The Emerging Field of Proptech: Top Leaders & The future of Real Estate
Monday, September 21, 2020
Real estate tech has been a topic of conversation for a long time, and now, with our current global crisis, it’s more relevant than ever.
Technology has broken through decades of complicated processes in the property market. Nowadays, the perfect home is found through targeted ads that do all the filtering for you. Computers read and extract information from leases. Owners can adjust lighting settings in their building with a mobile app.
While other sectors might’ve been set back by Covid-19, social distancing catapulted real estate tech into a new level. Even after the pandemic is over, digital alternatives and innovations are more likely here to stay.
The verticals of Proptech.
Proptech is a diverse field and develops into several branches that specialize in different operations. We’ll discuss them further below.
Despite the different segments, the feature every Proptech company has in common is providing a smoother process for owners, buyers, and tenants. They’re able to work individually as well as in conjunction with other software to deliver the best results.
Facilities Management Platforms
Managing a property involves tasks like scheduling maintenance, establishing contact with tenants, collecting payment, etc.
However, avoiding human contact compromises the efficiency of these operations. This is why facility management platforms aim to merge building needs into a virtual dashboard, and help owners perform activities such as issue tracking and reporting from their phone or desktop at home.
What it does: Hippo CMMS organizes tasks with a work order management system, which gauges demands in order of urgency. Hippo differs from companies such as UpKeep by creating a predictive maintenance plan to identify issues with your building before they happen, offering a great advantage for their customers.
What it does: Upkeep is a viable option for smaller property managers, as they offer free essential tools. Like Hippo, the goal here is to manage properties easily, but their unique feature of depreciation tracking helps owners save money on warranties and quickly audit assets - all without leaving their home.
What it does: FMX provides summaries on team and equipment performance, as well as detailed analytic dashboards that are easy to share. They’re able to keep maintenance managers and their staff informed with little effort, setting them apart from other solutions.
Tenant Engagement Platforms
Retaining top tenants allows owners to increase rent, monetize spaces, and create more revenue. They can do so by providing tailored, quality content and building a community.
Tenant engagement platforms help you with these tasks, and can also keep tenants happy during lockdown. A sense of community in your building will definitely alleviate some of the mental stress caused by the virus.
What it does: HQO is one of the most popular platforms for landlord-tenant engagement. Their TeX software curates all types of nearby services for tenants, such as on-demand beauty appointments, dry cleaning, and take out food, which can easily differentiate them from other companies like Equiem and Spaceflow.
What it does: Equiem provides personalized solutions to improve tenant experience. They provide clients with a content management system that offers editorial calendars, content scheduling, and personalized dashboards - all of which are sure to entertain tenants during quarantine.
What it does: Spaceflow was designed to retain tenant loyalty, similar to other competitors. However, they offer a different approach: The creation of a building profile, which allows customers to reach out and ask questions. There’s also a personalized news feed and a feature to schedule 1x1 meetings that is sure to build better relationships with tenants.
Digitizing Processes Platforms
Anyone responsible for managing or selling properties will agree that there are many procedures involved, and they can get time-consuming pretty fast.
Digitizing processes mean that professionals get to complete their tasks from their phones, at home. In a social distancing context, the need for direct contact with others is decreased, when not entirely removed.
What it does: Rio Analytics is a Brazilian startup that uses artificial intelligence to predict facility failures. This technology provides accurate predictions and optimizes properties by using a smart algorithm and real-time data computing. In real estate, Rio helps owners keep track of services, utilities, and equipment, avoiding potential issues.
What it does: Compstak is a software that allows agents to compare information about properties and their locations by using an algorithm. Similar to Rio, they provide in-depth data analysis. On the other hand, Compstak counts on a complete CRE data set, which helps agents find better opportunities intuitively.
What it does: Bixby is a software created to optimize operations such as overseeing repairs, collecting payments, and communicating with tenants. What makes them outstanding is a system that allows online payments for rent, which creates a more straightforward process for tenants.
IoT platforms in real estate optimize activities such as security or general building maintenance.
This technology consists of an ecosystem of sensors integrated with phones or desktops, helping owners and building staff to keep operations happening while they’re at home.
What it does: Cohesion is an intelligent building platform that integrates access, visitor, document, and maintenance management in a single app. Their software aims to implement smarter security systems and create a safer environment for tenants. Staff can observe and control operations from a web or mobile phone, excluding the need for face-to-face interaction and saving time.
What it does: Switch makes it possible for owners to turn heat, lighting, and other amenities on and off using an app. This feature can adjust every setting to save energy and cut down costs. Switch aims for better building performance like Cohesion, but it stands out by providing a straightforward configuration and a tailored control strategy.
What it does: Infogrid is a company dedicated to creating smarter sensors and smarter buildings. As seen in Switch, this software makes it possible for the owner to control amenities and improve building performance. But, Infogrid’s technology can monitor doors, windows, pipes, occupancy and counts with a feedback panel so tenants can report issues.
Digital Twin Platforms
By using past, present, and future data from engineers and machine learning, digital twin software builds the virtual form of a process, service, or product.
This technology can predict problems (maintenance issues, for example), improve visibility of how tenants use a building, make decision-making processes faster by providing historical data, among other purposes.
What it does: While digital twin technology can be complicated, Altair aims to make it easier to navigate by using physical simulations, data analytics, and machine learning. Their software differs from other competitors due to how adding virtual sensors where physical ones could never be, which helps owners visualize how their building works in real-life.
What it does: Azure can better understand customer needs and how to improve their quality of life by replicating an environment into the virtual world - an insight-driven goal they share with Seebo. Their defining quality is a software that uses cloud power to escalate safety solutions, as well as accelerate the improvement of any facility by turning data into a real-time visualization.
What it does: “Meaningful” is the word behind Seebo’s software. Behaviour and usage feed their digital twin, helping owners gain insight for future development and make informed decisions - much like Altair and Azure. However, Seebo’s main feature is the creation and simulation of a prototype before implementing new amenities, predicting malfunctions without the costs of an unexpected issue.
Innovation Construction Platforms
Technology can make construction more sustainable and efficient, and also help minimize human-contact during times of isolation - for example, intelligent devices can take care of all the communication in a building.
What it does: Ecor fulfils the need for ecological building materials - after all, chemical-free products make for a healthier environment in the long run. They offer great advantage with lower costs and materials that even outperform traditional ones, like wood or cardboards.
What it does: Kisi developed sensors to create smarter buildings. Owners can unlock doors or activate fire alarms with their phones, and even get an insight into how tenants use the available spaces.
What it does: Civdrone uses 24-hour drone activity to perform marking tasks with speed and precision. Their most outstanding feature is an online management platform that keeps everyone involved updated in real-time, increasing efficiency and reducing face-to-face contact.
Healthy workspace and Living companies
Smart technology can improve accessibility for people with special needs, eliminate air pollution, and help gather data for employers so they can actively create a healthier workspace.
Most importantly, they increase hygiene: Sanitizing spaces is more important than ever now that we’re facing a highly-contagious disease. These companies have creative solutions to keep viruses and bacteria from affecting your staff’s wellbeing, whether at home or the office.
What it does: Air pollution impacts teams negatively. With that in mind, Raze Technology improves sanitation and hygiene in the workplace. Their photocatalytic anti-pollution products improve the air and create a self-sanitizing coating that will prevent bacteria from spreading.
What it does: Similar to Raze, uHoo aims to create better air quality - however, they do so by using a sensor to monitor toxins in the environment. Their smart technology suggests measures that are sure to improve air quality.
What it does: Bindi Maps is an innovative startup that. Their software locates the user and describes their surroundings, pointing the best way to get to the chosen location with an audio system. This initiative removes many barriers that visually-impaired people find when walking through unknown spaces, amplifying their independence and possibilities of employment.
Sustainable innovations are indispensable for owners who wish to save funds and improve the quality of life in their buildings.
If anything, the pandemic will force us to become more aware of our environment and what effects we have on it. Proptech can offer eco-friendly, remote solutions for real estate.
What it does: Solen brings a unique approach to Proptech by providing an in-depth natural light study, and adding sunshine to any property’s list of assets. Their technology suggests smart modifications to enhance lighting and help owners increase prices.
What it does: Energetika uses technology to create integration plans and energy-intelligent processes. While there are many solutions with a similar focus, they’re set apart by the promise of reducing costs by 95% and simplifying basic operations.
What it does: This startup saves energy by encouraging people to do so. They make sustainable achievements easy to visualize and offer a complete analysis of how tenants spend energy in your building. This way, Hello Energy combines psychological factors and smart software to increase sustainability.
Property Funding Platforms
For many years, the property market was an investment for banks. Developing new ways of financing real estate makes it easier for individuals to participate in funding projects.
During a crisis like the one we’re facing now, funds are bound to be cut back. Proptech can turn investments into a remote activity and match qualified investors with opportunities from anywhere.
What it does: In comparison to other competitors, Cadre offers better transparency and the possibility to create a diverse real estate portfolio. Their platform counts with an automated process that easily connects buyers and sellers, allowing the creation of a network.
What it does: Fundrise’s primary goal is to offer institutional investment quality with lower prices. Their software makes it possible for users to manage assets from a phone, simplifying the process for users without much experience.
What it does: Using Bricx, users can invest in real estate when they buy ‘bricks’ (parts of the property). Starting fees can be as little as $50, making accessibility their most notable feature.
AI Proptech Startups
AI transformed the way we do business by assigning machines to tasks that would’ve been performed by human agents (If you’ve ever talked to a company’s bot, that was artificial intelligence in action).
AI companies cut down half the work traditional brokers have to do and reduce in-person interactions, highlighting this field now in our Covid-19 world situation.
What it does: Cherre helps owners make better investment decisions. It gathers all data - private, public, or paid - and turns that into business insights. However, what stands out is their customizable platform that can be tailored to the most specific business needs.
What it does: Ask Porter is a smart virtual assistant that provides tenants with incredible customer service. Unlike other companies that focus on analyzing data, AP completes mundane tasks like maintenance management, tenant qualification, and payments.
What it does: With a unique ‘Home Buyer Passport’ feature, Hipla positions its users as serious buyers and helps them reach real estate agents. Their platform is set apart by taking care of financial processes like calculating the user’s budget and maximum prices.
Lease Abstraction platforms
Lease abstraction technology filters out and extracts critical points that need to be reviewed from complex documents - all while keeping the research team remote, meaning that real estate brokers can keep up their usual activities during the pandemic.
What it does: Intelease was exclusively designed for the real estate industry. It brings innovation by using a cloud-based system that allows clients to access documents from any device connected to the internet, making for a smooth process of reviewing contracts.
What it does: Leverton easily integrates with real estate data and financial platforms. Their most significant advantage is a fast, powerful software that extracts over 1,000 points from just one document, offering speed and accuracy, as well as raising the bar for other startups.
What it does: While Leverton’s speed makes for a strong competitor, Ntrust has three levels of accuracy checks and a specialized team to review extracts - clients get the quantity and quality expected from their deliverables. Other than that, Ntrust can better serve international customers by translating documents to over 40 languages.
The days of complications and trouble when dealing with properties are over: Technology has been changing the real estate market for good.
Don’t just take our word for it: 89% of professionals believe that traditional brokers must embrace Proptech to thrive in our changing environment.
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