We’ve written before about the rise of “proptech,” technology innovation focused on real estate and housing. Tech is already being incorporated in this space for uses such as streamlining landlord-tenant payments, managing properties remotely, and transforming buildings to become more sustainable.
And some say that, going forward, proptech won’t be something to be added on to property management, but will be baked in from the beginning. Just as the foundation of a building has to be laid first before anything else can be done, tech integration will be a consideration from the very beginning.
For example, there's a lot of talk right now about "robot appraisals," where automated valuation models (AVMs) replace conventional appraisals. But it's not an either/or scenario, says James Marshall, director of real estate analytic products at Clear Capital.
“The rise of big data and increased computing power has made AVMs much more accurate, and their effectiveness and cost-friendliness adds to their popularity,” he said. “But no property is exactly alike, so the one-size-fits-all approach to property valuation just doesn't work. The real estate valuation industry must also consider the human element. For example, the special characteristics in a property — like a living room’s atmosphere, the property’s view, or the neighborhood’s ‘feel’ — are, with today's technology, still imperceptible to AVMs.”
Of course, there’s probably a limit to how “connected” we want everything in our lives to be, so hopefully tech’s increasing integration into real estate benefits our lives instead of creating new problems.