ABCDEFG … and so on and so forth. This is the fourth part of our PropTech ABC. We talked already about A like Artificial Intelligence, O like On-demand economy, or T like Tailor-made experiences. This week we will go from U to Z. Not the easiest part of the ABC, but take a look of what we found:
U: Uberization of real estate:
“UBERIZATION: The act or process of changing the market for a service by introducing a different way of buying or using it, especially using mobile technology” Cambridge Dictionary
When it comes to the so-called Uberization veer drastically apart. Some fear and condem; it others welcome it enthusiastically. Here are some of the most common arguments from both parties:
- Fear, that the uberization will harm traditional jobs, as is purported to have happened with Uber and the traditional taxi services or with Airbnb and the local hotel industry.
- Fear of a society emerging where everything is constantly surveillanced and rated.
- Generating new expectations for the customer that can only be met by creating new and improved services.
- The idea that new trends and technologies cannot be stopped. Better be a part of it and help actively in shaping them.
- The hope that new technologies will be able to solve the problems of our time, such as climate change and overpopulation.
V: Virtual Reality
“Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world. The only limits to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheap computing power.” Source: MARXENT
The use of Virtual reality in PropTech
Virtual Reality is best known in the gaming industry, but it also has a huge potential in the real estate and construction sector. Fields of applications are:
- Online sales made possible: Visiting a property is time intensive especially for real estate agents, who have to show the property to many different parties, but as well as for foreign investors, who might have to travel in order to see the object.
- Virtual reality tools allow prospects to get a first impression of the property, based on which they can decide if it is worth a visit.
- Faster sales with space visualisation: Selling a property before building it is difficult. But the hurdle can be made easier with virtual reality. VR allows potential buyers to see a project before it has been built, which facilitates the buying process get easier and and makes it more customer friendly.
- Better project construction process: There are many challenges when it comes to communicating to your contractor and renovation team how the final product should look like. That applies for home owners as well as for investors. VR helps to visualise the final product and the steps leading up to it.
W: Women in PropTech: Even though PropTech is a very young sector, with an average age somewhere between 20 and 30, women are underrepresented. Especially when it comes to founders: Only around 10% of the founders in PropTech are female. Angelica Krystle Donati, proptech founder, investor, and thought leader, has been looking into the reasons for this inequality. Her research showed that the main discrimination happens in regards to funding. “Female founders get 157 times less funding than men.” Even a team, which is not male only, is less likely to get the same funding as a male only team. Time to change that! In late 2018 a group of women, working in PropTech, launched the first Women in PropTech group (WiPT) in New York with the intention to support and empower each other. A few month later the London chapter followed. The real change though can only be done by the investors.
X: X-ray like sensors: A big cost factor in commercial real estate is energy waste caused by AC’s or heating systems, which are not properly adjusted, lights which have been forgotten to be switched off etc. The US based PropTech company Verdigris Technologies has launched a new solution, which enables facility managers with the help of sensors to pinpoint device-level causes of energy waste in commercial office buildings and industrial plants. The sensors have x-ray like capabilities, which allows facility managers to see how individual devices are consuming energy.
Y: Youngsters: People in their twenties are the population group which moves around and changes apartments most frequently. Starting university away from home, doing Erasmus abroad, internships, than the first apartment with the boyfriend/ girlfriend, break up new apartment and on and on. But having a small budget, finding new apartments as well as shared flats can be a challenge. We looked at three startups, which make life easier for young people looking for accommodation:
- ROAM is an international network of co-living spaces, that invites residents to sign up for a single lease that allows them to co-live in San Francisco, London, Bali, Miami and Tokyo for weeks or months at a time. But flexibility does not come cheap, the lease costs £2,000 per month.
- Quarters, a co-living space in Berlin only costs a quarter of it. A 12m² room starts at 599 euros a month and comes with a shared kitchen and bathroom. The apartments are located in the city center.
- BADI’s app helps people find a fitting roommate according to age, interests and what not, using AI to obtain greater effectiveness when connecting profiles, both for roommates and rooms. It is a Spanish company, but operates in multiple European cities.
Z: Zoopla Ltd. is a British startup, which provides users with access to information such as sold house prices, area trends & statistics and current value estimates for domestic properties in the UK. Part of its portfolio is the property platform Zoopla, which allows users to make informed property decisions, find homes and research the market. Startups working in the same field as Zoopla are:
- Zillow, an American online real estate marketplace.
- realbest, an online sales platform that deals with residential real estate in Germany.
- Kodit.io, a so-called iBuyer that offers home sellers ‘fair cash offers’ for their properties within 24 hours based on market assessments using machine learning.
Thank you! Kind regards,