The coming few years should be exciting for development of real estate tech in New Zealand, as property demand is increasing, there is a influx of skilled educated workforce and more technology firms are choosing New Zealand. With such a conducive ecosystem, and a continued rise in entrepreneurship, PropTech should flourish here.
The developed island country of New Zealand is in the southwestern Pacific Ocean and comprises two main landmasses- The North Island and the South Island- and about 600 more smaller islands. Due to the remoteness of this area, it was one of the last to be inhabited by humans. Though the capital city of here is Wellington, the most populous and globally popular city here is Auckland. JLL’s City Momentum Index (CMI) listed Auckland as number 20 in the list of the world’s most sustainable and liveable cities.
New Zealand is home to 4.7 million people and ranks very high on international standards of health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. It is a high-income economy that is reflected well in its high nominal GDP per capita of US$36,254. Historically, New Zealand has faced serious challenges of unemployment and also of brain drain, where skilled workers from here have moved overseas for a better work opportunity. This trend has been changing in recent times with the concept of “brain gain” where New Zealand has attracted a lot of good talent from Europe and other less developed countries due to its quality of life and as it increasingly becomes a tech hub. As leading tech companies continue to find a base in New Zealand, new talent influx also fuels the demand for real estate here.
Interestingly, it is widely said that the green, peaceful and uncrowded country of New Zealand will be one of the safe havens if an apocalypse was to occur. This led a number of the world’s rich and elite to buy properties and homes here, to prepare for bad times. Not only has this trend led to increasing in quality real estate demand but has also fuelled the growth of property prices here. But does this open doors for real estate tech in New Zealand to develop, or does it give rise to more dimensions for PropTech here? Let’s understand the history of this sector to answer this.
The history of real estate tech in New Zealand
The real estate tech evolution essentially began in 2005 in New Zealand with the introduction of Google Maps. This helped give more context to the property listings on the handful of real estate classified sites in New Zealand. The traditional way was still to place an ad in the newspaper, collaborate with brokers and tirelessly sell/buy properties. The emergence of social media is 2009 was game changing for real estate tech in New Zealand and presented a great opportunity for real estate brokers here. It made it easy for them to showcase their past work and reach out to leads innovatively.
By 2010, smartphone adoption was on a rise in New Zealand and apps for real estate listings and photos became popular. The most popular platform here that time was the RealEstate.com.nz and its app became one of the most popular means of browsing for the property as well creating listings. Today, the tablet, as well as better versions of the smartphone, enable customers as well as agents to provide better photographed and detailed listings for properties, to attract better deals. This is what construed real estate tech in New Zealand in the past, and it’s interesting to see how PropTech here has changed in the past decade.
Current scenario of technology and real estate tech in New Zealand
New Zealand’s Internet Service Provider Survey for 2015 indicated that it has over 3.9 million mobile phones. The technology and internet penetration here is improving lives and efficiency of work here. The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) and Colmar Brunton conducted a survey involving 2,300 Kiwis and their attitudes towards technology, particularly in relation to employment. From this, 60 per cent of respondents said technology improved their productivity, while 82 per cent already own a smartphone. Driverless cars and solar panels were two particular examples of incoming technologies that people felt positive about. Furthermore, the NZIER release notes that while technology can displace jobs, it also creates jobs at a significant rate. All these points towards high tech adoption rates in New Zealand and this is affecting the real estate market very well.
The increased use of social media, as well as content marketing, has definitely made it better for customers as well as agents. Real estate agents are using technology to augment their role and provide better services. Some interesting startups changing PropTech or real estate tech in New Zealand here are:
The revolutionary property portal’s unique feature is the ability for licensed real estate agents to act as auctioneers and call property auctions online in virtually the same way as traditional auctions.
Acquite is an intelligent construction intelligence software which collects and aggregates data from across your whole project, it presents real time information on a central dashboard.
PocketRent is an online property management tool, which helps you to manage your rental properties and improve communication between the property owner and tenants. It uses tools for reporting, management, inspection, internal communication and Automatic Rent Reconciliation.
A cloud based real estate software solution, Re-view combines database, marketing as well as CRM on one collaborative dashboard.
Other than the popular and biggest player Realestate.co.nz, there are many sites that provide a platform for locals to list their properties and seek buyers. The popular ones are Trademe.co.nz, zoodle.co.nz, as well as 200square.co.nz.
With good infrastructural support and a good quality of life, New Zealand is also increasingly becoming the preferred destination for startups. The entrepreneurship ecosystem is becoming better and one can observe a rise in the number of startups in the real estate tech in New Zealand. Though the number is small as of now, it has the potential to grow and become big. This can change real estate tech in New Zealand and how PropTech is here.
Way forward for real estate tech in New Zealand
While all the above facts and developments point towards the dynamic advancement of the real estate tech in New Zealand, it still lacks from international innovation point of view. Many global technologies are still not being utilized in New Zealand like 3D printing, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and even virtual reality. While Android and iOS apps are in abundance, there is a lack of true innovation that solves local problems with intelligent tech. The world has moved towards Google Glass, Big Data computing for valuations and intelligence and a highly intuitive UI, which New Zealand still has to catch up to!
Want to know what makes a winning PropTech startup, check out these top 50 Real Estate Tech startups to watch out for in 2018
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