How PropTech is shaking up real estate
PropTech is bringing in efficiencies and insights about how to manage communities better
By Deepa Narwani, Content Manager
The real estate and property industry has always been traditional; however, with COVID-19 accelerating several technologies, the industry is starting to catch up to digital solutions. This is where PropTech plays a key role, as it brings in smart technologies and services that can easily be accessed from the cloud, whether it's for construction management, asset management, to help with buying, leasing, or selling, or to manage properties.
PropTech is also bringing in a lot of efficiencies and insights about how to manage communities better and build smarter and greener buildings. By combining traditional business with the new age technology, PropTech is starting to offer several significant advantages.
In an interview, Jayesh Maganlal, Chief Information Officer (CIO), DAMAC Properties, highlighted that buying and selling of properties have mainly been carried out traditionally. For instance, prospective buyers go see a broker, or a real estate agent sits down with them to explain the features of the property. The buyers also want to see what the property looks like. Today, by leveraging technologies such as virtual reality, customers get a different experience in terms of the look and feel of the communities.
With over 20 years of experience in spearheading and maintaining Information Technology in global multinationals and regional industries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Oceania, the award-winning CIO has been instrumental in optimising business processes by translating complex operational concepts into tangible action plans.
One of the challenges in real estate is transparency, said Maganlal. There are a lot of transactions within the whole build process. Moreover, many data elements are being captured but not analysed. So, by using technology such as big data, many more insights are coming out that can help build more efficient buildings quickly. Here, PropTech can address how customer management and day-to-day asset management operations can be simplified from a property management perspective. For example, this could be around maintaining amenities or service payments.
“There are many elements that can be digitised by building applications on the cloud and integrating them back to the CRM and customer data, to get a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s behaviour and sentiment, which allows to build and research better and helps with customer retention. At the end of the day, real estate is about building memories for people living in those communities,” he said.
What challenges can PropTech solve?
Most of the processes in the UAE are heading towards becoming more digitised. For instance, the recent announcements on electronic signatures help ensure the end-to-end journey of purchasing real estate becomes truly digitised. Additionally, integrating technologies such as blockchain help with digitising the processes. This allows buying a high-ticket item product, like a house, through a very secure process, highlighted Maganlal. Today, the interaction with government entities, land departments, and various contracting companies can all be done online. PropTech also allows to efficiently manage the back office, customers and external partners for facility management or maintenance efficiently. Today, the focus of every single real estate company is to digitise their journey and bring more technology into the business.
Real estate trends to watch out for in 2022
Several start-ups are using technology to focus on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) solutions to bring in green buildings and smart homes to ensure that the industry is more energy-efficient, Maganlal emphasised. For example, some start-ups are focusing on clean air in terms of how the air is circulating and being filtered throughout the house to ensure efficient cooling usage and lower the properties' carbon footprint.
Furthermore, the space of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and mixed reality has a lot of potential in transforming real estate. Today, you can experience buying properties in virtual reality, but very soon, you could walk through the property in mixed reality to get the feel of it, which brings a whole new experience altogether.
At the AQMEN365 PropTech Insights Forum, Maganlal is going to discuss all this and more. He highlighted: “At the AQMEN365 PropTech Future Insights Forum, I will be focusing on where technology is heading in the property space, and what are the new experiences that are going to change the way people interact with real estate companies, from a purchasing, sales, and customer management perspective.”