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How Technology is Impacting Real Estate Investment by Tom de Lucy

Real Estate is often referred to as an industry that has struggled to embrace technological change over the years. Despite being the largest commodity in the world with a market value of $217trillion, it has struggled to keep up with technological trends.

Throughout my professional career I have invested in real estate in the form of funds, developments, commercial and residential properties but never before have I seen as much technological change as in the last 12-18 months.

In 2012, $300 million was invested into PropTech companies and $1.5 billion in 2015, with the total number increasing year on year since then. This investment has driven huge changes and new opportunities in real estate investment that are worth talking about:

According to the National Association of Realtors, as many as 56% of 36 year old and younger buyers are finding their homes on the internet, meaning that being an agent or an investor on the cutting edge is essential. Technology is evolving and so are behaviors. More and more buyers and investors are using technology to view, review and decide what kind of a property they want to purchase. Despite this, tech-related concepts appeared three times in the results of a survey performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Urban Land Institute (ULL).

This data was published in a 2018 analytical report entitled “Emerging Trends in Real Estate: USA and Canada.” The 100+ page document dedicates a full section to technology and makes it apparent that tech is one of the most underappreciated and underutilized tools in the real estate arsenal.

Below is my personal take on the most impactful changes that technology is making to real estate investment.

Going global

Traditionally speaking, real estate investment has long been a local enterprise - if you were buying or investing, you had to be at least familiar with your target area, including being physically on site.

This is no longer the case, online investment platforms now allow you to browse and invest in properties and countries on the other side of the world, while also providing any useful information you might need on the local market and regulations.

This global version of the real estate industry is here to stay – the EY Global Market Outlook 2016 identifies both innovation and transcontinental reach as two of the major trends currently affecting the real estate industry, especially considering the amount of money now available from emerging countries.

At Bricksave one of our goals is to take advantage of these technological advancements and offer investors in Latin America the chance to access global institutional class real estate investments.


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