No doubt technology in real estate is a major boost to the sector. Like all other industries, real estate is slowly but systematically being shaped by the ever-shifting market conditions and consumer behavior changes. And while it is true that emerging technological solutions have replaced some industries, the dynamic in the real estate industry looks uniquely different.
The fact is, real estate cannot be substituted by one robust technological solution, but instead, the industry changes will be facilitated by technology. Therefore, the earlier you embrace this technology, the better.
The dynamic is slowly but steadily tilting away from the conventional acquisition of hardware to the adoption of innovations that largely comprise platforms, applications, and software solutions.
The Kenyan real estate industry has recently registered exponential growth coupled with a healthy investor appetite and expanding customer base. Therefore, any industry player who looks to remaining relevant and competitive must prepare to embrace change.
In simpler terms, the industry’s movement towards technology cannot be taken for granted anymore. As these changes continue to shape up the industry, individual companies will strive to position themselves as the market leaders by implementing new ideas such as smart homes and renewable energy.
Definitely, such offers will be geared towards rewarding, retaining, and maintaining customer loyalty. The areas that real estate tech companies in Kenya are giving more focus on are as follows.
Building & construction technology
The high demand for cheaper housing with less environmental impact has put real estate developers under pressure to explore alternative ways of building houses. So far, some of the ideas under intense consideration are modular construction and the use of prefab building material.
Modular construction entails constructing the building modules offsite and then assembling them onsite. It is cheaper and takes about half the time it would take to put up a conventional structure.
This was proven in 2014 when a Chinese based company saved up to eight percent of the construction costs and sixty percent on labor after pioneering a 3D printed house. Typically, modular construction forms the growing list of innovative ideas implemented to reduce cost globally.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
Today, real estate investors are actively using AI and Machine learning for effective risk management, to control expenses, and improve their returns. These systems leverage the algorithms that can predict investor concerns with reliable accuracy.
Consequently, the exercise of matching potential buyers and their properties has taken a major boost.
But what are AI and machine learning?
This is the digital function where computers teach themselves how to better their task performance using pattern recognition or their previous experience. Some of these AI tools have automated;
- Answering of FAQ’s via chatboxes
- Investor analytics that can set revenue and growth goals through smart robots
- Risk assessment tools that offer leads to profitable investment
The Big Data
If well harnessed, big data has a massive potential to help you drive business decisions and create riveting consumer experiences. Unfortunately, some real estate businesses collect so much data only to keep it away in silo repositories instead of deriving analytics to determine the industry trends or consumer behavior.
If you want to reach your target clientele, you must first identify them, know what they are looking for, and when they plan to buy. Additionally, you need to know their specific location and how you can reach them most effectively.
Big data is a significant tool that real estate companies can use to target their clients with relevant products and position them most strategically.
IoT or The Internet of Things:
Without a doubt, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become a significant element of smart homes and home automation.
But what does this name represent exactly?
This refers to using the internet to inter-connect physical items fixed with software, sensors, and related technology to share data. They can be operated using a voice command or hand-held devices.
The connected items may include curtains, carpet cleaners, kitchenware, and just about anything within your home.
No doubt, smart home technology is changing the real estate landscape and how homeowners view property. This clearly puts pressure on real estate developers to up their game by appealing to their clients with internet-enabled homes.
And soon enough, the idea of browsing the internet to identify an ideal home will be taken over by the latest voice applications that can automatically respond to the searchers’ burning questions.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Today, potential clients can tour and view the housing projects remotely, thanks to VR or Virtual Reality. Using equipment like the Samsung Gear VR Virtual Reality headset, homebuyers can tour a real estate site and view complete houses and those that are still under construction.
Actually, a real estate developer can invite potential homebuyers to visualize and experience the final product before the construction commences using this technology. BlackRhino VR and several other companies are actualizing the potential that Virtual Reality has in marketing and selling property development at every stage.
Automation of Real Estate Operations
Given the cut-throat competition rocking the real estate industry, every player needs to explore the best practices to increase efficiency and position their services and products well.
The company needs a dynamic back-office to properly manage the customer, beginning when they show interest until they own the units either as tenants or landlords.
A real estate company that has successfully automated its facilities management, portfolio management, and customer relationship management is in a good position to deal with cost efficiency and stakeholder communication challenges.
So far, other technological interventions include concepts like real estate on demand, where potential home buyers are easily connected to nearby real estate agents. With startup groups like CurbCall, AgentPair, and Naked Apartments pioneering the concept, there is no doubt that getting hooked up with a proximate real estate agent will soon be a downhill affair.
Reflecting on the above analysis, there is no doubt that the real estate industry is already cruising fast on the tech revolution lane. Unlike other industries, technology in real estate hasn’t moved in to disrupt but make it easier, faster, and more convenient to transact. As stated a little earlier on, you stand to suffer disruption if you remain stuck in your old ways by refusing to embrace the inevitable change.