REALX: Covid accelerates pace of proptech adoption

(Top L to R) Richard Betts, Menno Lammers, Anthony Shayle,
(Bottom) Neal Gemasser, Clemens Paschke, Nikki Greenberg.

The pandemic has hastened the adoption of proptech solutions, experts agreed at the Innovation, Data & Proptech briefing, which was held online at REALX.Global, the online trade fair organised by Real Asset Media.

‘Covid-19 has accelerated the transformation of real estate and the investment in technology and innovation,’ said Menno Lammers, initiator & chief proptech officer, Proptech NL. ‘Many companies that were undercapitalised and not investing enough in tech solutions realised they could no delay any more’.

Working from home is the most obvious example of the sudden changes the pandemic has brought about, but they have affected every part of the market, including residential.

‘The current circumstances are leading to an acceleration in the use of technology,’ said Neal Gemassmer, vice president international, Yardi Systems. ‘In resi technology allows you to identify an area, a building, an apartment you like, view it online, book it, sign the contract and receive a digital key, without meeting anyone in person during the entire frictionless process’.

Lockdowns make tech solutions invaluable

The lockdown measures, travel restrictions and social distancing requirements imposed by the pandemic have made these tech solutions all the more invaluable.

‘The lockdown made online visits and 360-degrees viewings crucial and it really brought home the need for these tech solutions,’ said Clemens Paschke, CEO  EverEstate. ‘We fully digitalise the sales process already, but we believe that tech and data can change the whole ecosystem and the way we work together’.

Some parts of the industry will inevitably be disrupted and some people will be left behind.

‘Online platforms are replacing high street agents and so on,’ said Gemassmer. ‘People need to invest in tech at an aggressive rate or they will no longer be relevant. They will lose clients because they won’t be able to service them in an effective way’.

There is no time left to waste. ‘The pandemic has been a real catalyst for change, leading to new ways of working and interacting and a re-thinking of the way we do things,’ said Nikki Greenberg, founder & CEO, Real Estate of the Future. ‘Our population is changing too, and by 2030, ¾ of the workforce will be Millennials and GenZ, so technology will be a given’.