The Rise of PropTech: How is it Transforming the Sector?

Lydia Goonetillake 13/07/2021 4 minutes

PropTech appears to be on the rise as consumers demand digital solutions to the property industry’s past and current pain points. At Passion we are always interested in technological advances – as we have extensive experience with property clients, we felt it was important to do a deep dive into PropTech and the opportunities it presents for brands and consumers alike.

What is PropTech?

PropTech, a portmanteau of the words ‘property’ and ‘technology’, refers to the application of technology in the property and real estate industry. Traditionally the property sector has been resistant to digitisation. Unlike the travel industry, where the high street travel agent has been almost entirely replaced by online booking engines, property is still stubbornly clinging onto the traditional offline estate agent model. 

There are some brands – most notably Purple Bricks and newcomer Boomin – that are challenging the monopoly that traditional estate agents have over the industry, through the use of clever tech. Smart search, safe chat functions between buyers and sellers and Pinterest-like digital idea boards are all major selling points for their digitally savvy user base. As well as making things easier for the consumer, these digital brands bring transparency, another long-missing element of the property market. Igniv is a yet-to-launch PropTech app that aims to revolutionise the industry by offering a free-to-use peer-to-peer buying, selling and renting platform.

However, there’s more to PropTech than just buying and selling houses. Startups are using machine learning, artificial intelligence and the newest internet of things technology to innovate in the sector.  

Examples of PropTech 

  • Fighting climate change

Your house may be your castle, but it can also be a significant drain on the environment. There are a number of PropTech firms that are developing technology to help us all to live in a more environmentally friendly way. For example, Qarnot Computing is using waste heat from computing systems to heat buildings, while Pavegan creates kinetic pavements that generate electricity for cities.

  • Levelling up society

Equitable access to the property market is a huge concern in the UK and PropTech is playing a vital role in achieving this. ilke Homes create modular houses offsite in a factory to produce more affordable, sustainable and accessible homes at a faster rate than traditional house building.

These are just a few of the innovative PropTech companies that are addressing some of the most important and pressing social and environmental issues that face us today. At Passion we love working with businesses that contribute to ‘a greater good’, so it’s exciting to see that the property sector is reacting positively and addressing its role in creating a better planet for everyone. 

PropTech and COVID-19

89% of PropTech investors believe that the pandemic will accelerate real estate technology adoption across the industry, according to MetaProp’s Global PropTech Confidence Index.

It is widely accepted that COVID-19 has provided a market shakeup in property. PropTech startups have been encouraged to be innovative and respond to the question: do we need physical property in an increasingly virtual world? It’s always good to keep an industry on its toes!

PropTech businesses like Office App have been catapulted to success thanks to the pandemic as flexible working became a necessary consideration for businesses. Office App is an advanced platform that helps to manage all your office needs from desk booking to floor plans. Office managers can monitor how the office is being used in real-time and stay ahead of the curve.

COVID-19 has accelerated the uptake of PropTech companies and is helping in the post-pandemic recovery, ensuring a strong growth trajectory in 2021 and beyond.  

Meet WhoZoo: Modernising, Simplifying and Rendering the Market More Accessible

We spoke with Tom Castro, founder of yet-to-launch brand WhoZoo, a ConTech (ConstructionTech – a branch of PropTech) directory-style digital platform that ‘houses’ localised property services ‘under one roof’. He explained how, with the rise of Millennial and Gen Z homebuyers, the property sector needs to meet their demand for convenience, transparency and a digital experience. 

Tom’s 10 years of experience in transactional property sales gave him a deep understanding of what the industry was lacking. He found that when planning permission was granted for a property, there would be a host of other services you’d need and not one place you could find them all. WhoZoo lists localised property services for businesses and consumers to modernise and simplify the process of sourcing construction work.

Tom believes that the property market is not scratching the surface of their digital potential. With younger people entering the industry as consumers and as employees, they are embracing digital transformation. and driving more PropTech growth over the coming years.  

Our Passion for Property

So there you have it: PropTech improves customer experience, saves costs and can help in the battle against societal and environmental concerns. However, technology should not be implemented for the sake of it; to ensure meaningful adoption in the industry and attract venture capital investment, the tech needs to address real consumer concerns. 

If you want to see more property insights, trends and how we apply our digital marketing expertise for the industry, stay tuned! Don’t forget to check out our blog to get your marketing news fix, or get in touch if your property business needs some specialist digital marketing help.