As someone who’s passionate about real estate and excited by new technology, I’ve been closely following the emerging prop-tech market. For those unfamiliar with the term, you can probably guess it is a portmanteau, created from ‘property’ and ‘technology’. In an increasingly digitised world, it seems only natural to me that future real estate agents should streamline customer experiences this way. But will it replace the traditional buying experience?
What do market trends tell us?
Our nation has witnessed a marked increase in its number of prop-tech ventures recently. There are already 58 prop-tech companies in the UAE and this number is only going to increase in the years to come. Globally, the prop-tech market is projected to see a sizeable CAGR of 16.8% between this year and 2032. This will lead to a market value of US $86.5 billion, up from the current 2022 value of US$18.2 billion. Such growth will potentially have a phenomenal impact on our already burgeoning property market which attracted AED 160 billion (more than US $ 43 billion) in investment during the first eight months of 2022. Whatever your personal preference for real estate purchasing, it’s clear that this sector can no longer be ignored.
Why turn to prop-tech?
Along with its market value, both business and consumer demand for prop-tech innovation is on the rise. But why the sudden popularity?
Well, for one thing, the technology offers convenience for both parties. Brokers benefit from the way that prop-tech analyses data, enabling them to reflect on successful trends and become more tactical and innovative in their marketing strategies and customer communication. The ability to share documents at the click of a button also streamlines processes for realtors, freeing up their time to focus on what really matters; the customer experience.
On the other side of this, those wishing to purchase a property this way can take virtual tours, look over pictures of floorplans and have access to vital information from the comfort of their own home or even while they are travelling. This means that the need to physically visit an agent is reduced, which is ideal for fitting the sometimes-lengthy purchase processes in around a hectic lifestyle. It seems like a win-win situation.
So, what about the future?
The benefits and the potential of this emerging trend have resonated with me personally, inspiring my most recent prop-tech venture, Prypto. This prop-tech ecosystem allows me to marry my years of experience in the traditional property sector with the advantages that this technology offers both for myself and my clients.
In launching Prypto, I wanted to empower the ecosystem of real estate. That’s why the platform simplifies the property ownership journey for buyers and investors. Although the startup is still growing, I have been able to use my years of experience in the sector and partnerships within the industry to bring together leading property agents, sales and global financial institutions to offer bespoke services and ensure that we really do get the best deal for Prypto’s customers.
While it’s clear to see that demand for prop-tech is increasing as both our lifestyles and the available technology change, I don’t see this sector replacing the traditional real estate model. Anyone who works in the industry will know that some customers like to complete their property transactions online while others prefer the human interaction of face-to-face traditional processes. What’s more, there is a growing third group, whose preferences fall somewhere in between, these customers may choose to compare property credentials or take initial viewings online before visiting their broker in person.
Whatever the customer trends and inclinations are, it is up to the real estate sector to meet their expectations.
In my experience, successful businesses listen to their customers and while the current climate of change within the market sparks excitement for many, myself included, interpersonal property transactions are never going to go out of style.