Blockchain to store data
- Biometric and facial recognition sensors to manage access
- 5G WiFi that supports internet-connected devices and sensors across an entire property
How is technology changing the real estate industry?
Technology is changing the real estate industry in the same way it’s changing every industry: It’s reducing the amount of time that professionals have to spend on manual tasks, while opening up digital avenues of productivity and interconnectivity.
Real estate is in a special position to benefit from technology. Before a tenant can move into a building, consider all of the time, work, and agreements that multiple parties have to make. We’re talking development, construction, and even advertising — all before a property manager creates their own paper trails over the lifetime of a tenant’s stay in the building.
Historically, all of this was handled with painstaking paper transactions. Now, technologies like email communications and the internet are reducing the delays associated with face-to-face meetings and paperwork.
But that’s not all. New technologies — both software and hardware — now tackle issues specific to real estate, like property access control, maintenance management, and lease administration.
Watch how ButterflyMX works:
Why is real estate technology important?
Real estate technology is important because it consistently saves time, money, and resources for real estate professionals. And by reinvesting those resources into serving existing customers and finding new ones, industry professionals who adopt technology are leaving their analog competitors in the dust.
No matter what your role is in real estate, there’s a way for technology to simplify processes and make your job easier.
Here’s how technology and real estate impact:
Managing a property means keeping track of a dozen tiny things each day. Some important responsibilities range from managing deliveries to handing out keys, but you know that there’s always something else that can pop up.
Each of these tasks are jobs in and of themselves, whether your building hosts a few tenants or thousands.
But real estate technology can help you streamline everything. And when tenants notice that those technologies result in smoother operations and quicker response times, they’ll be happier with your building and more likely to renew their leases.
Property managers use real estate technology to:
- Control access for tenants and guests
- Manage package deliveries
- Manage handing out and collecting credentials, like keys or fobs
- Coordinate move-in and move-out dates
- Streamline the leasing process
- Acquire data that help run the property more efficiently
Security and access control installers
Today, security and access control system installers enjoy the benefits of wireless technology. Installing wired hardware, like old-school intercoms that require building-wide wiring, used to be a long and challenging process. And there’s always the risk of that wire degrading — which means that you’d need to tear down walls and ceilings only to rebuild them all over again.
Instead, smart technology installers can recommend hardware that uses Bluetooth, WiFi, or a cellular network. This lets you keep walls intact, cut down the time you spend installing systems, and keep rates reasonable. And faster, cheaper installations make for happy clients!
Real estate marketers
No matter their official job title, lots of real estate professionals must also market themselves or their properties. Whether you’re an installer trying to get more clients or a property manager filling vacant units, real estate technology offers you a lot of tools that can help you get your name out there.
For example, you have a lot of leeway to create individualized experiences for your customers. If you’re an installer, you might set up a website where customers can check out reviews and easily hire you. Or, property managers can invest in virtual staging software to present vacant units in the best light possible without spending thousands actually staging vacancies. Staged units have been shown to result in higher rental rates, so it’s a worthwhile marketing strategy.
While drumming up business is great, real estate professionals can’t spend all of their time marketing — they’ve got to attend to the particulars of their jobs. That’s another reason why technology in real estate marketing is so helpful. With the help of marketing-specific software like customer management platforms, anybody can generate more business while spending less time chasing down prospects!
Learn about virtual staging software and how it can help you:
Top 5 real estate technology trends that you can adopt now
Wondering about specific proptech industry trends you can adopt to join the next generation of real estate innovators? Here are a few of them.
The top 5 real estate technology trends to watch in 2022 are:
1. Internet of Things
IoT in real estate is an exciting recent development that’s already seeing a lot of use.
An IoT device is equipped with a tiny sensor that it uses to communicate and exchange data with other devices. And there are many uses for this rapid exchange of data.
From a keypad that’s connected to a building-wide access control system to underground sensors that can direct traffic for entire cities, the Internet of Things is already shaping the way real estate works.
Today, IoT allows property owners and residents to turn their smartphones into mobile video intercom systems. That means no matter where you are, you can see who is trying to get into the building. Plus, it’s easier and more convenient to welcome visitors, and it’s safer to control who has access to the building. Also, it allows property owners and managers to easily track who is entering the property to ensure tenants’ safety and security.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and the blockchains that power them, are taking the world by storm. But blockchains are good for more than just cryptocurrency. Mainstream adoption of next-generation data storage technology, like the blockchain, will make access to information easy and free.
A blockchain is a way to store data that nobody can change after it’s been uploaded. Countries and corporations are already using blockchains to store voting data, medical records, and track food processing. Real estate can make significant use of the blockchain, too.
For example, you can store a record like a rent payment or a contract on the blockchain. And you can rest easy in the knowledge that your records are immutable and always accessible.
3. Virtual reality
Virtual reality is a new way to experience places and things as if you were really there. So how does VR apply to real estate?
With the help of a headset, residents can tour your property even if they’re halfway around the world. As a result, you can expand your potential base of clients or tenants worldwide with the help of virtual reality.
A closely related trend is augmented reality, which overlays computer-generated imagery onto the physical world. This has a lot of utility for interior designers or residents who want to see what a piece of furniture will look like before going through all the trouble of moving in. And installers can use augmented reality to show their clients what new hardware might look like.
4. CRM software
CRM software, or customer relationship management software, is a tool that makes it easier to manage businesses where you have to juggle conversations with many people at once.
As you can imagine, thousands of real estate professionals depend on CRM software to make sure they don’t lose track of any of their prospects or customers.
Essentially, CRM software is a big database that you can use to collect and search for all the information you’d ever need about your clients. With CRM software at your fingertips, you can give each customer special attention without having to wade through countless emails or paper records.
This is also where artificial intelligence in real estate comes in. Artificial intelligence excels at analyzing data and making suggestions based on the trends that it’s noticed. And when you’re dealing with a lot of customers at high volumes, AI can use all of that data to make suggestions and inform your decision-making.
Many CRM platforms include AI analysis tools that let you spend less time managing customer data and more time attending to other matters.
5. Mobile access control
The best real estate technologies go hand-in-hand with advances in other fields. For example, the ubiquity of the smartphone in modern life unlocks new opportunities for real estate professionals and tenants alike.
People today use their phones to do anything from ordering food to making credit card payments. You can provide convenience and security simultaneously by installing an intercom or access control system that residents can unlock with a smartphone app.
Mobile-based access is convenient because your tenants can open their front door from anywhere. For example, the ButterflyMX app offers an intuitive swipe-to-open feature that’s opened millions of doors. Say goodbye to the days of residents missing packages because they’re not home!
And that’s not the only feature that smartphone-based property access can offer residents or staff. The best mobile systems let residents issue multi-use digital access codes or one-time Delivery Passes, making access simpler for every type of guest. Meanwhile, staff can easily check an audit trail of all door releases to maintain security on your property.
Smartphone-powered access experiences attract modern residents. And now that younger generations raised on the internet are entering the rental market, you can be sure that it’s a solid investment.
- To sum up, real estate technology solutions can help you simplify inefficient processes and streamline your job, no matter what sector of the industry you work in.
- Managers, developers, owners, marketers, and installers can all use real estate technology to their benefit.
- The top five real estate technology trends are the Internet of Things, blockchain, virtual reality, CRM software, and mobile access control.