The real estate sector in Spain began to be digitized at the beginning of the last decade with the appearance of the first real estate web portals such as Idealista, Habitaclia, Fotocasa, or Yaencontré, which contained search engines from which properties could be selected by population, price, type of investment (rent or purchase), number of rooms, among other segmentations; and showing photos of the same, characteristics and providing direct contact with owners or real estate agencies, without having to go previously and physically to the agencies.
In 2014, the term Proptech was born in the UK, which brings together companies that apply new technologies to the real estate sector.
Currently, worldwide, the US is at the forefront of Proptech development, and in Europe, the UK is the country with the most implementation. In 2017 the consulting firm Finnovating and the real estate agency Savills Aguirre Newman published the first Proptech map of Spanish Companies,Currently there are more than 300 companies in our country that we could call Proptech.
The forecast for this year is that Blockchain technology will begin to be implemented in the real estate sector in our country, in fact the JLL consulting firm has already begun to apply it within its real estate appraisal area, so that it allows online appraisal of estate.
Real estate appraisal is a complex task so far, which requires validating each of the data provided to calculate the value of a property (property registry, cadastre, appraisal report, etc.), with the application of Blockchain technology. Verifications of the data can be carried out immediately and with the certainty that the data cannot be manipulated, and can be consulted in a simple way with a simple Internet connection by the banking entities from which mortgages are requested by individuals, or by those interested in buying a property. The online real estate company Comprapiso has also signed an agreement with JLL to incorporate Blockchain technology in the real estate appraisal of the real estate company; therefore it is to be expected that throughout this year more real estate companies will also adopt and incorporate this technology.
The real estate developer Metrovacesa has joined the Alastria multisectoral Consortium, with the aim of developing innovation projects in Real Estate through the use of Blockchain.
Regarding the Participatory Financing Platforms of Real Estate Crowdfunding It is foreseeable that they will continue to rise as an alternative system to investment in general and to real estate investment in particular, since they provide high profitability both for the capital gains from the revaluation of the assets of their promotions, and for the returns provided by rentals of the properties until their sale is decided, and that the growth of this type of Crowdfunding platforms will undoubtedly be enhanced in 2019, if, as is foreseeable, the legislative barriers are relaxed, to which those of Crowdlending are also subject and that allow for real estate developers a form of financing their projects alternative and / or complementary to that of traditional banking.
Blockchain technology will also begin to be applied in the Real Estate Crowdfunding sector and in Crowdlending, for the verification and safeguarding of the transactions deposited by investors until 100% of the financing provided for in the different projects is reached and also It will apply to allow in a transparent, fast and secure way the automatic release to the promoter, of the funds deposited by the investors, once the transactions of the investors and the signature of each and every one of them have been confirmed and verified. , either the loan contract in the case of Crowdlending or the deed of incorporation of the company that will be the owner of the property in the investments of Real Estate Crowdfunding.
The application of drones in the real estate sector, it is also foreseeable that throughout this year it will be implemented in companies in the sector as an aid to promoters, to closely monitor the progress of their projects by taking photos to show the clients their status. They will also begin to be used by real estate agencies to show in an innovative way not only photographs or virtual reality applications of homes, but also videos of the environment in which they are located.
At the end of this year, the United States and China are slated to start operating 5G networks, which are the fifth generation of mobile connectivity and which will allow connections higher than 10Gbps, that is, a speed 100 times the current one and which implies low latency (time it takes to transmit a data packet within the internet, from its origin to destination) and that will mean an authentic take-off of the technology applied to the control and intelligent automation of the home through the generalization of the internet of things, which will allow the connectivity of multiple objects for an efficient management of consumption, security and the comfort of the buildings.
The implementation of 5G will also positively affect virtual reality applied to Real Estate, since real estate companies will be able to take advantage of the reduction in latency and transmission capacity, to create virtual environments from their websites that allow customers to visit the properties from their computer or Smartphone, and even consult the construction characteristics such as windows, type of floor, etc., or of the facilities such as boilers or type and characteristics of electrical appliances available to homes, with a simple click when viewing them in the 360º virtual tours
In Spain, however, this technology will not arrive until 2020, although the large mobile phone operators are already beginning to install 5G antennas in the main Spanish cities. While this technology is being implemented, the use of so-called virtual assistants or smart speakers will advance, which by identifying voice commands launched from the homeowners' smartphones, are able to remotely manage multiple existing devices within the homes .
In summary, we can say that PropTech is revolutionizing the traditional and classic real estate market and companies in the sector must gradually implement new digital technologies if they do not want to run the risk of becoming outdated or even disappearing.