Starting out in 2017, Nitin Chopra has come a long way in establishing Dubai-based RANGE International Property Investments as a leading player in the real estate brokerage space. Today, RANGE and its team of 100-plus employees, with over two decades of collective experience, knows the UAE market inside out but also boasts the expertise to include in its portfolio exclusive properties around the world.
Remember the days of having to take a day off work to visit a property, just so that you could find that ideal home? Well, now you don’t even have to step out of the house—all you need is a laptop or a smartphone, and the place you’re looking for is just a click away, personalised according to your needs and desires.
Today, details of a property—its ownership and its occupants, its features and its adoption of ‘smart home’ technology—are available at one’s fingertips, and thus accessible to everyone, whether they’re seeking a place to buy or stay, or whether they’re a property consultant trying to figure out the latest trends in the world of real estate.
Indeed, tech has revolutionised the industry. Here are some of the technologies that are driving—and future proofing—real estate.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things continues to transform how we live (and how we look after and over our homes). It is the technology behind domotics, better known as ‘smart home’ technology. Connected to the Internet, this tech allows a landlord, tenant or property manager, to oversee the lighting or air-conditioning (among other comforts and aspects of everyday living), thus helping save on staff and time.
Domotics also helps in keeping an eye on—and conserving—energy consumption, a major challenge these days when energy prices are shooting through the roof. Meanwhile, predictive maintenance is playing a crucial role in identifying and diagnosing malfunctions in a residential or commercial space, whether the problem is related to the water or power supply, the lighting or air-conditioning.
When it comes to protection and safety, intelligent home security systems have come as a godsend. Tech such as smart security cameras and sensors comes to the aid of property managers and landlords, who can monitor the building without having to go onsite, especially those who live a fair distance away from the property. The images that are captured by cameras and sensors are stored on the cloud, adding another layer of security to the premises.
Besides, a patch of real estate located on a map with GPS coordinates, gives interested buyers more background on the property, in terms of the civic amenities and public transportation that are close at hand. So, really, your dream home is now that much nearer.
The process of listing a property, then waiting for it to get sold, has always been time consuming. Now, virtual reality has accelerated the process, meaning that every piece of information about the property is accessible and visible via video or images. The immersive experience that VR offers gives buyers the chance to ‘walk through’ a house or apartment, a duplex or cottage—even one that has not yet been built. Also, if you’re eyeing a property in a particularly prime location abroad, VR can facilitate a tour for you.
And VR turned out to be indispensable when lockdowns confined us indoors, allowing future buyers to undertake ‘home tours’—and maybe figure out how best to personalise these spaces. Don’t like that ‘touch’ in the living room? Well, you can add your own!
Big Data, Machine Learning & Blockchain
Big data enables brokers and consultants, as well as potential buyers, to identify currents and trends in the market, whether these pertain to the monetary value of a property or the demographic of the target audience. For property managers, big data also helps zero in on the right type of buyer, down to the tiniest detail. The challenge is to find ways of accessing, sorting and utilising such data smartly. And here, machine learning comes in handy.
Machine learning, in fact, is responsible for the biggest disruption in real estate. Its algorithms facilitate easier grouping and analysis of unstructured and multi-sourced big data. Machine learning employs industrial volumes of data to enhance a company’s operations and boost its profits while assisting homebuyers in making informed decisions.
Then, there’s the blockchain, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Brick-and-mortar properties can, believe it or not, be represented by NFTs, which can then be bought and sold, like any property. For instance, if a property or piece of land is an NFT, its ownership can be transferred within minutes; ordinarily, the procedure for the same can be frustratingly cumbersome and tedious.
Yet, a transfer can only be executed after an NFT has been minted. Each token would integrate all data, legal or otherwise, that pertains to the property. Once there is a record of the ‘mint’ in an NFT marketplace, the token becomes a legitimate proof of ownership. And there are zero chances of data or security, of both buyer and seller, being compromised, for the technology that drives blockchain and NFTs is sturdily dependable.
The tech way to your dream home
Further, all details of tenants are stored on the cloud, so anyone looking for rented accommodation need no longer go through the rigmarole of sharing documents or personal information, to prove their bona fides. Meanwhile, every detail and specification of the residence is easily accessible to prospective tenants.
The age of homes with automation systems and smart appliances are well and truly here, and unsurprisingly there is growing demand for the same, for these smart homes make life so much more convenient.
Best of all, if you’ve bought a house, one that comes with all the smart tech money can buy, you can comfortably plan a holiday safe in the knowledge that you can remotely monitor what’s happening ‘back home’. Just like brokers and property managers are able to. All you need is a smartphone or laptop.
Thanks to tech, the future of real estate has already arrived.