Proptech is the shorthand term for property technology. The term refers to inventions in technology which are created for the property industry. These inventions are produced to make processes within the property industry more efficient and to help people within the trade such as landlords, letting agents and tenants.
Proptech is doing extremely well with new innovations and start-ups coming along on a consistent basis. Technology for the property sector first began with the rise of the digital age. Areas within the property industry that needed improvement were identified and technological products were created to address these sections.
One of the first inventions in Proptech was property search websites. These websites (e.g. Rightmove and Zoopla) allow users to search for their ideal property from the comfort of their own home. Users can specify area, price, number of rooms etc. This makes the process of finding properties much quicker for buyers and renters.
Other types of Proptech include:
• Virtual Property Tours
• Property management software
• Apps for landlords – providing assistance with inventory taking, rent, legislation etc
• Apps for tenants – solving issues such as bill sharing/payments
These innovations provide great advancements for the property sector. Below are two case studies which reveal just how Proptech is transforming the industry.
Airbnb was created in 2008 and has now become a recognised name around the world. The website and app provide an online marketplace where users can rent out their entire home or spare rooms to guests.
Airbnb is beneficial to hosts as they can earn extra money from renting out their spare rooms, and listing/renting rooms can all be done online. Guests benefit from having a large range of properties to choose from, which are often cheaper than hotels.
Airbnb has proven tremendously popular as it enables anyone to rent out their home. It now has around 150 million users.
Purplebricks is an online letting agent which was founded in 2012. The selling point of this company is that they aim to reduce the costs of renting or selling a home, compared to high street agents.
Users can pay a lower price as Purplebricks have eradicated costs associated with traditional letting agents such as offices and a range of cars. It is great for sellers and landlords who would prefer to conduct most of their activity online.
Purplebricks offers an alternative to high street agents, lower costs, and provides a straightforward process for renting and selling homes.
As you can see Proptech is incredibly valuable in many areas of the property industry and can help landlords, tenants, sellers and buyers to name a few. New products are being released each year meaning Proptech will continue to revolutionise the industry.