It’s been a tough 12 months. After the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the globe, economies worldwide started to crash and burn. Thousands of jobs have been lost, and businesses are going bust every day. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. New vaccines to combat the virus are coming thick and fast, with thousands of people already vaccinated thanks to health professionals’ hard work.
No one could have anticipated the state of the world in 2021, but in many ways, the Covid-19 pandemic has revolutionized how industries operate. Forced to adapt to this new age of social distancing, companies from around the world have adopted new technology to reach their audiences like never before.
This is especially true for the property industry. Traditional methods of house viewings were almost wiped out thanks to social distancing guidelines. It was no longer safe for estate agents to give guided tours of property, or for investment companies to show off their latest ventures.
In countries like the UK, the property market practically closed overnight due to these pressures. New deals started to dwindle for weeks as the market waited patiently for virus rates to drop.
Companies quickly started to use technology to alleviate some of these problems and spark action. Workers and estate agents soon began to operate from home, speaking to clients and colleagues through the use of video calling software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
By utilizing screen shares, property experts were able to guide would-be investors using software like Google Maps. Likewise, they could also see basic photographs of the inside of their potential investment.
But it wasn’t enough to convince many investors. How can simple pictures compare with a fully guided tour of a property? Thankfully, VR technology began to be adopted to give a fully realized immersive experience straight from the comfort of their own home.
Companies have started to use all-new software to increase confidence in investors. Virtual Reality technology isn’t new, but the way property companies began to use it has been truly revolutionary.
Creating a completely liveable world, investors can now venture into properties to get a complete fel for how it looks. This can include not only the property itself but the grounds surrounding it so you can see the development in its fully realized form.
This has especially been useful for off-plan properties (ones that are still being developed) to show investors exactly what they are buying.
The great thing is you can use this software from your phone and desktop PC without the need of a VR headset, although it can certainly help with the immersion.
While many changes caused by the pandemic will likely be temporary, technology like this has perhaps changed the property industry forever.
Why travel to the site of a property when you can see it entirely from the comfort of your own home?
This technology is likely to get even better throughout 2021 too, making the ease of access and quality of the guided tours even higher.
As it stands, it’s likely only big companies can afford to deliver these fully realized guided tours. But as the technology becomes more prevalent, it is likely to become even cheaper. Eventually, in-person property viewings could be a thing of the past, with potentially everyone selling their houses using VR software instead.
It wasn’t that long ago that fully immersive VR technology was stuck to the pages of science fiction. So, it makes you wonder what technology could be adopted in 12 months’ time.
Another technology that has started to be used is eco-tech. It’s no secret that climate change is a real and present danger to the planet. It has never been more vital to combat the emissions and toxins we produce as a society.
Thankfully, real estate companies have taken note of this. More and more properties are being developed with eco-tech in mind, but perhaps this hasn’t been truer than ELEMENT- The Quarter.
ELEMENT- The Quarter, from RWinvest, is located in North West England and has a bunch of technology crammed into its walls to drastically reduce energy usage.
Alongside a central server that regulates temperature in the building to avoid any wasted energy, there is also a rainwater recycling system, solar panels, and a fascinating shower system that redistributes the heat from wastewater.
For every apartment sold, RWinvest is also planting 100 trees in the Amazon Rainforest.
It’s truly inspiring the levels of commitment property companies are going to reduce energy waste. It’s likely properties like ELEMENT- The Quarter will soon be commonplace throughout the world.
Is AI the future?
Another form of technology that could start becoming more prevalent is Artificial Intelligence. Many smartphone users already have access to fantastic AI software like Apple’s Siri.
AI is certainly becoming more popular, but it has taken some time for real estate companies to adapt to this new age.
Currently, there is emerging software that could be used for the benefit of employees of property companies.
The IBM Tririga software is a fascinating tool. Voice-controlled, the application can help businesses organize space and improve employee safety.
Likewise, Compass, a US-based company, has started using AI technology to help users find properties that meet their preferences. The company has excitingly announced plans to launch their very own software which will give homeowners the chance to see the impact of any planned home improvements.
AI is also used to improve HR as much as possible. For example, some companies such as Zoek are using AI technology to help create more accurate job matches. You can read more about how companies are using AI to recruit clients in one of our previous posts.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible. We are only one month into 2021, and already real estate companies are geared up for an exciting future. It remains to be seen how the industry will react in the next 12 months, but it’s sure to be one to keep an eye on.