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5 property technologies for a hot real estate market in 2022

Lucy McInally

The real estate market has traditionally been slow to adopt new technologies. But, with property technology solutions disrupting the industry since 2012, proptech startups have already raised over $43 billion in global funding, Deloitte reports in Real Estate Predictions 2020. Proptech solutions have potential to massively innovate the real estate industry. For instance, our commercial partner, proptech technology company OnTheMarket plc, recently announced in their full-results to January 2022 that their agency revenue has significantly increased by 27%. They feature “best-in-class products and platforms across the entire property ecosystem”, which exemplifies that the right solutions can generate more revenue for the real estate market. Let’s explore 5 property technologies for a hot real estate market in 2022.

Personalised property portals

Claimed “the [real estate] industry’s next big thing” in an article written by Online Marketplaces, personalised property portals were developed like the ecommerce model to automatically filter and present suitable properties to prospective buyers. It saves time for agents, who no longer need to send out individual listings to their contacts, and for prospective buyers, who tend to scroll endlessly through property portals for something they like. Personalised property portals also saves the hassle of filtering their search. However, not every user on property portals are serious about buying a new home. Online Marketplaces explain that with the pandemic, a new trend of escapism has emerged, where “users are arriving at portals who may not have even realised that they’d like to move house yet…the role filled by property portal[s] is changing from simply matching supply and demand to actually helping to spark and shape the demand as well”. And it might be working; according to Hamptons, 73,950 Londoners bought a new home outside the capital in 2020. In the first six months of 2021, 61,830 bought a new home outside of London. Whether these buyers used personalised property portals or not, it’s clear that personalised portals have a potentially large impact on the real estate market.

Photo editing software

Finding a dream home involves more than scrolling filtered property listings, continues the Online Marketplaces article. “It’s more of an emotional pathos-driven activity, and nothing sparks emotional responses on a property listing more than the visual component - the photos”. Viewers are psychologically attracted to brighter and more colourful images. A prospective buyer scrolling property portals to find their dream home will be more likely to select a listed property with a beautiful blue sky and vibrant green grass. It works well if the property was shot on a lovely sunny day, but the UK is well known for gloomy weather. When a property shoot takes place on one of these days, the images can appear dull and grey. Luckily, photographers can use photo editing software to improve perspective correction, relighting and sky replacement with instant results that enhances their workflow. The results are beneficial to agents, as properties listed with high quality images are viewed 61% times more than those listed without high quality images. Beth Dady, Managing Director of Paisley Properties, is delighted with “the time [using] saves staff, from editing photos and revisiting properties, to getting sunny pictures, which far outweighs the small cost”.

Virtual tours

Virtual viewings give prospective buyers the opportunity to experience their dream home without stepping foot in the property itself. Providing more information about a property than static images, virtual viewing uses 3D technology for prospective buyers to decide whether they’re serious about buying a property faster, saving agents time and money on unnecessary viewings. Online listings are more available to a global audience, which results in faster sales. “The ability to view properties using what we have at our fingertips opens up the world”, says Richard Gutteridge, Head of Super Prime PCL at Savills. “It allows people to explore the interior and surroundings of a property without actually travelling”. Virtual viewings overcame social distancing restrictions since the pandemic began, which has boosted the real estate sector. 

Smart buildings

The built environment contributes to nearly 40% of all global carbon emissions, reports Cushman & Wakefield. As such, there is extreme pressure on the real estate market to choose greener solutions, resulting in a shift to focus on sustainability and tools that reduce emissions. “Smart buildings offer a critical link to the decarbonisation of buildings”; using technology to improve resource efficiency, smart buildings taps  into the increasing needs of end users who’re more dependent on technology to enhance their lives. Voice search technology, video surveillance, automated heating and lighting are all examples of smart building technologies. These solutions not only reduce emissions to improve sustainability, they also contribute to lower energy costs.

Smart locks

Estate agents are constantly travelling from building to building for viewings and valuations. If they have several properties to attend, then they might be carrying around a huge bunch of keys with them to access buildings. Smart locks simplifies this process for improved accessibility, with the touch of a button. All that's required is a smart device. Smart locks optimise efficiencies for resolving maintenance issues at rental properties, as neither agent nor tenant is required on-site when a third party can simply access a building using keyless solutions. Smart locks also enable safer resident experiences, and is an all round innovator for the real estate market.

*Not all of these technologies offer special deals to OnTheMarket customers, but you can get special rates with

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