Helmsmen caught up with Hugh Dixon, Partner at GWD Property to get his expert view of the top 5 property-technology innovations that are about to make the greatest impact within the property industry.
Hugh has been featured in the ePrivate Client’s 35 under 35 for private client work and in 2017 he was voted as on of the ‘Top Residential Buyers’. We are delighted to announce he has now become a Helmsmen Partner and is ready to find your dream home.
His Instagram is also fantastic – The Buying Agent

1. Blockchain

top 5 prop-tech innovations

Without a doubt Blockchain is going to revolutionise the way we buy and sell property in the future and must be number 1 of my 5  prop-tech innovations. We are just scratching the surface of its capability, with the future paving the way for easier access to relevant information. For example, a potential purchaser or investor will be able to gain access to stored information which is currently across a variety of different providers. This will be anything from local searches, planning applications, reports and much more.
With the government recently saying they wish to reduce failed property transactions, it is clear that Blockchain will play a vital role in speeding up the conveyancing and overall process of buying and selling.
Your solicitor will be able to report on title in a matter of hours with the ease of information available. The more people that adopt this technology in the industry, the better.

2. Internet of Things / Smart Buildings

Want your home to read your mind? OK, not actually read your mind, but pre-empt your movements? I-O-T connected devices can learn your movements and know when to perform certain tasks. Whether it be home security, mood lighting or heating, we are on track for it all to be automated and remotely controlled.
I recently visited a building where the common parts were connected to 5,000 exterior digital thermometers to ensure it was heating and cooling efficiently compared to the outside temperature. Additionally, it was monitoring outside light percentages to ensure it wasn’t lighting a sun-soaked entrance area and spending unnecessary pennies!
These smart buildings have been saving residents/developers a substantial amount of money. When you entered your own apartment in this building you were connected to a central 24 hour ‘hotline’ for services from a pickup laundry service (voice activated) to connecting you to the police after saying the distress word!

3. Virtual Reality

Want to look at your new house in the comfort of your current house? Or perhaps you are thinking of investing abroad but don’t have the time to visit the property? Virtual reality and 3D walkthroughs allows buyers to enter an immersive experience and give the illusion of being in the space.
Potential buyers will save the time and cost of physically going to see the property and speed up a decision. This prop-tech innovation is giving a much more transparent outlook to viewing properties. With its ‘raw’ imagery, no doctored photos or hidden eye saws it means you can make a much more informed decision prior to viewing in person or even offering!

4. Co-Living

A shortage of housing in London is still a major issue and high rental prices is allowing a new concept to prevail: co-living. This is an alternative way of living in the capital with this shared communities offering a new lease of life under one roof.
Most have gyms, spas, cinemas and on-site bars. The majority of people I have spoken to use these co-living communities as a ‘pit-stop’ in their lives. For example, a first-time buyer that wanted get to the know the local area and create a network of friends before fulling committing to a purchase. Others have included entrepreneurs or key staff members from large corporates who are re-locating to the city for business.

5. Chat Bots

 Although I’d love to be, I can’t be online 24/7 to catch that late-night call or message. So, enter the bots! We now live in a world where consumers require information at a rapid response rate. I have it on good authority that major corporate organisations are now adopting the bot to assist shared services such as HR. It’s saving time and money across the board in order to deliver readily available information in a more efficient manner.
The property industry has been adopting this technology in recent years, however they are only as good as the data they have stored and the technology supporting said ‘bot’. There is still a long way to go….
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