Entrepreneurs from Real Estate tech in The UK have started disrupting the traditional real estate sector, that runs almost in an archaic fashion and is dominated by large high street estate agents.
The Island nation of United Kingdom (UK) is home to the globally influential center of finance and culture- London, and consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This developed country has a high-income economy, and hence also offers many opportunities for development of real estate tech in the UK. Digital disruption, high tech adoption as well as the rise of entrepreneurship here have all contributed to the revamp of many sectors of traditional work. In the same way, digital disruption has changed the property sector or the Real Estate tech in the UK and has helped PropTech (Property Tech) grow here.
Here are some interesting statistics that give us an insight about how the UK perceives technology, and how eager they are to adopt new ways- Britons are early technology adopters who have embraced smartphones more rapidly than other nations, according to research from Ofcom. The research also mentioned that the UK was near or at the front of almost all the basic categories it studied, including a percentage of broadband users, adoption of new TV technologies, use of social networking, smartphone, and mobile internet take-up, and use of laptops rather than desktop computers to access the net. These statistics become interesting when we seek to understand invention as well as the adoption of new technologies in real estate tech in the UK.
The real estate market of the UK is currently flourishing and it has also showcased implications in the sector of real estate tech in the UK. One can see a spike in innovative tech based businesses like digital mortgage brokers property platforms, online letting agents and even crowd funding to buy homes. While the property investment sector in the UK is the most money making sector today, same is the case with the smart innovative technology behind it, that paves a clear path for real estate tech in the UK. Across the commercial and residential sector, new companies and innovative technologies are changing the way properties are traded.
Traditional vs. Modern
The traditional real estate sector in the UK is run almost in an archaic fashion and is dominated by large high street estate agents. The traditional process of property buying/ selling here has long been a highly confusing process and one that was ripe for disruption. The way properties were sold and bought here involved a number of challenges like non-alignment of an agent with the vendor, and low motivation to get the best price as agents are only seeking a fast sale. This meant that one might not get a property with the features that they were seeking, and they will still pay high commissions for services. Newspaper ads and physical visits are what the traditional method had to offer, which was highly inefficient and not in sync with the current times of technology and digital disruption.
Real estate company Savills, in 2016, reported the real estate sector in the UK is now worth £1.29tn and had grown 55% in the previous five years. The otherwise traditional industry of real estate is being changed by prop-tech startups or companies in the domain of real estate tech in the UK to be more efficient with the use of intelligent technology. Companies are using innovative tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Accessible technology, Machine Learning to focus on user experience and provide a better service as compared to retail channels. Something as simple as facilitating viewings and managing offers online, and doing business on a fixed fee rather than percentage based commission, make the new startups stand out from the old way, to be able to give birth and grow the real estate tech in the UK.
Real Estate tech or Proptech in the UK
To some, proptech may be the new buzzword in the technology sector but in fact, this sector has been around for more than two decades in the UK, earlier also known as real estate tech in UK. Nearly 15 years ago, the UK was introduced to the concept of proptech by a disruption startup called RightMove. It provided an online platform for consumers to list and view properties, and made the traditional process easier. For years, RightMove held its leading position with almost no competitors in the sector of real estate tech in the UK. Till today, RightMove, along with Zoopla dominates the UK online real estate search market.
Proptech, or real estate tech in the UK, startups today have realized the importance of using intelligent technology for simplified solutions of modern day real estate problems. They want to improve the outdated real estate models and penetrate the market rapidly. These startups of real estate tech in the UK are working on varied models ranging over commercial or residential property, or in the B2B or B2C sector. These startups are also enjoying the favoritism in the venture capital investment world in the UK.
Following are just a few of the hundreds of #Proptech startups, or startups from real estate tech in the UK, that are working to pave way for more innovation in the real estate sector in the UK:
It is the largest online real estate agency in the UK and has clearly changed the way business is done. Via the online platform, users can find and select the right property expert to oversee their property.
This online marketplace makes the process of matching consumers seeking shared office or work space in the UK, for a fixed amount of time.
Rentify is a technology abled letting agent that works only with private landlords looking to rent out their property. It is an all inclusive tool that encompasses all letting documentation and management.
A little different than others on the list, Appear Here helps retailers connect with landlords for short term retail rentals or pop-up shops all over the world.
One of the most technologically advanced on the list, Providens.ai offers AI-powered AVM and predictive analytics for the real estate market, which can also perform a mass appraisal of thousands of properties at low cost.
Nested is the relatively new London based startup that uses algorithms to help sellers establish a selling price of their property. It also promises to help them make a sale in 90 days!
Habito is simplifying the mortgage process and is helping people find the best mortgage deal as a digital mortgage broker.
Movebubble is an easy to use app based platforms that lets flat seekers discover available flats and lets them make an offer via the app directly.
An interesting player in the real estate tech in the UK is Leverton that is leveraging Deep Learning technology to build a smart data platform, that supports the tedious, yet the crucial process of extracting legally binding information from corporate documents. They work across different sectors, of which real estate is an important one.
A globally known product, as well as game changer for real estate agents and developers, is Matterport. It claims to be the only all-in-one reality capture system that gives you realistic, interactive 3D and VR experiences
Sectors for Real Estate tech in the UK
Real estate tech in the UK is not uni-dimensional, as is the case with some developing countries. The PropTech revolution here is not just limited to online classified listing sites or marketplaces, instead, it is a market of true innovation and global products. As seen above, companies here are working in different domains to provide solutions for each step of the property buying, selling and even maintaining the process. Some of the innovative, of the many, sectors that real estate tech in the UK is disrupting are:
Real Estate Tech / PropTech startups using Big Data
A number of startups have sprouted up in the UK that is efficiently utilizing Big Data to give best results for real estate trading, as well as management. Some of these are Edozo, Splittable, LonRes, Datscha and Realla.
Real Estate Tech / PropTech startups in Lending / Crowdfunding
Elevate, Byoot and CrowdProperty are startups that utilizing the concept of crowdfunding to change the affordability of real estate investments. There are also a number of platforms in the UK for Peer-to-peer lending, both for commercial and residential properties, as well there are some for mortgages.
Real Estate Tech / PropTech startups using Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual and augmented reality tools are today being used worldwide, though mostly in more developed countries, not only to provide virtual tours to interested buyers but also to help with envisioning of projects from a development point of view. Companies that are utilizing these tools in the UK are RealityMogul, EyeSpy360, Floored, Giraffe360 and Seaable, amongst others.
Real Estate Tech in Property Management
There is a large number of property management platforms and software available in the Uk, and these are mostly providing for the residential market. Some of the popular platforms here that take away the hassle of managing and handling a property are Rentify, Locale, AskPorter as well as Rentr, amongst the many others.
Real Estate Tech / PropTech startups using Blockchain
The newbie in the field of real estate tech in the UK is the revolutionary technology of Blockchain, which is being utilized both in the commercial as well as residential property markets. Some of the companies facilitating Blockchain transactions for properties are Cleverent, Brickshares and FLIP.
Real Estate Tech /PropTech startups using Internet Of Things (IoT)
Companies like Nest, Hive, Cocoon, and DevicePilot are experimenting with technology to provide smart homes and cities for the UK. With their host of different products, Internet of Things and these companies are truly changing how people live here. Even Samsung is making its place felt in this space with Samsung SmartThings.
Real Estate Tech /PropTech startups using Artificial Intelligence (AI)
As discussed above, AI is fairly new in the PropTech space in the UK but startups are using this technology to better the experience of property trading. The companies in this space are Leverton, Humley, StreetSmart and LinkGuides.
Other than these sectors, startups in the UK are also in online brokerage, property management, CRM software, coworking, news and advice about PropTech as well as accelerators and VC’s in this field. This gives us interesting perspective on how technology is truly reinventing the wheel for real estate in the UK, and this country is touted to soon be the world leader in this space.
Way Forward for Eeal Estate tech in the UK
To encapsulate, the real estate tech in the UK or #PropTech sector in the UK is expanding its reach as well as working to create a better future for the market here, and in the world. Technology is currently revolutionizing the real estate market in the UK, as it did in the US. Other than New York City, UK is the next country touted to disrupt real estate tech for the world. One can already see a number of innovative products and services coming from this country, and with an increase in entrepreneurship, continued flow of venture capital, as well as support from dedicated accelerators and incubators, should mean that PropTech in the UK grows more.
Real estate tech in the UK is currently in its growth phase, and some government intervention and support is also needed to make it scale. As in New York, implementation of new technologies and services within the government sector, as well as monetary and policy support from the government will help PropTech flourish in the UK. It is already a country with high internet penetration, tech adoption as well as an educated class, which makes it easy for real estate tech in the UK to rise. We expect the coming few years to be even better for real estate tech in the UK, and for the UK to make an even more global presence felt in the PropTech sector.
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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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