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Factors disrupting real estate industry

Sep 06 2017 18:40
Carin Smith

Stellenbosch - Technology is one of the biggest disruptors in the property industry and if the real estate sector does not move in the same direction, its business can become obsolete, according to Neale Petersen, founder of Real Estate Investor Magazine.

Data has become a valuable asset and by 2030 computers will be more intelligent than people, he said at the annual Rode-Reim Real Estate Conference at the Spier Wine Estate near Stellenbosch.

Governance is one of the factors disrupting real estate due to the current geopolitical environment.

Environmental issues form another factor for the industry to be aware of. Green buildings, for instance, are already outperforming buildings which do not use green technology.

Petersen pointed out that there is a big need for mixed-use developments as it incorporates the "work, live, play" concept. So-called smart cities will especially be impacted by transportation demands.

Social media is another factor influencing the traditional real estate approach.

READ: Property draws the new wave of tech entrepreneurs

The way people invest is also changing. Technology enables them to move around more freely and even work from home. This also impacts on what people want from real estate.

Technology is also disrupting the retail industry due to the growth in e-commerce. This means consumers are starting to look at traditional malls as places for restaurants and entertainment rather than primarily to go and shop. This in turn, therefore, also impacts the real estate industry.

As for the hospitality industry, growth in the house sharing concept - like Airbnb - is a disruptor in the real estate industry.

As for traditional financial methods used in the industry, fintech is a disruptor.

"I say proptech is the new fintech - in other words the way companies use technology to buy, rent, sell or manage properties," said Petersen.

Another disruptor for the industry is so-called "disintermediation". This involves a reduction in the use of intermediaries, for instance in the real estate and insurance industry.

The last disruptor he mentioned is the use of virtual or augmented reality.

"Imagine being able just to point your smartphone at a building to see what is available to rent or buy in that building," he explained.

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property  |  money  |  tech

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