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Real estate is notoriously hesitant to adopt technology. As someone who has been in the industry for decades, I can tell you firsthand that getting people into real estate tech can sometimes feel like pulling a tooth. Unfortunately, as a result, real estate lags many other industries in innovation.
About ten years ago, I got sick of the outdated intercom system in my apartment building. It blew my mind that in the age of smartphones, most multifamily dwellings relied on the clunky wired walkie-talkies of yesteryear. That’s when my head started spinning and I came up with ButterflyMX: a wireless, smartphone-powered video intercom system.
However, there are still Countless real estate professionals today shy away from technology at first sight. Truth be told, the industry is still largely a pen-and-paper business, and people tend to reject anything that deviates from that.
Well, it’s 2022, and we’re long overdue to bust five common myths about the technology prevalent in the real estate industry.
Myth 1: “Too expensive.”
The industry’s age-old excuse for not adopting technology is that it is too costly to do so. Not only is the equipment cost high, but property managers are also worried about installation costs. However, times have changed for the better.
Little do they know that technology has advanced significantly and it is now much cheaper to manufacture devices than in the past.Property tech hardware like walkie-talkies and smart locks just got sleeker, simpler and smarter and more affordable.
Reality: While the cost of entry may seem high (relative to your property’s other capital expenditures), many real estate technology solutions pay for themselves quickly. In short, you’ll see the ROI of these proptech devices relatively quickly: the more efficient the building process, the more time employees will have to retain and attract residents. Ultimately, technology can speed up leasing and help your building reach steady state in no time.
Related: The Impact of Digital Transformation on the Real Estate Industry
Myth #2: “My employees will feel replaced.”
Concerns that technology will displace jobs are not unique to real estate.However, this fear has lingered since the advent of the phone – perhaps even before that!
But did you know that real estate, especially property management, is one of the industries with the highest employee turnover? This is because people in this industry feel exhausted compared to other industries. A major source of this burnout is the repetition of mundane, time-consuming tasks throughout the day.
Reality: Proptech automates repetitive and mundane tasks, freeing employees up to provide high-touch services. For example, instead of spending hours entering tenant information in a database or handling package deliveries, it is better to have the right proptech equipment to automate and simplify these tasks. Instead, employees can focus on building irreplaceable relationships with tenants and fighting burnout.
Myth 3: “These devices are too complex to install and use.”
Indeed, many proptech solutions used to take a long time to install and often required wiring throughout the building. But not today.
Think back to the last time you set up your smartphone or laptop. Most likely it just requires powering on the device and logging into your account. But industry veterans may remember that it used to be much more complicated than that. The same goes for real estate technology.
Reality: With the advent of wireless technology, most proptech devices only need power and an internet connection. Gone are the expensive wires that had to be run throughout the building. If you know how to use a smartphone, you know how to use these devices.
Related: Real estate lags behind in tech. Here’s why and how to fix it.
Myth #4: “It’s easy to leak data.”
Some real estate professionals prefer to do things the “traditional” way. But at the same time, they put safety first. From listing to buying, all aspects of real estate require attention to safety. So, ironically, some people don’t want to use today’s best-in-class security solutions and software due to concerns about data breaches.
Reality: For advanced technologies like blockchain, the opposite is true. Using technology—such as storing important information in the cloud—is the best way to protect it. Technologies such as blockchain ensure accurate, secure and fast real estate transactions.
Myth #5: “This industry doesn’t need technology at all.”
As one of the largest industries in the world, real estate likes to brag that it doesn’t need technology. But in today’s digital age, every industry needs technology to remain competitive and relative.If you really think about it, many parts of real estate Do Practical use of technology – from online property listing sites to property management software. So why not just embrace technology and reach the new horizons it allows us to master?
Reality: As we have witnessed during the pandemic, technology is our lifeblood, including in real estate. For example, technology has enabled mass work-from-home, contactless deliveries and building entry, and even health checks when entering a building.
Related: This Proptech Is Moving
In short, now is the time for mass adoption of technology in real estate. In such a tech-centric society, failure to do so will cost the industry valuable employees and tenants in an already embattled market.
Therefore, adopting technology is one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage in real estate. Today, more and more people see technical support as the expectation, not the exception. To remain among the top global industries, real estate must embrace technological change.