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How Will Proptech Help Define the New Normal in Australia?

September 9, 2020 Coronavirus (Covid-19) No Comments Email Email

The proptech industry has been enjoying momentum for quite some time now, with many solutions developed in Australia that are appealing to investors. While COVID-19 has changed how we work, socialize, and learn, it might also have a long-term impact on how we buy and sell, and manage property. At the same time, in the current environment, anything that helps businesses operate from a distance is a winning proposition.

Now that the second wave of coronavirus is underway in many countries around the world, we have two things on our mind: 1) when will life go back to normal, and what will normal look like? Here, we’re going to look at what we can expect from proptech in the wake of COVID-19. One country asking these questions is Australia.

Shock to the System

When looking at things from a medium to long-term perspective, proptech can only benefit from the shock to the system that has resulted from the pandemic. That’s in spite of the hit that’s been felt by the real estate market.

When it comes to real estate, it’s the retail sector that’s been the most affected, with stores closed and discretionary spending going online. There’s a bright side, however, as the logistics sector has been the main beneficiary of this change.

Experts will write entire books on the COVID-driven commercial real estate change and how offices will operate in the “new normal”. All at once, workers had no choice but to adapt to smart working, and for many of them, office life has changed forever. As businesses adapt to enabling more remote work as a permanent solution, there will be changes to office requirements, with fewer fixed desks and large spaces for individuals to operate in. At the end of the day, the office won’t go away because of remote working, seeing as 87% of international corporations see real estate as being a strategic asset, as opposed to being simply somewhere to go and work. Not every single job lends itself to a remote lifestyle, and many companies will still opt for the collaborative and social advantages born out of an in-person working environment.

The Way Back to Normal

As real estate companies look for ways to come out of the other side of the pandemic still intact, they will come to terms that making their way back to normality will call for making use of technology and thinking in new ways. Proptech firms will need to balance their long-term goals and short-term revenue needs, as when the market builds back up, there will be a significant shift in technology for real estate. There are solutions out there to make adjustments easier, such as a self-managed platform like Rentdesk, which uses AI to advise property owners on important decisions. That’s just one example of the importance of technology in this sector.

Like when the financial sector came out of the GFC, the larger institutions that become more agile, move to digital, and adapt to technology will be the ones who win in the future. The landscape is no longer one of bricks and mortar but insights and data that will be enabled by property-centric tech companies. As a large number of proptech platforms make money for landlords and/or develop efficiencies that improve their users’ bottom line, those groups could yet hold even more value in the present climate.

Property managers and real estate agents were already aware of, and even open to, new solutions. It could just be the case that as fewer people are moving house, these real estate professionals suddenly found the time to look at them. So now we’ve seen not only an accelerated comprehension, but also the pursuit of a solution. Once these solutions are accepted by the marketplace, they’ll be available for the long-haul.

Technology as Our Friend

Technology has perhaps been adaption’s greatest friend during the pandemic, and it’s proven how it can help a business make the necessary adjustments in a world rife with change.

At one time, you may have visited a conference and walked away with a great prospecting idea or script. Now property managers and agents are returning wanting to deploy a new system or tool they’ve been given a demo of.

Whether external factors such as a virus, or because technology is having a greater influence on the world, proptech bow plays a big part in real estate. While it can be a minefield to anyone exposed to it for the first time, it can also boost efficiency and save time, as well as improve a client’s experience, and create new business.

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