by Katia Montresor
Thanks to new technologies, the real estate market is becoming more competitive every day. The way we do most of the business is on an international scale, the experiences of users are becoming increasingly compelling and the classic figure of man with a tie is now a memory. The news related to the real estate in the technology sector are numerous and very interesting. Some can even be called revolutionary. Let's discover the most influential ones.
AR and VR, virtual but real!
According to a recent estimate by Goldman Sachs, AR and VR are expected to become a $95 billion market by 2025. Augmented reality (AR) is a reality that goes beyond our five senses and that is "augmented" and improved through the use of artificial and virtual information. A first example of this technology was provided by Google in 2013 – the famous Google Glass device, a small display to be placed above the eye that shows information on the surrounding visual field. Since then the entire mobile sector began applying this technology in smartphones, laptops, tablets and glasses that are combined with special software or applications.
In the real estate sector, applications of AR are innumerable. For example, an apartment can now be completely reproduced, allowing the client to view the interior and exterior spaces of it. With the help of a touch screen, a webcam and a marker you can see an entire housing complex in 3D, both from the outside and from every corner of its rooms. There are applications for smartphones that provide geolocations of the properties in the zone where you are walking at a given moment.
Virtual reality (VR) transforms 3D models of buildings into an interactive and engaging experience. Showing a house simply with photos is now démodé. Today you can visit a property without moving from home, managing mobile images the way you wish. Just by wearing a pair of 3D glasses you can "enter" a house and view it as if it was a real visit.
“Hi, I'm your Chatbot, can I help you?
According to Business Insider, 63% of people from a survey consider talking with a robot online an interesting option, although 79% say that in case of problems, a person should take over the conversation. Therefore a chatbot does not replace human relationship, which is the key element of the real estate sector. The real strength of the chatbot lies in its ability to be autonomous and always present, active 24 hours a day, offering users help and answers, and at the same time record interests, preferences, ages and tastes of the users.
"There's a new business in the “block"
According to a recent study by Deloitte (August 2017), blockchain-based contracts “could revolutionize the future of real estate”. In particular, the blockchain technology can “advance leasing, as well as purchase and sale transactions”. The forecasts for 2018 are very optimistic. As the report explains, there will be some major impacts of the blockchain technology on the real estate business:
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The design from the sky: drone
Visual marketing carried out by drones will be among the cheapest and the most impactful strategies of the coming years. A drone is a small plane with a very advanced technology that requires to be piloted by an expert dronist. Drones are able to offer a 360° immersive experience. In particular:
A professional drone can cost from 1,000 to 2,000 dollars. A really small investment compared to the business that it can create. Drones already took place in a luxury real estate sector in the USA, Canada and Europe. There are even real estate agencies who specialize only in videos made by drones.
Who knows what Guttenberg would say...
The Economist announced that “3D printing and clever computers could revolutionize construction” (June 2017). Perhaps they referred to one of the first modular houses built in only eight hours by the Ukrainian engineer Max Gerbut. Eight hours, thanks to the 3D printer technology, to make a mobile and self-sufficient house! How did they create it? The design team drew a 3D printer sketch at the factories in Ukraine and California. A robot then used 3D printing technology to “print” a building layer by layer: the floor, the 20 cm walls and the roof, all made of carbon fibre, polyurethane, resins, fibers of basalt and glass.
To create a 3D house you can also use other materials, such as soil, water, straw, wood, steel, metal and stone, materials previously unimaginable in traditional manufacturing.
A versatile home, which can become a guest house, a house to "take" with you on vacation, or a sort of "agile hotel" to rent, not to mention various applications in times of emergency, such as earthquakes, wars, floods, or even scientific and research villages
“Where” is important
of your PC. It is also possible to "study" the favourite area from the point of view of services, commercial activities and places of interest (museums, theaters, etc).
Ever time geolocation functions become more complete thanks to the use of Location Intelligence (LI). Through the application of Location Intelligence, companies can now get a clear picture of areas that have a record of the most sales or that are more likely to accept certain marketing offers. LI creates a new way to visualize, analyze and track potential and effective partnerships, sales and customers. In conclusion, LI organizes the data in a specific environment where it can manage it for strategic marketing purposes.
by Rajeev Lehar / co-founder KL Property Partners
Possibilities and threats of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in real estate and property investing
For the last few years there has been a huge amount of focus on the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum. Our company has been observing the developments in the multi-billion dollar industry to figure out what possibilities and threats it has to offer in property investments in particular.
The DNA of the blockchain technology is fascinating and at the same time daunting. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum have definitely been in the driver’s seat on the blockchain market and have already created a footprint. The Deloitte report here gives a great overview of what we are talking about when it comes to commercial real estate:
But let me briefly explain the possibilities our company sees in the real estate and property investment industries that can be enhanced by utilizing the blockchain technology, if applied correctly.
Consider the following:
2. Less risk of document forgery. Proof of ownership, proof of exchange, proof of transaction and proof of existence is where this technology is showing its strength. Previously, there have been many cases of forgery related to property documentation such as ownership, title splits and even evaluations, which can now be prevented to a certain extent. Traceability is most likely to be higher as all the property information remains unchanged during transactions throughout the entire lifecycle. This will also give a much better and more reliable database of historical transactions and will preserve the history of every deal.
3. Smart contracts ensure the transparency in transactions. Having direct peer-to-peer transactions done by blockchain technology assures security for all the counterparts. This can help deals become safer and more secure.
4. Reduction in transaction cost. Due to enhanced time efficiency and reduced costs on middlemen, we expect more flexibility in margins until the markets are coordinated properly. This might have a huge impact on the slow old-school property investment markets, and less impact in countries that already utilise digital technology.
With every possibility there is a challenge to overcome:
1. The transition of transferring information cannot be avoided and requires government's approval. Since this technology is based on decentralisation, it is seen as a threat and as a huge workload. It might take a while for some markets and countries to adapt.
2. Legislation regulations for cross-border transactions need to be in place. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) along with other financial organizations have called for global coordination on potential bitcoin regulation. Today, the rules vary greatly from country to country and individual regulatory agencies are not making it any clearer. At the moment, this brings additional risks to international investment projects.
3. Might reduce flexibility of different investment strategies, such as different ownership structures, business structures and tax efficient setups for portfolio investments. As we have not seen these type of complex deals before, it is hard to predict the outcome.
We will continue to observe closely the development of blockchain technologies in property investments. Striving to achieve the balance of being innovative and providing our clients with safe investment opportunities we might enter this vibrant market very soon.
KL Property Partners
By Michelle Bryant / Strategic Partner at KL Property Partners
Article review: First bitcoin homes sell in the UK
Unless you have been hiding under a rock or living on another planet you will be well aware of the phenomenon that is "Blockchain."
The digital ledger known as "Blockchain" in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly, enable transactions to be lightning fast at very low cost. It is now possible to buy and sell UK property with bitcoin enabling exchange and completion to occur at the same time.
I love change and am all for new sophisticated, slick systems especially in the world of finance and property. However, I cannot yet fully understand how we commence recording such transactions on a balance sheet and integrating them into a property portfolio?
It is actually happening right now and it is being predicted that this will be common place in the very near future.
But, back to the basics:
Bitcoin is volatile. Accountants are conservative creatures.
According to the media there are many UK sellers out there who are keen to accept bitcoin but really do they understand what they are potentially exposing themselves to?
I will be very interested to see how such transactions in the property industry further evolve and in what volume. I will be watching very closely to see how such transactions are treated for accounting purposes, how they are handled by all the necessary parties and how they will or won't be regulated.
This could be epic. Watch this space...
KL Property Partners
KL Property Partners
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