The Rise of Proptech and other RE trends in 2021

Shifting customer behaviours are accelerating real estate's adoption of tech solutions; here's why the rise of proptech trends is only beginning.

Rikard Jonsson
December 30, 2021
5 min read

Table of content

Real estate is notorious for being slow to change, but with rapidly changing consumer behavior and priorities, shifts in buying trends, and global issues like climate change and the pandemic accelerating those changes, it’s not hard to see why proptech companies are roaring forward with a vengeance. The Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2021 shows that 78% imply that the use of tech for real estate companies will trend upwards over the next 3-5 years, with Australia coming out as the most innovative country in real estate digitizing space. Proptech is, in a nutshell, IT that helps people research, build, sell, buy or manage property. Here are just a few of the most exciting proptech trends we’re seeing that proves that the sector is finally embracing and understanding the dire need for digitization of the real estate industry. 


  1. Smart Homes with IoT - Marrying real estate tech with the Internet of Things is the future of housing technology, with the best agents integrating these capabilities into their business plans. Today’s consumers want convenience but they also want the little things to count too - and a powerful IoT system can enable high-quality property management, from heating to ventilation, from solar power to security, from kitchen appliances to even pet activity. 


  1. Prioritizing Online Strategy - Now that location, location, location is no longer the only strategy to play with, the best digital agents and companies realize (particularly through the ongoing pandemic) that a winning commercial strategy must have a winning online strategy, primarily website and social media platforms that are highly CX-intuitive and convenient, up-to-date and evergreen at the same time. The application of artificial intelligence algorithms to these ends has also been a fast-rising trend, which is important, because Forbes reports that customers’ first source in home searching and information finding is online websites. 


  1. Mobile - Mobile app development is a major priority for most agents and companies, because a) Google announced that it would index and evaluate how mobile-optimized a website is, and b) investments into mobile proptech trends for real estate are rising every year. Whether it’s using algorithms to help with property valuations or create custom 3D floor plans, being mobile-efficient means more convenience and time saved for agents. 


  1. Artificial Intelligence Algorithms - These are varied and growing in number, but a few examples are: softwares that provide customers with the most relevant recommendations meeting them at their point of need; mobile app technologies catered to real estate that help with the constant and necessary monitoring of property management details; machine learning capabilities that help improve and qualify data aspects and increase transparency for all parties. 


  1. Virtual Reality - High-res photographs and videos have cut it up until now, but today’s consumers are constantly being barraged with a wide range of creative and innovative, visually stimulating experiences when it comes to advertising and entertainment. In 2021, VR and AR have firmly made their presence known in the world of real estate. 72% of agents say they will continue to offer virtual tours after the pandemic ends.


  1. Blockchain - It’s still relatively early days, but blockchain has gained momentum when it comes to its adoption to further security and efficiency to the transaction stage. Two ways it could make a difference in property are: tokenization (using cryptocurrency to divide assets into tokens that will be stored on the blockchain which could allow different actions for different participants) and smart contracting (agreements that speed up many processes like verification, property search and acquisition). Blockchain has also been responsible for the surge in eSigning, with the global digital signature market projected to grow on average at 26.3% annually from 2021 through 2027


  1. Big Data - A huge topic in and of itself, but is consistently ranked by property experts to become one of the most significant trends from here on out, as it has tremendous power of recommendation (more intelligent and personal searches etc). 


  1. Digital twinning - “The IoT and machine learning have fostered a transformative technology called the digital twin”, which is a digital replica of almost anything: places, people, processes, devices and, of course, physical assets. It is now becoming widely adopted in real estate to help in building management. According to a recent study, a 1% reduction in construction costs would save society about $100 billion annually. Digital twins can help save costs of up to 20% and a hundredfold improvement in speed to market on new projects, creating significant social, economic and sustainability benefits, and making it one of the biggest proptech software developments trends in 2021 and going forward. 


  1. Location Safety Technologies - 59% of respondents in PWC’s survey on Emerging Trends in Real Estate agree that health and well-being will become more important factors across all real estate sectors, and proptech is helping bridge the gap for those wanting to implement contactless experiences and creating emergency alert systems. 


  1. Building Information Modeling Technology - 22% of investors consider PropTech innovations in architecture, building, and engineering as areas of interest, and BIM tech makes it possible to track the lifecycle of a building project from conception right up to the end user stage. Benefits include heightened safety, identification and recording of any potential hazards, and enabling remote conferencing tools and project collaboration with multiple parties. 




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