Sravan Kumar
Sr. Digital Marketing Officer
Fontana Real Estate

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin

Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives more than ever and it is only a matter of time before traditional industries like the real estate market get affected. Regardless of the industry, digital transformation continues to alter the economies and markets alike; forcing businesses to reinvent themselves to be relevant.

While one might have noticed already the influence and impact of digitalization in sectors like media, telecom, and others. The change started during the pandemic in the real estate sector and it is accelerated as most businesses realize the value of proptech and its profound benefits.

What is PropTech?
As Forbes defines it, proptech is “businesses using technology to disrupt and improve the way we buy, rent, sell, design, construct, and manage residential and commercial property.” In simpler words, it is the use of technology in real estate.

Why PropTech?
Housing, whether renting or buying, is the most important item of expenditure for people and one of their central concerns. People today have a constant desire to move into better, more updated spaces that include the latest technology, or what is now termed as the “digital occupant experience.”

This ‘Digital Occupant Experience’ is not just limited to the Internet of Things(IoT) home devices ie. control of lights, temperature or apartment access from their mobile phones or some other digital channel, but creating an experience across a range of functions including property listing, rental services, proposals, mortgage applications, contracts, virtual/augmented reality, and property management. Overall today’s customer wants a seamless experience across each touchpoint.

Leveraging PropTech capabilities

Virtual Reality – VR walk-throughs are slowly taking over the real estate market, and enabling real estate agents to showcase properties that aren’t built or are under construction, which was earlier done through brochures with rendered images and then left to customers’ imagination. While with VR tech, customers can see the look and feel of the properties virtually and take decisions faster.

Contract Automation Software – One of the cumbersome processes from a customer’s point of view is the contract process. With document and contract automation software, the process can be made seamless and save all important documents in the cloud, avoiding piles of paper.

Smart access control – Prop technology solutions like touchless access control systems, contactless visitor management, smart locks, and cloud-based security systems, are reducing in-person interactions and at the same time enabling the customer to manage things over a digital device.

Smart home device technology – This technology helps predict the behaviour of equipment, lift system, air conditioning, and chiller systems as per current use and helps data-driven maintenance decisions. Data-driven decisions- Fragmented data is ineffective, but PropTech in real estate is changing the dynamics, paving the path for real-time data that can be used for making important decisions.

Therefore rather than considering Proptech as a threat, the industry needs to consider the impact that technology is likely to bring and adopt digital transformation to remain relevant and attractive to the customers. As the real estate environment evolves, customer requirements for technological features and increased flexibility will become standard.

This article was published as part of the eighth edition of Property Finder Bahrain’s Trends Report.