Grant Phillips, CEO Specialist in Technology, e4.

Although the property and real estate sector is one of the largest in the world, both locally and abroad, it remains far behind the technology curve. According to Grant Phillips, CEO of Technology Specialist, e4, significant changes are on the horizon.

The global property and real estate industry, valued at $ 330 trillion, is ahead of the international oil and gas sector and far outperforms the stock markets of most countries. Although property is perhaps the world’s largest repository of wealth, it has remained almost completely untouched by the technological revolution and the massive disruptions that occur around it.

In 2022, the proptech revolution is just beginning. According to a Wall Street Journal report, proptech funding in 2021 soared to record highs, attracting $ 32 billion in investment last year. Investment in technology in space is likely to increase in the coming months and years as the opportunity to increase technological efficiency in an industry that depends on outdated systems and processes presents an attractive opportunity.

In South Africa, the sector is still taking the first indicative steps towards digital transformation, creating the right conditions for significant disruptions. Until recently, the tried and tested business models of asset owners, large institutional landlords and real estate companies remained the same.

The industry is beginning an inevitable shift due to converging factors, including new regulatory pressures in the embedded environment, market pressures that seek to improve efficiency, and pressures from end customers who demand better data along with new programs.

The introduction of technology is now a necessity, which is an exciting prospect for innovative proptech companies, major players in real estate and the many ancillary and ancillary businesses that make up the industry. Even more interesting is the potential of proptech to be truly groundbreaking. Just one example is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to combat carbon emissions in a built environment. Another example is the use of data analytics and augmented reality to create new and unique digital experiences in traditional retail stores. There are also huge advances for proptech in the residential segment of the market, where new systems can provide tenants with programs that work with air conditioning and control electricity consumption.

How exactly each of these trends will occur in the South African context is open to debate. However, it is much clearer that the expected approach to proptech and digital transformation just won’t help.

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