The number of PropTech firms on the market is growing by the day, with the latest map produced by Finnovating placing the current number at 335. These firms are creating and driving the digital trends that are transforming the entire user experience – from how properties are bought and sold (digital signatures, facial recognition for online purchases or reservations) through to how they are viewed (3D virtual tours) and how they are marketed to prospective buyers (using Big Data to tailor offer etc.). These new developments have completely transformed the homebuying experience – let’s take a look at how.
Not too long ago, if you were looking to buy a home your options were limited to either scouring the property section of the newspapers ready to circle any ads that caught your eye, or scouring the neighbourhood on the lookout for any ‘for sale’ signs that might have gone up. Both of these methods then required the prospective buyer to visit the property in person to see whether it was what they were looking for or not. This often turned out to be a waste of time, given that the only information they had had to go on in the first place was the rather limited specs featured in a property advert. Nowadays, technology has helped to make this process far more efficient.
Virtual reality, or how to save yourself the visit
Now you can ‘view’ a property from the comfort of your very own sofa, saving precious time for both buyers and estate agents. Thanks to virtual reality, prospective buyers can ‘visit’ the property and ‘walk’ around it for themselves, using any device. In fact, they receive and have access to so much information that actual visits to a property are only made once buyers are genuinely interested and not too far away from signing on the dotted line.
Drones – taking property marketing to the next-level
Just like any product, how a property is marketed and how well it grabs people’s attention is without doubt the key to clinching a successful sale. The use of drones has taken property marketing to the next level. Their ability to capture a bird’s-eye view of a property provides a great deal of extra information about the property’s setting and local area – what better way to view a property’s garden or other outdoor areas. Drones can also be used for surveillance purposes at properties while they are up for sale.
Although buying a home at the simple click of a mouse may seem impossible due to the sheer length and complexity of the process, it is however now possible to reserve a property online. This not only saves prospective buyers the time and effort of travelling, but above all prevents a property that they are interested in from slipping through their fingers – as once a property is reserved online, no other buyers can take it away from them.
June 2019 marked a turning point in the way properties are sold in Spain. For the first time ever, a prospective buyer reserved a home online, thanks to CBRE. We developed Spain’s first online property reservation platform, offering the same guarantees as a traditional sales office. The property in question formed part of the Skyline development, a 25-storey residential block owned by real estate firm Stoneweg and located just 10 minutes from the bustling Paseo de la Castellana.
Managing sales with Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence can be applied across a multitude of sectors, including real estate. For example, it can be used to analyse all available data about a property, a buyer and their requirements, in order to offer them exactly what they are looking for. This technology can also be used for distribution, sales channel optimisation, and other areas such as risk analysis, automated construction monitoring and even property valuations.
IoT – a major selling point
The Internet of Things (IoT) can be applied to the home by installing a range of sensors to control temperature and humidity, manage security, detect water leaks and optimise energy consumption. The possibilities are endless, and this technology can prove make or break for prospective buyers. As we outlined in our article Homes in 2050, homes are destined to become fully automated, with high-tech security and minimal energy consumption. And IoT still has a lot more to offer insofar as property sales are concerned.