Sivan Blasenheim, Bricks Founding Partner
New Industry Trends For Proptech Will Define Its Future
Sivan is the Founder of Rentigo a US-based property management solution, and an expert on prop-tech, payments, and their intersection. It goes without saying that the current global health pandemic is a major crisis, but for proptech companies, this is a major opportunity to do good while doing well. From air sensors to contactless building management and affordability, proptech could play an immense role in aiding renters and property managers during the pandemic, while providing value that no one could have imagined even a few months ago.
As an expert in proptech and the founder of a property management solution, I believe that this technology has the ability to offer renters and property managers alike solutions to issues that have arisen in the current crisis. These trends brought on by the pandemic have the potential to redefine and change the landscape of proptech. Here are a few proptech developments and trends I believe will become increasingly prevalent in the months to come. Making Rent Easier
What if a tenant struggling to pay rent opened their building's app and in the payment portal they saw a "help with payment" button? Not only is it possible, but considering the need and the opportunity, it's inevitable. Coupling financial products with proptech means enhanced safety (e.g., tenants don't have to drop off a check), while also providing access to financial products tenants otherwise wouldn't have been aware of (i.e., discounts for tenants that they can't get on their own). I expect that more and more proptech solutions will include additional features to erase tenant friction points.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a video or virtual tour could provide potential renters with peace of mind when it comes to renting sight unseen. Showing apartments to potential renters virtually negates the need for multiple people to be in an enclosed space — a situation that potential renters may want to avoid in the current climate. Adopting virtual tours gives renters more context to know if an apartment is truly relevant and a good fit for them. Virtual tours also reduce the number of nonrelevant prospective renters per apartment. I expect that adopting virtual showrooms will have an impact that lasts far beyond the pandemic, as it enables a prospective buyer or renter to easily be shown different designs, layouts and other customizable aspects. Cleanliness And Beyond
A doorman, gym facilities, pools and other amenities once closed the deal, but the feeling of security that comes with clean facilities is now a major selling point. Tenants value regular cleaning and want to feel that their home is safe. Proptech's redefined role starts with ensuring that cleaning actually occurs and tracking it with conventional sensors and a building management app. In the not-so-distant future, I predict that proptech solutions will also likely strive to incorporate biosensors for measuring the air quality and detecting air pollutants such as bacteria and viruses. New proptech might leverage these scientific advances and implement such sensors, automatically communicating to the building's connected platform when to change filters or even to freshen up the air.
Aside from conveying timely information related to the pandemic, recent World Health Organization statements have also highlighted the potential mental health crisis that may accompany the current climate. Being alone and isolated tends to make already challenging times even harder, but fostering online communities among tenants could help counter this isolation, while also becoming a defining trend in proptech. Community-building solutions can help tenants connect to one another and go beyond simply renting an apartment. WeWork (despite its recent valuation nosedive) hit upon the importance of this trend by selling a lifestyle, not just an office. I expect property managers will increasingly tap into this mindset and deliver a more community-based experience for their tenants.
The global pandemic's impact is immense and affecting almost every aspect of life. Proptech is being affected by it, but this moment in time will also redefine the entire sector for years to come. Today's budding features and technologies will be tomorrow's must-haves and potentially lasting industry trends for the coming decades. We're still in the midst of this challenge, but at the end of it proptech will not only have survived and played an important role, it will also be transformed for decades to come. #proptech #startups #community #proptechtrends