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The acceleration of PropTech adoption

Nick Pashayev, Regional Director MENA, ARGUS Software – MENA Altus Analytics, Altus Group – speaks to Cityscape about the proliferation of technology in real estate and how PropTech is changing the property landscape.

What impact does PropTech have on real estate and how are we seeing it in the real estate landscape today?

Technology is transforming all aspects of real estate – how it’s designed, built, owned, transferred, managed and used.
Our customers are most interested in the data generated by technology. They want to use their data to make faster, more accurate and better-informed decisions. There is an obvious commercial advantage to having timelier and more accurately priced transactions. More consistent reporting and less prone to human error, means greater management capability.
Disintermediation is also a key trend in the industry. Whole stages are disappearing from core real estate functions like finance and transactions. Technology is creating a more direct link between buyers and sellers, lenders and owners, and investors and funds, cutting out the middleman, with big implications for the current shape of the sector. 
We have started to see more CRE firms invest in integrated software solutions instead of solely relying on spreadsheets, freeing up time previously spent on manual tasks that can now be spent on value-generating activity. 

How has PropTech evolved already over the last few years in the UAE specifically?

As the UAE’s wealth remains a key source of finance for global real estate, there has been a noticeable increase in the importance of transparency for investments. As such, investment funds in the UAE are investing in software solutions to better manage their portfolios and to gain greater visibility and insights. CRE firms are now generating more data than ever before and they’re using this data in new and innovative ways to delve deeper into the details. 
We can see CRE firms are no longer questioning the benefit of PropTech, but rather actively applying it across a broad range of business functions. 

How will PropTech revolutionize the future of real estate globally and locally?

We’ve only scratched the surface of the potential of artificial intelligence in transforming the industry. Whole professions will vanish or diminish in status. Some time-consuming processes will become instantaneous or completely unnecessary.

Property assets – or shares in them – will change hands quicker, as equities already do. The industry will generate profits in different ways – smaller sums from many more frequent transactions.

What would you say are the challenges of PropTech today and what are the potential solutions? 

The CRE industry has been historically slower to embrace technology adoption. Our annual CRE Innovation Report revealed that while a majority of CRE firms have now invested in integrated CRE software solutions, many are still using spreadsheets for critical CRE functions which is creating more data silos. The continued use of spreadsheets is inconsistent with the amount of money spent on real estate. It also poses a serious challenge for firms as it stalls efficiency in data administration and management and increases the risk of human error. The lack of integration in spreadsheets also prevents firms from taking full advantage of the value-added insights their data can provide.  

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