In recent years, technological services such as HD streaming of potential new properties to investors, 3D mapping of premises allowing for virtual-reality walkthroughs and crowdsourcing websites that allow tenants to better understand their share of the rent have begun to establish themselves in the real estate market.
I have decided to look at what these developments mean for European real estate and how they will change the industry.
Areas of growth
Growth, it appears, has been limited to the USA and its bustling technological start-up culture. An article recently published by TechCrunch shows that the most innovative real estate technology start-ups are based in the United States, even well-established organisations like AirBnB began in North America.
This means that European real estate professionals may be playing catch-up. Recent research carried out by global consultancy Knight Frank has shown that US investment in European real estate is growing – this may bring the technological advances that have developed to Europe’s shores and bring change by proxy.
An article published by the Wall Street Journal has pointed out the difficulties faced by real estate technology start-ups in Europe
European real estate entrepreneur Simon Schaefer said “In Silicon Valley you have the fourth, fifth generation of start-ups; in Europe you are at the beginning.”
The WSJ’s article also highlighted the language barrier as a difficulty – several European countries host multiple languages for example, such as Belgium and Switzerland.
It’s worth noting from the article that both tenants and landlords alike are seeing changes thanks to growth in technological services for real estate. The process is shifting the balances of power that once existed in the industry – this may bring major changes if introduced to Europe.
Avner Motaev is the director of Mobile2Business, a provider of telecommunications solutions to businesses in Austria. Mobile2Business is an official business partner of T-Mobile.