While writing this I must confess to not being an expert in this field but only a curious onlooker who has vested interests.
Before getting into what exactly proptech is, I shall begin by asking you a few questions to open your mind and broaden your perspective on how technology has impacted all areas of your life. So.. Here goes:
- When you need to rush downtown for an urgent meeting in a building without parking, how would you have done this 10 years ago vs today?
- When you are sitting at home on a Friday evening with your friends, lover or family and decide to get something to eat, how would you have done this 10 years ago vs today?
- When you finally decided to start dating again after a rough break up, how would you have done this 10 years ago vs today?
Your answers to these questions probably share some similarities. They illustrate how technology has become more integrated in your daily life, from how you; move, eat, love and even shit! Technology has revolutionized all aspects of human and animal life, it has given us new ways to interact with our surrounding, showed us new ways to achieve the most thought provoking tasks and given us a new way to view the world.
As technology continues to revolutionize the world, there still remain a handful of industries which have yet to discover it’s power in the purest and most disruptive forms. The most pronounced of these industries is Real Estate. Which in my definition includes;
Urban Planning — This is how we decide where to build and why?
Construction — This is where we select where to build and then build.
Realtors — Those who sell us our dream home.
Finance — How we finance our dream homes or secure financing to build mega-structures with the ability to touch the birds in the heavens above.
These industries for the most part have remained the same. Large property development firms control 90%+ of new construction around the world. Real estate agents & brokers continue to sell 99%+ of all properties. Banks continue to finance 100% of all mortgages and constitution projects. Cities haven’t changed much..
So what is Proptech?
Because I’m not that smart here is what a professional in the industry, James Dearsley had to say;
“ Proptech is one small part of a wider digital transformation in the property industry. It considers both the technological and mentality change of the real estate industry, and its consumers to our attitudes, movements and transactions involving both buildings and cities ”
This simply means, the answers you gave at the beginning of this article will slowly become your answers in 5 years when thinking about how you buy a home, how you finance buying a home, how your home is built, down to all the services you access in your home. Before you get up in arms about, how you have been using Trulia, Zillow or Compass for the past three years, or how 3D printing construction is already underway, or how crowdfunding has been the revolution in property development… I challenge you to think a little deeper because these innovations are only the beginning of the entire proptech industry’s metamorphosis.