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How technology is changing the property market

Over the next couple of years, the application of technology will change the property market beyond recognition.

To look at some of the possible changes coming we asked the prop tech crowdfunding platform Brickowner to take a look at a few of the issues.

Traditional estate agents will be pushed out by online rivals

Everyone has a sad story about estate agents, and after years of feeling under-served the public wants something new and welcomes (in most cases) change.  Three years ago, online agents entered the market, and while regular estate agents still make up the most substantial part, there has been an 11% increase over the last quarter in the number of online-only agents.

These agents now account for 7% of the market, a trend that is expected to continue.

Better Data to generate better house pricing models

Since the mid 90’s property valuation in the residential sector more alchemy than science. With recent advances in data-driven technology, residential property professionals can automatically obtain the most relevant comparable properties prices based on a percentage similarity to the subject property factoring for year built, amenities, rental yields etc. This will reduce costs to buyer and sellers may uncover some under/overvalued areas along the way.

Virtual viewings

Technology has created cameras that automate the creation of digital 3D models producing VR experiences, floorplans and ultra-high definition photography. When fully implemented potential buyers can view properties in true-to-life definition through VR or online tours – virtually walking through 50 properties in the time that it would take to visit one. This will change the way in which properties are marketed, improving the speed and quality of the buying and selling process.

Speeding up sales with smart contracts

The use of smart contracts will speed up and reduce the cost of solicitors by enabling estate agents, conveyancers and home buyers to track the progress of a property’s purchase and pull information about the property in one place lowering fall-through rates and improving communication between parties, all by simplifying information access.

The end of buy to let and the rise of property portals

Buy to let was always the realm of the more moneyed investor, but now, increased taxes and regulation, prohibitively high entry costs and lower yields are all chipping away at Buy to Let’s dominance even amongst this group. As more new tax-efficient products like property ISA's are created offering good returns property investment, and crowdfunding platforms democratise this sector (from an investment as small as £100), investors benefit from ever increasing property prices. Proptech has allowed data and automation to be built into the operational parts of property investment simplifying the decision making process allowing you to monitor your investment’s performance.

Hugo Fairey is Head of Marketing at Brickowner

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