December 22, 2021
5 minute

PropTech is Blowing Up and Here’s Why the Real Estate Market Needs to Brace Itself Now


Say you want to buy a house. You type in your search, request a virtual tour, and if the price is right, you put in an offer–all from the comfort of your couch. The next day, you’re handed the keys.

Now, this is the future of property technology, or as the kids say–PropTech.

No red tape, no hoops to jump through. And all that heavy paperwork? Forget about it.

PropTech shares the same ethos as its siblings, FinTech and InsurTech. So it’s all about making things easier, faster, and more efficient in the real estate market.

Digital innovations work wonders to simplify owning, leasing, managing or operating a property. So no matter what kind of player you are in the market, the game is yours to win.

This global phenomenon has already rapidly taken flight, and if it’s your first time hearing about PropTech, it’s time to play catch up.

Why is Canada the perfect hub for PropTech?

The True North is home to leading global real estate companies. Last year alone, 10 of the top 50 global real estate investors were big Canadian household names. (We see you, Manulife). 

And besides our friendly charm, Canada is poised for PropTech disruption with its thriving tech ecosystem, access to diverse talent, and next generation of bright-eyed startups hungry for change. 

Of course, our welcoming immigration policies and healthy venture capital investments drive Canadian innovation even more. 

But how we got where we are today isn’t without the failed attempts of our past. 

A brief turn in time 

PropTech first came into the picture in the late ‘90s during the dot come boom when the internet took off. While real estate is notably the largest asset class in the world, the industry struggled to keep pace with growing consumer demands.

Because it was slow to adopt digitalization throughout the early 2000s, the real estate sector experienced significantly less interest and VC funding. And the fingers were pointed at the legacy tech and antiquated systems responsible for its turtle-paced uptake.

Only in 2014 did VC funding begin picking up steam again, driven by new technology like artificial intelligence and big data, all of which would replace manual, human tasks.

Now, PropTech is skyrocketing, with investments in tech startups ballooning year over year, especially throughout COVID-19, which ignited larger cash injections to develop a more sustainable future.

To date, investors are pouring billions into PropTech, increasing at around 36 percent annually, with no signs of pumping the brakes. So yeah, it’s a big deal.

How PropTech disrupts the real estate landscape

Technological advances in residential and commercial real estate focus on selling, buying, and financing with better products that enable remote access to:

  1. Streamlined documentation
  2. Improved customer experiences
  3. Personalized search and connected devices

Streamlined documentation

One of the loudest complaints about the real estate sector is its complicated and tiresome exchange between agents and homebuyers and sellers and tenants and landlords.

But when we introduce PropTech into the equation, loan signing and lengthy paperwork will be the least of anyone’s worries. 

The ability to summarize and manage legal documents and power chatbots to eliminate repetitive questions will transform the way professionals deliver high-quality interactions.

Not to mention, maintaining centralized documentation can improve fund transfers and streamline transactions between tenants and landlords. 

Real estate professionals can transform customer data used in contracts and transactions to improve how information is tracked, managed, and shared by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Improved customer experiences

No one wants to be in the dark.

As a tenant, you expect timely communications from your landlord when disruptions occur. Not only is it a legal obligation, but it’s just good manners.

But not all tenants get the heads up they deserve.

Suppose the elevators are down for maintenance in your building. When notice isn’t given, you have to begrudgingly walk up six flights of stairs with all your grocery bags in hand.

On your last trip up to your unit, you bump into your landlord, holding a sign that he’s about to post on the elevators.

All this could have been avoided with a simple text. 

With PropTech, landlords can digitize their property management responsibilities to keep the peace and create positive tenant relationships.

They can communicate with current and prospective renters through various digital channels, such as sending push notifications to alert people of relevant disruptions or building news.

Adopting this technology is vital because tenants are three times more likely to renew their leases when they are happy with their property management.

The same goes for house hunters. AI and machine learning enable real estate agents to revolutionize the way they interact with customers. 

Whether through smart assistants, market prediction, or property analysis, these technologies can help clients find the best match the first time and avoid back and forth meetings.

PropTech strengthens relationships in the real estate community and helps investors and property managers to:

  • Understand how their properties appreciate or depreciate
  • Manage future down payments and loans
  • Maximize their profits
  • Monitor property risk and maintenance
  • Track real-time data
  • Communicate with relevant stakeholders

Personalized search and increased connected devices

There’s no better feeling than finding a property that feels like it’s meant for you. PropTech delivers that experience seamlessly. 

It can optimize real estate property search sites to offer personalized recommendations to customers and include psychographic preferences to fit unique lifestyles. 

Take a family of four, for instance: Mom and Dad and two young kids.

Not only will sites consider their demographics (age, gender, income, and the like), but they’ll also factor in the qualitative things that make them tick, such as their attitudes, interests, and values as individuals and as a family unit.

If Dad is interested in camping, he may very well enjoy doing his own landscaping projects. 

If Mom can’t be bothered with design decisions, it may bode well to have an unfinished basement.

And if the kids are enrolled in gymnastics, karate, and soccer, the family may prefer to find a property close to a park to suit their active lifestyles.

Psychographics is about understanding people’s lifestyles and how they influence their purchasing behaviours.

With PropTech, customers can also gain real-time alerts about listings they’re interested in and participate in immersive virtual property tours using drone technology from anywhere they are in the world.

Tenants can make rent and lease payments via mobile devices.

And families can enjoy homes outfitted with smart lights, thermostats, and locks. 

The list of benefits is long, but the running theme here is that consumers demand a personalized and digitally connected end-to-end real estate experience. 

And PropTech is a sustainable solution because it saves people time and money by using automation and remote practices.

Ride the PropTech wave now

PropTech solves the biggest challenges in real estate. It uses modern technology to improve manual processes often laden with red tape, lengthy paperwork, and multiple meetings that seem to hardly move you forward.

From property search and building management to transactions and customer experience, PropTech is designed to simplify actions at every turn and brings massive benefits to every player in the market.

Real estate agents are empowered to focus on quality customer engagement. Property management teams are freed up to boost business productivity and their bottom line. And homeowners and renters can achieve their property goals faster and more efficiently. 

So why wait on the sidelines anymore? Now’s the time to buy into this thriving market. To discover PropTech solutions in Alberta, check out Propra and its suite of seamless property management tools.

© 2022 Harvest Builders | All rights reserved. Privacy Policy