TechnologyThe three waves of PropTech and what’s coming next

Mary ChapmanOctober 24, 20197 min

PropTech has been a trending buzzword in the real estate space for the past several years. But actually, PropTech goes back as far as the 1980s.

In this blog post, we take a look at the three waves of PropTech and what you can expect in 2020 and beyond.

Early wave of PropTech (1980-2000)

During this first wave of PropTech, we saw a spike in the use of software tools for various industry needs such as accounting, underwriting and analytics. More quantitative approaches to investment and portfolio management also appeared.

Of course, in this early stage, all software was independent silos that couldn’t communicate with one another.

PropTech in the internet era (2001-2007)

The internet era launched a huge wave of online transactions.  Consumers fell in love with e-commerce and their trust for online transactions eventually branched out to include real estate.

Consumers could finally find real estate information online and began to be able to rent or view homes online.

Sites like zolo.ca and realtor.ca became standard platforms for thousands of users.

PropTech 2.0 (2008-2018)

These ten years of advancements in big data, storage, and innovative use of space led to the most efficient wave of PropTech to date.

This decade ushered in smart buildings, the rise of the Internet of Things, office sharing solutions, the use of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and machine learning in the real estate space.

Toronto is North America’s fastest-growing tech market, “creating more technology than the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington, D.C., combined in 2017” said Ben Liao, managing director at Techstars.

During this decade we saw the emergence of solution providers such as MapYourProperty and Lane.

Lane, a Toronto-based PropTech company provides a communication platform for landlords and tenants.

MapYourProperty is another Toronto-based company that can reduce planning due diligence from one week to just ten minutes. This all-in-one platform lets you search for properties,browse digital maps and zoning information, and access over 50 regulatory data sets.

Chasing and capturing data are no longer buzz words in the PropTech space, they are expectations for success. We have seen organizations pivot towards building data solutions that give industry leaders a more comprehensive view of the lineage between a consumer and a property.

Let’s look at what we can we expect as we move into the next wave of PropTech.

What’s next for PropTech?

In 2020 and beyond, we can expect to see a surge in virtual reality and augmented reality to sell to early investors, to visualize projects to avoid errors and to capture data through scanning.

Blockchain technology in the real estate sector has limitless possibilities. As a payment method, it could cut out the middlemen from property sales. But that’s still somewhere down the line.

For the immediate future, we can expect to see niche coins and tokens that facilitate real estate agreements and contracts and speed up transaction times.

Big data will soon shake up the real estate sector. Technology and data that can identify house prices far in advance will revolutionize the real estate sector.

All the key players in a financial transaction will no longer act in silos, data will allow the stakeholders to connect transparently throughout the entire journey. In fact, FCT is working to make this happen in the near future.

We can also expect that the next wave of PropTech companies will bring solutions that will digitize workflow, elevate transparency and maximize savings.

It’s clear to see that PropTech will continue to shape the future of the real estate landscape.

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Mary Chapman

Graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors BA English Specialization and has completed several publishing courses at Ryerson University. She is a proofreader, editor, and content writer based in London, Ontario.

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