‘The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of proptech’
The pandemic has speeded up the adoption of proptech solutions, experts agreed at the Innovation, Data & Proptech briefing, which was held online at REALX.Global, the online trade fair organised by Real Asset Media.
‘Covid-19 has accelerated the transformation of real estate and the investment in technology and innovation,’ said Menno Lammers, Initiator & Chief Proptech Officer, Proptech NL. ‘Many companies that were undercapitalised and not investing enough in tech solutions realised they could no delay any more’.
Working from home is the most obvious example of the sudden changes the pandemic has brought about, but they have affected every part of the market, including residential.
‘The current circumstances are leading to an acceleration in the use of technology,’ said Neal Gemassmer, Vice President International, Yardi Systems. ‘In resi technology allows you to identify an area, a building, an apartment you like, view it online, book it, sign the contract and receive a digital key, without meeting anyone in person during the entire frictionless process’.
The lockdown measures, travel restrictions and social distancing requirements imposed by the pandemic have made these tech solutions all the more invaluable.
‘The lockdown made online visits and 360-degrees viewings crucial and it really brought home the need for these tech solutions,’ said Clemens Paschke, CEO EverEstate. ‘We fully digitalise the sales process already, but we believe that tech and data can change the whole ecosystem and the way we work together’.
Technology is also proving to be a great leveller because of its accessibility.
‘Proptech is meant to create a level playing field, it makes everything more efficient and lowers operating costs, as it not expensive to run an app,’ said Nikki Greenberg, Founder & CEO, Future of Real Estate. ‘It widens the reach beyond New York or London and contributes to the democratisation of the industry’.
The difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have brought fintech to the fore.
‘Fintech has become crucial and is a key area of growth’, said Anthony Shayle, CIO, RElendex.
Fintech solutions have played a crucial role in keeping the market open and transactions happening in the last few months in Germany, especially during lockdown, said Paschke.
The German experience has been replicated across Europe, and technology has brought transparency to the market as well.
‘There’s a lot more transparency, which all market participants benefit from,’ Paschke said. ‘Property developers can understand what the consumers want, while digitalising brokerage connects finance providers and everyone. It’s no longer I win, you lose but it’s about cooperation and everyone winning’.