Technology has created ripples in every field of life; whether it is governance, medicine, economics or business management, technology and its benefits have given rise to a new culture of practices. The word ‘PropTech’ embodies the same transformation that has evolved over a period of time in the real estate sector of the world. The term PropTech is created out of joining the words property and technology, which is an ensemble of a wide range of phenomena owing to the combination of technology in the real estate sector. Across the world, developed and developing countries are including technology in the real estate sector to achieve long-term goals associated with the economy, and environment. Similarly, Pakistan has also embarked on the mission of using technology to increase the scope of its real estate sector.
What is PropTech
Different academicians and professionals of the real estate sector have defined PropTech in different ways. However, there are certain commonalities and key takeaways that can concisely explain it.
The phenomenon of PropTech can be elaborated in the following way:
A conglomerate digital entity employing technology in the segments associated with real estate sectors such as handling financial transactions and legal transactions, to form a digital ecosystem for exploring new opportunities, and transforming the real estate sector.
The term smart real estate is related to the efficient management of real estate. It incorporates practices which contribute to sustainability and energy, buildings using tech, and smart cities. The term is wide in scope and it also pertains to incorporating technology for construction activities, and construction designs. Technology is employed in the financial transactions ranging from renting of house, mortgage, buying and selling of property all being done through digital platforms. This is the most important segment of PropTech, since it helps to eradicate malpractice and human error in financial transactions.
Oxford University has categorised PropTech and its application into twelve broad areas which are associated with the real estate sector:
- Property Management
- Construction Management
- Facility Management
- Portfolio Management
- Home Services
- Commercial Real Estate Search
- Long Term Rentals
- Short Term Rentals
- Life, Home Property and Casualty
- Real Estate Agent Tools
- Indoor Mapping
- The IoT Home
Evolution of PropTech
The phenomenon of PropTech is continuously evolving since the 20th century. The evolution of technology in real estate is classified in three phases: Proptech 1.0 (1980-2000), Proptech 2.0 (2000-2010), and PropTech 3.0 (2010-to date).
PropTech 1.0 began with the invention of Personal Computers (PCs) and mainframes in the 1980s. This equipped real estate markets with analytics capabilities. Further, with the introduction of internet services, the real estate sector started to move on digital platforms.
The internet and e-commerce acted as a precursor to the start of PropTech 2.0. With the penetration of the internet in every household and online real estate markets available on smartphones, PropTech 2.0 lasted from 2000-2010.
PropTech 3.0 is the most advanced stage. It is the amalgamation of the most advanced technology pertaining to blockchain, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality with the real estate sector. PropTech 3.0 is said to change the outlook of the sector as well as changing the role of different actors altogether.
Pakistan and PropTech
According to the survey conducted in ‘Raconteur’, 90% of traditional real estate organisations perceive PropTech as a gateway to numerous opportunities. Meanwhile, 93% people believe that real estate companies should benefit from the services of PropTech companies in order to acquaint themselves with the changing global environment. Similarly, it has also been established that online platforms create interest in commercial property deals.
The IT sector of Pakistan contributes $3bn to the Pakistani economy, and on the other hand, Pakistan has the potential of exporting IT products worth $12bn. These statistics show that Pakistan can utilise the existing IT framework to build a framework for digitising the major economic segments. In this backdrop, the intervention of PropTech will benefit both the real estate and IT sector of Pakistan. Furthermore, with the backing of The Digital Pakistan Policy, the pace of PropTech in Pakistan can be sped up.
The real estate sector of Pakistan has room for improvement, by employing PropTech with the help of the private sector the traditional practices of this sector can be revamped to make the most out of it. Moreover, the use of technology in the real estate sector can act as a panacea for the economy of Pakistan while also efficiently managing the resources and investments. The real estate sector of Pakistan is marred by unprofessional practices: entities defying the law, lack of transparency, and land grabbing; by incorporating technology these issues can be sorted out. Employing PropTech can make the real estate sector of Pakistan lucrative while attracting investments from abroad and within.
PropTech can transform the landscape of Pakistan in the following ways:
- Promotion of e-commerce, while providing a secure framework for financial
- Development of sustainable cities by adopting environment-friendly technology.
- Dissemination of information on a large scale to counter the illegal real estate entities.
- Innovation in construction designs by employing the latest technologies.
- Encouraging credibility and transparency by digitising real estate brokerage.
Graana.com – the PropTech Pioneers in Pakistan
Since PropTech transformation in the real estate sector of Pakistan is underway, Graana.com – Pakistan’s first online real estate marketplace is making headway in introducing technology in real estate practices. Graana.com being the PropTech pioneer of Pakistan is providing real estate facilities to the customers through its online property portal.
By revamping the conventional methods through proptech, the Graana app has shrunk the real estate sector of Pakistan to mobile screens and made it very accessible. Through its verified listings, potential buyers and sellers are getting hassle-free real estate experience by viewing detailed property features. The digital platform is acting as a convenient meeting point for buyers and sellers.
Furthermore, Graana.com, with the usage of under the vision of PropTech, is employing technology for secure transactions. The online marketplace is offering PropSure Digital Solutions for ensuring quality control mechanisms. Simultaneously, technology is being incorporated in the domains of Estate Management, Property Valuation and Assurances, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs.
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