“Going digital” has been the transformation goal in many sectors for some time now. But there is one industry that has just recently jumped on the digital bandwagon. That industry is real estate. An article in May PM Network® examines this newly opened playing field.
Both startups and established companies are launching projects to bring technology into the realm of selling and renting property, homes and offices. That technology runs the spectrum, from use of big data to more accurately assess a home’s value, to virtual reality platforms that will enable prospective buyers to view offerings without actually being there, to crowdfunding that will allow people to invest in international real estate.
The numbers show the growth of “proptech”: Investment in this field rose from US$1.8 billion in 2015 to US$9.6 billion in 2018. And 97 percent of real estate executives told KPMG that they expected digital and technological innovation to significantly impact their businesses.
Bringing tech into real estate is a little different than bringing tech into other industries. The resistance to change and lack of awareness of emerging technologies makes it difficult. And testing products with minimum viable products generally doesn’t work because of the high value of transactions, the article reports. Project managers might consider testing products in simulated transactions.
Software dealing with mortgages have similar considerations. In this part of the real estate industry, automated helpers for approval decisions have to take into account variables on loan applicants’ income that might affect these decisions.
Proptech project managers walk a fine line between designing their products to accommodate variables and keeping the cost down to prospective customers. But that might be a line worth walking because of the growth opportunities in this late-to-the-digitization party sector of the world economy.
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