An Unforeseen Technological Disruption - Pandemic and Real Estate

8th September 2021

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2020 – the year of the coronavirus pandemic has forced such drastic technological disruptions in real estate culture, we can confidently say that the industry is not looking back.

All the way from halted construction activities, curbs and restrictions on sites, to a mass exodus of migrant workers and negligible enquiries from buyers – it seems like real estate did hit rock bottom, except it didn’t.

The industry was rescued by the thing that the entire world banked on for almost everything – technology. Property technology or “proptech” has boomed unexpectedly in the last 18 months and we’ve seen a steep growth in the number of real estate tech startups across the world.

Proptech has also become a center of attraction for angels owing to the growing relevance. Approximately, it has a total funding of $24 billion in more than 700 companies.

The industry was moving in the onward direction of digitization even before the pandemic. In March of 2018, experts had expected real estate market to be worth $4,263.7 billion the year 2025. And the contribution of technological advancement had a lot to do with this projection.

But earlier, it was restricted to just video conferencing, video visits, and other such activities. Now, real estate startups have really taken off, they’re leveraging technology like AI, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Big Data and Virtual and Augmented Reality, too!

Let’s deep-dive into how these technologies are influencing the world of pandemic and real estate.


Reimagining Experiences with Virtual Reality


AR and VR are bringing properties across the world at your fingertips! People can get virtual tours of almost any property they are interested in, and with instructions along the way, the process is much easier to handle for property managers as well. According to the National Association of Realtors 46% people find virtual tours extremely helpful in their decision-making process.


AR as an industry is growing at CAGR of 43.8% (2021-2028) and has a huge impact on an industry where pre-sales experiences matter more than anything. For instance, XYZ Reality is a very successful real estate tech startup which is essentially a cloud-based AR solution for construction professionals with 3D model viewing, 3D site-coordination, and error management.

AR and VR can allow users to actualize the architecture before it’s even built. Users can further customize their properties, optimize interiors and get a clear picture of what it’s all going to look like.


Reducing Repeatability with Artificial Intelligence


Alike any other industry in today’s day and age, AI has pierced through real estate.


A PWC report suggested that AI is widely being used by businesses to eliminate repetitive tasks, for instance - scheduling (79%), paperwork (82%), and timesheets (78%) – all of which are heavily involved in real estate.


There are many real estate startups leveraging the power of AI in different ways. There are mobile apps that can predict rate fluctuations with 90% accuracy. There are apps that can entirely customize a user’s purchase journey based on basic inputs. Chatbots have also seen a spike as the industry is becoming more convenience-oriented.


Modernizing paperwork with Blockchain


One of the main uses of Blockchain in real estate is to streamline paperwork better. Traditionally, property paperwork is offline and manual, and is often considered extremely complex and tedious because multiple stakeholders are involved. Real estate tech startups are solving this problem with Blockchain-powered property management systems which use smart contracts and tokenize assets.

Another challenge the industry faces is lack of transparency. With Blockchain, real estate businesses can switch to verified and encrypted transactions that can allow fairness and accountability in a popularly troublesome industry.


Enabling Opportunities with Big Data


Big data and data analysis are helping real estate investors make more informed decisions. They use past data and real-time incoming information to give geographically distinct insights into pricing, patterns, trends, value, and projected fluctuations.

These emerging real estate tech startups like Zillow and Trulia are really helping investors mitigate the risk and create better, more ripe strategies. Novice investors looking to expand their portfolio are being heavily attracted to the industry because of the same.


Final Word


Pandemic and real estate have come together to build some breakthroughs that the world could never even imagine a couple years ago. With 2000+ companies already working on newest consumer experiences and automation of property management with over $129 billion worth funds raised, the future is shining bright for proptech.

It shall be very interesting to what’s in the store a few months from now. Needless to say, the real estate revolution has begun.


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