As innovations continue to swell and technologies continue to evolve, urban living has become more complex. The growing complexities in real estate markets have necessitated the involvement of technology in the sector, and with it brought along many changes. In brief, it has pushed people to seek better ways of integrating the natural, the artificial and the intangible into a seamless experience in life and work. According to Deloitte real estate predictions 2018, the following are the trends that will impact the global real estate industry this year.
In the age of sharing, in a sharing economy, co-working space has definitely found its fit. The concept, whose core is a range of shared office facilities like networks, furniture, stationery, electronics, technical support and of course costs, has taken the traditional office markets by storm. Millennials prefer collaboration, flexibility without the burden of a traditional office lease in addition cost effectiveness, something which has been perfectly addressed by co-shared office space. Co-working spaces have met most of the ingredients of the modern workplace, allowing corporates as well as independent freelancers to thrive. As the trend continues to pick up, the real estate can only expect its growth in leaps and bounds in 2018.
Close to the so called co-shared work space is the idea of smart buildings. Smart work spaces require smart buildings. The building has become an information sponge and an intelligent mass of concrete, metal, glass and sensors with the ability to ‘think’ and communicate feedback through the use of sensors. The increasing embrace of diversity, flexibility and complexity of needs are some of the factors that have necessitated the innovation of smart buildings.
Furthermore, there is a growing push for green buildings. In Africa for instance, countries like Tunisia, Ghana and Kenya had buildings receive global standard ratings on the greenness global index. The demand for smart buildings will create a new twist in the real estate markets for sure.
Robotics and cognitive automation
Real estate processes like accounting, documentation and data analysis have become pretty much bulky and human error is always lurking. Traditional means like spreadsheets, which are still the norm in many companies, have led to grave errors in the past due to the faulty decisions and inaccuracy as may be expected of any human and the growing complexities of the nature of work. It is these and other factors that have led to the need for alternatives. Technologies like robotic process automation which automates manual repetitive processes and cognitive automation which uses machine learning for judgment based processes to arrive at decisions. These technologies will indeed improve productivity and optimize processes in the industry in a big way.
One of the most recent technologies that has drawn the most interest from individuals, entrepreneurs, governments and corporates is the block chain. The underlying value of the public ledger technology has attracted attention from all sectors of industry, and real estate no less. Already a number of governments and companies have experimented with the technology in areas to do with integrity of information and security of transactions in the real estate industry, and lessons have been learn.
As the block chain technology moves towards maturity and away from speculation as seen in the most recent rise and ‘fall’ of bitcoin, there will be more beneficial and revolutionary applications in real estate transactions and hopefully some of those will be seen this year.
The final on our list is the synergy between fintech and real estate technologies. The real estate sector depends massively on the financial sector to thrive and cannot do without it. With the increasing availability and innovation in fintech technologies and ways to deal with modern financing, there will be more solutions to the financial challenges in the real estate sector.
Meanwhile it will be interesting to sit and watch how the market unfolds.