Proptech roundup: What's hot in 2019

by Lea Emery on 18th February 2019

Now that 2019 is finally underway, the new proptech trends of 2019 are starting to emerge. While 2018 was a booming year for the proptech industry, there has been some fear that Brexit anxiety could cause limited investment and innovation. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be the case. If any fears have entered the market, they seem to be driving more innovation and bolder choices — the proptech industry in the UK doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.

So what can you expect to see in 2019? It’s a diverse landscape from, creating smarter, techier homes to digital innovations within real estate to the rise of co-working and co-living spaces. But in every area of proptech, it’s clear that user-friendly experiences and diversification are at the forefront of the industry. Here’s what you can expect to see.

Co-Living Spaces Continuing To Rise

One of the biggest upswings in proptech over the last year was the increase in co-living spaces like WeLive. Funding for co-living proptech startups has seen a meteoric rise — with no signs of stopping. Fuelled by a demand for increased amenities like gyms, workspaces, and even spas on site, co-living innovation will continue to meet that need and speak to those who are unable to get on the property market in the traditional sense.

Smart Homes Becoming The Norm

The road to smart homes has sometimes been a bumpy one, filled with products making huge promises that haven't always been delivered on. But in 2019 expect to see more integrated technology becoming the norm. The Amazon Echo will continue to be a staple, as will smart meters and light bulbs for more efficient, greener homes, but we’ll also be seeing more smart plugs, multi-room audio systems, and maybe even a Roomba that actually does the job. All-in-one systems, like Samsung’s Smart Home, that make the transition easier for the technophobic will also be making more of a splash.

Less Disruption, More Innovation

While 2018 was a year of disruption, some people are hoping to see more innovation in proptech and collaboration in 2019. Rather than new firms showing up to break the mould, we may see more traditional firms trying to improve the mould instead. Expect estate agents and firms to learn from disrupters and start to create stronger digital platforms more tailored to a modern user’s expectation. Crowdfunding will continue to play a huge role in proptech, leading to increased collaboration, input from more voices, and, ideally, a better user experience.

Improved Tenant Communities And Experiences Through Apps

With the rental market continuing to boom and an increased call for tenants’ rights and protections, it seems like proptech may be coming in to fill in some of the gaps. Some experts predict that apps will be used to help improve the tenant experience, connecting people who live in a building, fostering commuting, and streamlining how a property manager deals with any questions or issues that arise. Many renters have grown annoyed and frustrated by the traditional renting model, especially in the Millennial demographic, so expect them to seek out companies and opportunities that have a deep understanding of the digital sphere and are willing to engage prospective tenants on their level.

Commodification And Fracking

If there’s one thing that drives innovation, it’s a need for new commodification and revenue opportunities. Just as we’ve seen buildings and lots repurposed in recent years for coworking spaces and new developments, expect to see that on a micro scale. Will new digital firms figure out how to target advertising to hot deskers? Are there more opportunities to commodify the shared areas of a co-living space? Some experts think that real estate fracking is where 2019 is headed.

Proptech is an exciting and ever-changing market, meaning there are so many different areas that continue to see innovation and expansion. This year should spell clearer, improved user experiences for owners, investors, and renters as technology finally starts to catch up to demand.

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