Terms such as cloud computing, Internet of things and big data are becoming more common in the real estate industry. So, as we look forward to the rest of 2017, what key real estate technology trends should we watch for?
We list four that we predicts will define the industry this year.
- Growth in the startup scene for real estate technology
- A shift to SaaS delivery
- The rise of APIs everywhere
- The adoption of mobile technology in the field
1. Growth in the Startup Scene for Real Estate Technology
According to technology research firm Venture Scanner, global funding for real estate technology startups grew to over $5 billion in 2016. That is more than a five-fold increase from 2011. Since 2014, they have raised more than $20 billion. This signals continued momentum and growth in real estate technology trends. Year after year, more firms are developing technology products directly for the real estate industry.
Venture capital into technology startups has slowed slightly the last 12 months. However, there is still momentum in the real estate sector. Major growth areas include research, property management, accounting and marketing. Real estate is a data-centric industry, and start-ups can help. The current focus is on finding better ways to extract and transform property information.
2. A Shift to SaaS Delivery
Most people are familiar with the concept of cloud technology. However, they may not realize the benefits of cloud platforms for software delivery. Software as a Service, or SaaS, is gaining popularity. Its cost efficiencies and data storage give it an advantage over traditional enterprise systems.
SaaS allows firms to run operating systems through hosted cloud networks. This removes the need for things like software updates, data storage and heavy hardware. For example, Microsoft’s Office 365 is a cloud-based version of its Office Suite of products. Firms are able to run much more streamlined computing processes since they access them online.
Looking ahead, expect to see:
- More real estate firms integrating SaaS solutions into their operations
- More software products standardized into cloud networks
3. The Rise of APIs Everywhere
APIs have been around for some time. They continue to grow in importance as firms integrate more software into their operations. APIs are essentially the common language that allows different software to talk to each other. The language used for APIs is increasingly standardized, which makes it easier for organizations and consumers to use. This is driving growth.
Real estate technology trends include the development of APIs across a wide range of real estate products. For example, there are many APIs available for housing sales data. Programs such as MLS or Zillow allow users to pull data from these online sources. APIs allow users to extract and transfer data from one software platform to another.
4. The Adoption of Mobile Technology in the Field
Among emerging real estate technology trends, mobile technology is probably the most relevant for firms who have decentralized workforces.
We have noticed several emerging trends in this area:
- Mobile applications for procurement and inventory management
- Building system monitoring via smartphones (the concept of the Internet of Things)
- Contract and document management, including increasing legal and policy based solutions
Real Estate Technology Trends in the Year Ahead
2017 will undoubtedly be a key year in the real estate technology sector. We will see businesses and consumers hurry to adopt the latest digital technologies. The market has traditionally been geared towards consumers (e.g. B2C products). This year, expect more technology firms to build products for investors and owners of real estate.
For more information on real estate technology or software solutions, contact 4tell™ Solutions.
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