The (Near) Future of Property

2018-04-02


If you haven't heard of it already, PropTech may be the future of everything real estate and is expanding at an exponential rate[1]. Common transactions for the most traditional of assets could be transformed, including both renting and buying a property, cutting out the paperwork and digitalising the entire process.


Blockchain has interrupted several industries, such as banking, financial markets, healthcare, government and insurance[2], and it is expected to disrupt the world of property too, by allowing quick transactions of real estate. Those months of paperwork could soon become days or minutes, with technology companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Hyperledger all getting involved[3] alongside the seemingly infinite list of startups. Blockchain is an algorithm as well as a structure of data that manages cash without the need for a central control administration system. It was originally just invented for Bitcoin, a backlash against the bank-controlled transactional system.


The possibilities are endless when it comes to PropTech (Property Technology). AI could be taking over legal entities, transferring rights of occupation, monitoring, measuring, iterating and taking requests for prospective occupants. Estate agents work on their own time, but the speed and confidence at which a house or flat could be transacted is what is disrupting this and other industries[4].


Some have even gone further[5] in claiming that at one point you will be able to arrive in your new home and move straight in. Digital assistants and AI will work across software and complete all of the work for you. These intelligent digital agents could perform research on your behalf into property availability, location preferences, price according to your affordability, the performance of your financial assets and whether this could affect the ease of transaction, and these assistants could also exchange and authenticate the rights of the property over to you. Any requirements such as having to relocate for work will be taken into account. Just register interest with your digital assistant, take a virtual tour and the building will allow you in with your ID.


This may all sound like science fiction, but Sweden is already reducing the transactional time for buying or selling a house. The goal is to reinvent the way land titles register[6], cutting the time down to just hours and also reducing the chances of fraud, with signatures required at a few points along the way.


It is possible that we are only a few years away from these technologies becoming the norm? We may have just uncovered a fraction of the possibilities. If blockchain stays true to the promises of its creators, we will be able to experience real estate with great ease and mobility.


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Sources:

  1. James Dearsley
  2. IBM / Blockchain
  3. Zdnet / Blockchain Explained
  4. University of Oxford / Future Of Proptech
  5. Property Moose
  6. Coindesk / Sweden Taking Chance On Blockchain

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