5 proptech trends gaining prominence in 2021

Real estate experts and key industry stakeholders are now started betting big on proptech being a major enabler and future growth driver for the realty sector.
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Ever since the global COVID-19 outbreak began, the real estate markets across various cities and towns have felt the ‘pandemic burden’ and are facing unprecedented levels of challenges and hardships. Though on the positive side, proptech has come to their aid massively in terms of mitigating these problems.

For 2021 and beyond, real estate experts and key industry stakeholders are now betting big on proptech being a major enabler and future growth driver for the realty sector. Be it at the local, national or international levels, proptech can create a positive and sustainable impact everywhere.

Hence, it becomes more important than ever to take note of the latest trends and developments in prop-tech, shaping (or will shape in the near future) the future of the real estate and property market.

Here are five emerging trends in the proptech domain gaining solid momentum.

Property search and transactions take the online route

While online/digital property search and property listings were popular even before COVID, these have now emerged as ‘necessity’ or ‘must-do’ activities, in the absence of alternative options.

Various industry reports suggest that online property search volumes and queries had increased substantially across key real estate markets in India — especially when compared to pre-COVID — during the last financial year, and this trend is expected to continue and grow through the current fiscal year as well.

Even the global scenario seems to be the same — the online property market is booming worldwide. On the other hand, the various types of property transactions, which were previously done mostly through cheques or cash payments, are now also happening online via UPI, payment gateway platforms, and apps, etc.

Property owners becoming ‘Aatmanirbhar’ using technology

Real estate/property owners and landlords in our country, who traditionally used to rely on property agents, realtors or middlemen to sell or rent their properties, are now increasingly becoming self-dependent in the post-pandemic times, with the increased adaptation and usage of technology and digital and social media channels.

As the clarion call for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ gets stronger, we can see how the property owners are nowadays shooting and posting pictures and videos of their properties online in a bid to gain attention from tenants, buyers and property investors — all of whom are also actively looking for best-fit properties online.

Virtual home tours — the ‘new norm’ to woo buyers

Since the COVID-induced mobility restrictions are not allowing in-person property visits, real estate developers, agents, and residential property owners across the world are now increasingly relying on virtual home tours to showcase their properties to prospective clients/customers and aspiring homebuyers.

Most of these virtual home tours are usually facilitated using software or tech platforms that bring in enhanced 3D experiences and 360-degree, in-depth property view by using VR, and other similar technologies. In the post-pandemic era, the real estate sector is expected to continue striking a balance between physical property visits and virtual visits, when it comes to buying and selling of ready homes/apartments especially.

Esigning and online property agreements on the rise

Another notable proptech trend that has assumed significance is the increased use of esigning and online property agreements.

With many real estate and property deals being closed on video calls nowadays (without face-to-face meetings happening), electronic signatures and digital agreements are becoming mainstream, along with the rise of a number of tech platforms or Cloud-based software that allow people to digitally sign a real estate lease, rent or buying agreement, contract etc. as well as share the documents with the persons concerned.

Among key benefits associated with esigning technology are that it enables a great deal of flexibility for the real estate stakeholders/parties and allows them to go paperless, thus making it an environment-friendly and sustainable solution in the long run.

Home automation and smart homes gain popularity

Lastly, home automation and smart homes — a concept that has been around for over a decade — is now becoming heavily popular in the residential real estate markets across the world, thanks to the advancements in technology adoption and the rise in millennial and Gen-Z homebuyers.

An Internet-connected smart home is the one that enables the residents/uses to seamlessly automate different activities and processes within the house, such as opening or closing of doors, switching on the AC, turning the lights and fans on and off automatically or via a remote control device, and so on.

The convenience, comfort, safety and efficiency of home automation are the key factors that are attracting today’s buyers to invest in smart homes, and even large developers across the globe are increasingly integrating smart home tech in their buildings and projects to match user preferences and needs.

Even though still at a nascent stage in India, the smart homes market of our country has been growing steadily in recent years, majorly driven by the huge rise in popularity of voice-activated home automation devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home!

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)