James Dearsley: The 4 Most Important Partners For PropTech

We are in the middle of a digital transformation of the built environment, a period in history where everything we thought we knew about designing, building and selling property is being challenged and changed.

Much of this change is being put down to the rapid ascension of the PropTech industry, but I would argue that there is much more at play. We are seeing disruption coming from all angles, architectural visualisation, crowdfunding and robotics, to name just three.

In an attempt to highlight the varied influences that are creating this digital transformation, here is a breakdown of 4 of the most important PropTech partners.

1. Finance

Finance technology, otherwise known as FinTech, is one of the most influential, if not the most, technology brackets in the world. Why? Because every conceivable industry and sector benefits from a more accessible and streamlined financial experience.

In the context of the built environment, FinTech is radically changing the way that projects and developments are financed.  We are seeing the introduction of property crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and Blockchain (see below).

All in all, it means that there are now far more options for financing a building project; rather than relying on a large corporation or a wealthy foreign investor to fund a build, the doors have been flung wide open to raise money in more or less any conceivable way. The origins of this movement came when the banks stopped lending money, or offering affordable mortgage plans. People needed an alternative.

2. Architecture

Architecture is, of course, the primary stage of any new building development or project.

The Digital Transformation of the built environment has taken an immediate and revolutionary hold over the this industry. One of the key reasons for this is the introduction of architectural visualisation technology.

Such tech allows everybody involved in a project to get a realistic, tactile experience of what the finished development will look and feel like.

Thanks to Virtual Reality, unbuilt buildings can be walked through and explored; this ability allows for changes and adaptations to be made to plans etc, saving immeasurable amounts of time and money on any given development.

3. Construction

Once a project has been designed and funded, it’s time for construction, another industry that is contributing greatly to the digital transformation of the built environment.

Construction is undergoing an incredible amount of disruption from technology, all designed to make the process of building cheaper, faster and more sustainable.

Introduction of new, environmentally friendly materials to help reduce damage to the atmosphere; 3D printing to help reduce costs and therefore make homes affordable for those for whom is currently out of reach.

Augmented Reality is also making its mark on ConTech, with the introduction of Smart Helmets revolutionising the way that skilled labourers work and collaborate.

4. Blockchain

Blockchain offers a reliable, secure and fully accountable alternative to traditional money transactions, many of which are prone of human error and fraudulent behaviour.

Once a piece of information is put into the chain, it cannot, under any circumstances, be changed. It holds particular promise in the context of Land Registry records.

At the moment, the process of knowing and recording who owns what piece of property/land and how much they paid for it and from whom they bought it, is an incredibly convoluted, inefficient and unreliable practice; vulnerable to error and the falsifying of information. Blockchain means it is reliable, secure, up to date and easily accessible.

James Dearsley is Founder of the Digital Marketing Bureau and a PropTech communicator. To sign up to James’ Sunday PropTech Review, click here.

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