The latest in technology innovation and lessons learnt from extensive market research and project experience
What are the categories of PropTech?
We have classified PropTech into categories according to how it has evolved through the years:
Each stage represents significant advancement in innovation and technology within the real estate industry and encompasses the wave of PropTech innovations that have emerged during that phase:
PropTech 1.0 (Early 2000s)
PropTech focused on creating digital marketplaces for buying, selling, and renting property. Examples include:
Online Property Listings:
Websites that enable real estate professionals to list properties for sale/rent, and buyers/renters to find available properties online.
Virtual Property Tours:
Property tours that enable buyers / renters to view properties virtually and remotely.
Automated Property Valuations:
Tools that utilise algorithms to analyse property data and provide an estimated value of a property.
Real Estate Marketplaces:
Platforms that allow buyers and sellers to connect directly, to reduce middleman and transaction costs.
Property Management Software:
Early versions were developed during this era, to allow property managers to automate tasks such as rent collection and maintenance requests.
PropTech 2.0 (From 2010)
PropTech focused on optimising building functions and property management, enhancing user experience and providing more accurate data. Examples include:
Mobile applications that are created to enhance tenant/visitor experiences as it can provide users with access to information, loyalty programme, amenities and building services (including fault reporting, control of systems etc). These applications continue to evolve with new features and functionalities being added regularly.
Immersive Technology (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality):
Augmented Reality (AR) technologies delivers life-like visual illusions by overlaying a layer of digital content on the user's real world in real-time.
Virtual Reality (VR) technologies enable users to fully immerse in a virtual environment that is created through computer-generated simulation.
Immersive PropTech allow users to visualise, interact and bolster a user's experience of a property. It can be used in the design and planning phrases of a property development project by architects and interior designers, as well as developers and salespersons to enhance the property purchase process.
Digital Signage and Wayfinding
Digital signage are digital displays that can provide real-time information, directions and other services to people within the spaces, including tenant, occupants and visitors.
Examples include interactive kiosks and touchscreens to display real-time information about building events and services, provide directions to specific locations and personalised recommendations based on user data.
Valued at US$17.7 billion in 2022, the Global Digital Signage is expected to grow with a CAGR of 11.2% from 2023 to 2026 (MarketsAndMarkets).
Indoor Mapping and Location-based Services
Indoor mapping refers to the creation of digital maps to navigate and locate specific points of interest within indoor environments. It is often combined with location-based services to provide users with location-based information and personalised recommendations based on their current location.
Examples include improved wayfinding to specific locations, tenants/occupants location tracking, access and personalised recommendations to services such as smart parking.
While there is some overlap between the Digital Signages and Wayfinding and Indoor Mapping and Location-based Services, the former is primarily focused on providing information and services to people within a property while the latter is focused on improving indoor navigation and wayfinding.
Internet of Things (IoT) / Smart Building Technology:
Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnected network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings, and other objects that are embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity to exchange data and information with each other and with other systems over the internet.
IoT is usually integrated with the building management system (BMS) to gain greater control and insights about the building's operations so stakeholders can make data-driven decisions to improve building efficiency, reduce costs and bring about an enhanced tenant/user satisfaction.
IoT sensors that can collect data, monitor and adjust temperature, lighting, occupancy, humidity, air quality, water pressure levels to ensure optimal comfort for tenants and efficient distribution of energy in the building
Smart thermostats and lighting systems that can be automatically adjusted based on occupancy and daylight, reducing energy consumption and saving costs
Smart locks, security and motion sensors for remote security monitoring and access control
Security cameras equipped with facial recognition technology to enhance building security and monitor access control
Smart parking for real-time information on available parking spaces, making it easier for drivers to find and reserve parking lots
Water leak sensors that can detect water leaks and alert property managers to potential water damage
Virtual assistant devices with voice and speech recognition sensors that can communicate with people and control other smart devices within a space
According to a MarketsAndMarkets Report, the Global Smart Building market is expected to grow from $7.4 billion in 2020 to $24.7 billion by 2026.
Big Data Analytics:
Big Data Analytics PropTech are closely related to IoT PropTech as they aggregate and analyse real-time data collected from devices and BMS to provide insights on building operations.
Used in energy management and sustainability tools to identify energy waste and inefficiencies in everything - from fire safety, utilities, telecommunications, electrical and HVAC systems - and assist property managers to perform preventive maintenance, make targeted improvements and reduce energy costs.
Analyse data on occupancy patterns to optimise space utilisation and identify opportunities for leasing or re-purposing of under-utilised spaces.
Gather insights on footfall, occupancy patterns and how tenants are using different spaces within a building to identify areas for improvement to better meet the needs of tenants.
By leveraging the power of big data, real estate companies can optimise building operations, unlock new efficiencies and opportunities in the built environment.
PropTech 3.0 (Current and ongoing)
PropTech to automate and optimise various aspects of the real estate industry, such as construction, property development, management, with a focus on sustainability to reduce carbon emissions and promote green building practices. Examples include:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Machine Learning (ML)
Other IoT Emerging Technologies
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines and computer systems to perform tasks that would typically require human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning and problem-solving.
AI requires a foundation of specialised hardware and software for training machine learning algorithms and large amounts of datasets. It can be used to automate routine tasks, analyse data, provide insights and predictions to support decision-making. More commonly-known AI technologies / applications include machine learning, natural language processing, generative AI, speech recognition, computer vision and robotics, etc.
Chatbots and virtual assistants that use natural language processing and machine learning to streamline communication, quickly respond to buyer/tenant inquiries and resolve maintenance issues.
Predictive analytics software that uses AI algorithms to forecast real estate market trends and identify potential investment opportunities
Smart building and energy management systems that use machine learning to optimise energy usage, reducing costs and improving sustainability
Real-time monitoring systems that use AI to detect anomalies or potential hazards in building operations
Property management software that uses AI to automate tasks such as maintenance requests, rent collection and lease renewals
Generative AI can analyse property listings and provide personalised recommendations for buyers/renters based on their preferences, search history etc. It can also analyse architectural blueprints, interior design styles to create realistic 3D property models, interior design options for potential developers, buyers / renters
Machine Learning (ML)
A subfield of AI, Machine Learning (ML) involves the use statistical techniques to analyse and identify patterns in large datasets to train computer algorithms to make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed.
Property valuation software that uses ML to analyse property data and provide accurate valuations
Recommendation engines that use ML to provide personalised property recommendations to potential buyers or rental
Smart devices that use ML to learn user preferences and adjust temperature, lighting, and other settings accordingly.
Automated lease abstraction software that uses ML to extract key terms and data from lease agreements and other legal documents.
Predictive maintenance software that uses ML to identify potential maintenance issues before they become major problems, reducing downtime and repair costs
Blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that enables secure and transparent transactions without the need for intermediaries. In the context of Proptech, blockchain can be used to manage property ownership, streamline transactions, and ensure data security and is used to improve transparency, efficiency and security.
Real Estate Tokenisation:
Provide fractional ownership of a Real Estate asset through creation of digital tokens that represent the ownership
Smart Contracts for Automated Property Transactions:
Create self-executing agreements that automatically execute when certain conditions are met, thereby reducing the time and cost of buying and selling real estate
Title Management / Registries:
Create a secure, tamper-proof and transparent system for managing property titles
Create centralised, property management platforms that provide real-time property data, enabling property managers to manage properties more efficiently and streamline communication between stakeholders
Real Estate Crowdfunding:
Provide a decentralised crowdfunding platform to provide fractional ownership of a Real Estate asset, where investors can pool their resources and invest in real estate assets
Contactless / Touchless IoT Technology
Contactless Technology uses IoT sensors and devices to automate various building functions and reduce human contact, thereby reducing the spread of germs, enhancing occupant safety and improving customer experiences.
It gained significant importance in real estate industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic as it allows people to interact with the property without physical contact. Examples include:
Touchless access control systems
Touchless payment systems
Drones are also unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can offer the following:
Quick and efficient capturing of data (including multi-perspective, high-resolution aerial images and videos) of buildings / properties for the creation of detailed 3D models for architectural visualisation, urban planning, property management and real estate marketing
Access to large areas, hard-to-reach or hazardous areas for site inspections, monitoring of construction sites and other environmental metrics, execution of maintenance and repair tasks thereby improving safety and reducing costs for property managers
It is important to note that there are also regulatory considerations to take into account when using drones, particularly around privacy and safety. As such, it is important to work with experienced and licensed drone operators when incorporating drones into your PropTech strategy.
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