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Jürg Widmer Probst on how technology is transforming real estate

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In every single aspect of our lives today, technology is having a transformative effect. This is even the case in real estate – an industry that has traditionally been quite slow to adopt new innovations.

So what kind of impact is technology having on the property market, and how is it transforming the industry? Here, we bring you an overview of some of the major trends and developments that we’re seeing across the industry.

1. Data is helping investors to make better decisions.

Whether you’re a young person looking to buy your first home or an experienced real estate investor, technology is now making it easier for you to analyse the available data to help you make an informed decision.

For landlords and commercial property owners, it is also becoming increasingly easy to use data analysis to predictively model the future performance of their property portfolio – predicting everything from occupancy rates or energy use to customer footfall.

But beyond this, it is also making it easier for real estate agents to match properties with prospective buyers, as AI-driven search engines quickly learn the kinds of property they’re looking for.

2. Contracts are getting smarter

One of the biggest changes that we’re seeing in the property industry – thanks to technology – is the rise of so-called ‘smart contracts’. Traditionally the process of buying and selling real estate can take a long time, with paperwork going backwards and forwards and only well-paid intermediaries benefiting from the system.

Thanks to smart contracts, which are based on secure blockchain technology, contracts and legal agreements can be shared and automatically implemented directly by a piece of software.

It is a great example of how technology can speed up transactions and make buying and selling properties a smoother process.

3. Technology is opening up new markets and creating new ways of investing

When landlords and investors have access to such a huge amount of data, it dramatically broadens their horizons. We’re now seeing this happen in a couple of ways, with these major changes being driven by technology.

One is that it’s now far easier for real estate investors to operate more freely in other markets, and be informed about opportunities beyond their immediate geographical area. They’re usually doing this either directly, or indirectly via real estate investment funds. Technology has made the world more connected – and this is bringing huge benefits to industries like real estate.

But we’re also seeing changes in the business models that many real estate investors apply to their portfolios of properties too. For example, technology now allows them to be smarter and more flexible about the way they charge rent – something that’s particularly valuable in commercial real estate where they need to adapt quickly to customer needs to compete.

So technology is certainly transforming real estate, in many very practical ways – and we can’t wait to see where technology will take the industry next.




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