Have you heard of PropTech? It is evident to all of us to see the use of technology in our daily lives. Technology is now a necessity to everyone, especially if we are in sales – more specifically in real estate. Most of our clients are easily accessible through smartphones and the internet. Property brokers and salespersons are now more inclined in using the internet to advertise, promote and present properties online. This use of technology to research, buy, sell and manage real estate is what we call PropTech (Property Technology). It may not be perceptible to most of us, but we are now in the world of PropTech 2.0 and now moving to borderline PropTech 3.0.
PropTech 1.0 started way back in the 1980’s where personal computers were being invented. During this era, companies started to use computers to analyze the real estate market. As the computing capacity of computers throughout the years improves, more real estate companies use these computers to perform more analytics on the real estate markets in helping them make better decision making. PropTech 1.0 lasted for 20 years and ended with the dot-com burst in 2000.
As the internet and smartphones emerged, PropTech 2.0 was born. As data and information became more easily transferred through the internet, business-to-business solutions were created and helped real estate property developers and sellers digitally managed sales, make property bookings and reservations. The emergence of shared economy products such as Airbnb (home-sharing) and co-working spaces enabled more possibilities in the real estate industry. FinTech (Finance Technology) has also overlapped with PropTech through online payments, mortgage applications, property insurances, and other online payment transactions. This overlap enabled clients to engage and apply for real-estate-related products from the comfort of their homes. In the coming years, technology will open more possibilities in the real estate industry.
The surge of blockchain technology gives birth to PropTech 3.0. Blockchain technology enables smart contracts. Smart contracts will start the revolution on normalizing paperless transactions, paperless title registrations, and real-time transfer of ownership of real estate properties. Also through the blockchain technology, fraudulent ownerships or unauthorized transactions will essentially become non-existent. PropTech 3.0 also includes the adoption of smart homes, where through the Internet of Things will enable optimized energy use and other functionalities. Another trend that is slowly emerging is the tokenization of real estate assets allowing property exchanges in the same way as conventional shares.
According to JLL, a well-known American commercial real estate service provider worldwide, Southeast Asia poses the second-highest number of deals and undisclosed funding across the Asia Pacific in 2019, showing a strong focus in proptech since 2017. As COVID-19 pushed the limit of the real estate industry and allowing the stakeholders to venture into the digital transformation of the industry, it triggers the search for more PropTech industries to be born soon. (READ: Real Estate Industry in Naga City during the implementation of ECQ and Stringent Physical Distancing Measures due to COVID-19)
So it is expected that the Philippines will be geared towards the creation and investments of more PropTech companies very soon.