The process of looking for a house is much easier than used to be. PropTech has played a significant role in this. The days of sifting through newspaper issues with many pages of content in search of a house that fits your needs are long gone. Now, in addition to using digital tools to optimize property search, we can innovate and create new improvements based on user wants and requirements in a more controlled and quantifiable way.
Proptech is being used by real estate professionals in the MENA region to collect and analyse data. This facilitates better-educated, data-based decisions. Additionally, they are using technology to speed up and automate a variety of administrative procedures so they can concentrate more on working directly with clients.
Events such as the recent pandemic have further accelerated the advancement of PropTech innovations within the MENA region. This is because, at a time when people were unable to transact and communicate through traditional face-to-face channels, the industry had to advance its digital offering. The industry otherwise would have risked incurring significant financial burdens.
Yet, this only begins to summarise the impact that PropTech is having on transforming MENA real estate. Key factors regarding how this change is playing out are emphasised below:
GREATER EFFICIENCIES AND STREAMLINED PROCESSES
PropTech is creating a MENA real estate environment with enhanced connectivity. It is doing so by providing an efficient and simplified user experience. This has been an important shift in recent years given the abundance of inefficient legacy systems that were widespread practice within the industry. So, the digitalisation of the MENA real estate industry was long due.
Many startups in the MENA region are striving to facilitate this transformation in an impactful manner. Huspy, as an example, is one of these companies. Huspy, a UAE-based PropTech firm, was founded in 2020 and offers buyers a centralized location to discover and finance their properties. Home buyers can access 100% verified houses, narrow down their options, and arrange viewings all from one platform with Huspy. They can also apply for a mortgage, and receive approvals too. Through relationships with the biggest banks in the UAE, Huspy matches customers who are looking for a mortgage with market-leading financing solutions and unique products. Huspy’s co-founder and CEO, Jad Antoun, is also named in the 2022 Forbes 30 under 30 for the Middle East. So, this company alone is having a substantial impact on MENA real estate.
The adoption of cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) technologies within smart cities across the region are creating automated and efficient systems. We see this within Egypt’s New Administrative Capital (NAC) and Dubai’s Expo City. But, IoT technology is equally being applied within Saudi Arabia’s Alnama and NEOM as other noteworthy examples.
Throughout these examples leveraging IoT to monitor and optimise energy usage is at the core. But IoT is also being used to save power, control lighting and monitor water usage too. Not only is this helping to substantially save resources throughout the region. But it is also creating sustainable systems where these resources are self-sufficient within closed-loop environments. Thus, the adoption of PropTech to create a seamless living experience is being largely influenced by the rapid growth in the creation of smart cities throughout the MENA region.
ENHANCED COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION
PropTech has and continues to play a strong part in making it easier for real estate players to communicate. This is therefore minimising the time spent conducting back-and-forth negotiations, organising logistics, and assessing properties as examples. The heavily integrated and streamlined platforms of PropTech startups in the region are taking strong steps to facilitate this. These startups include the likes of PRYTPO and Stake as noteworthy examples.
Recent advancements in communication technologies such as 5G and less recently 4G technologies are also playing a vital role in MENA real estate. They facilitate practically instantaneous wireless communication that makes it easier for other advanced PropTech technologies to be integrated within developments. These include technologies that we have previously mentioned such as IoT infrastructure and AI applications.
Continued PropTech advancements to aid the transparency MENA real estate are proving significant. They are equally assisting greater fairness in the market too. Platforms such as those from PropTech startup Nawy are utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to aid greater transparency in MENA real estate. Nawy enables prospective buyers to make better-educated investment decisions by giving them more freedom and access to a wider range of information on available properties.
But it’s not just startups that are aiding greater transparency in the region. Saudi Arabia’s PIF (Public Investment Fund) recently launched the National Real Estate Registration Services Company (RER) as an example. RER is establishing a digital platform to host a thorough real estate registration database with information available on all Saudi Arabian properties. Equally, the UAE’s rigid real estate transaction reporting obligations paired with sophisticated digitalised systems are boosting transparency too.
OVERALL STATE OF MENA PROPTECH
Advancements in wireless communication technologies and enhanced digital infrastructure are at the core of creating an enhanced experience in MENA real estate. Not only are these PropTech implementations enhancing the experience for prospective property buyers. But they are also making the whole real estate experience easier and less time intensive for landlords, property developers, homeowners, and national governments alike.