23.9.19

A brief insight into how data is fuelling a huge change in Real Estate

23.9.19

The Real Estate market is going through unprecedented change, as it is being digitalised on a greater scale than ever before. This brings a lot of great solutions offered by several Proptech companies that make most processes, from Short let renting to Asset portfolio management much easier. Most of the processes in the real estate industry that have previously taken weeks or even months to complete are being carried out in a matter of hours, even minutes. These solutions save users an enormous amount of time and money, helps them to be up to date and never miss an opportunity regardless of whether you are and investor, agent or tenant.

However, what makes all these solutions so smart and effective is that they can spare us time, money and stress. How is it possible to get an accurate evaluation of a land’s value in minutes instead of going through the council websites and Land Registry and repeat the process until you find the suitable site for a given project? How come we have applications now that can carry out  tenant referencing and book viewings, manage rent payments and basically carry out all asset management and property management processes.

All the information that had previously gone through several authorities or private providers, now can be easily and safely shared and accessed via an application due to Blockchain technology.  This technology allows digital information to be distributed but not copied, as the network does not have a central authority, it is a shared and immutable ledger. All the information held on a blockchain exists as a common and constantly updated database, which means there is no centralised version of this kind of database. In addition, all data is cryptographically stored, therefore no unauthorised third party can gain access to any of the details.

In practice this means that all the sensitive data that 20 years ago could not have been shared securely, because of the possibility of a hacker, now is just a tap away from us, Blockchain eliminates the danger of any data corruption by not storing the data in one master document, eliminating any target therefore for hackers.

So, if you happen to be worried about using any Proptech solutions that handle sensitive data, there is no need, as all these products are highly needed and have the technology backing them to make them 100% secure.

So, this means that data can be stored and shared securely, therefore there is an enormous growth in the quantity and diversity of the data that companies can analyse and utilise in the smallest amount of time.

Data Scientists – who are rapidly becoming critical resources within real estate use this technology to analyse data basically in real time, as information stored on Blockchain databases updates  immediately. They also use this technology to share data and authenticate the data at every point of the process, and in doing so guarantee complete integrity.

However, blockchain technology is just one of the many tools a Data Scientist is using to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data. This is a very complex profession, that consists of statistics, data analysis, machine learning and lots of other advanced methods dependent on what the data is being used for.

As mentioned before, blockchain is just one of the tools used, Data Scientists also use machine learning and artificial intelligence to make even faster predictions in the data set as it changes. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is intelligence or capability to learn by machines, an intelligent agent is the machine that takes steps to achieve the set goal in the shortest time possible. Machine learning is focusing on the development of computer programs that change when exposed to new data, as it uses pattern in data to adjust program actions automatically, it reduces the human resources (therefore the time needed and possibility of mistakes being made) needed for data analysis and forecast.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are the main reasons why we can have smart applications that are able to provide 24/7 services, such as customer service, scheduling or even automated property advertising without a human being present in the office at the time. Furthermore, Machine Learning enables us to have smart household appliances, sensors, in general for the so called IoT (Internet of Things). When it comes to smart appliances there are other challenges that Data Scientists have to tackle, such as: anomaly detection in very large data sets, analysis of very rare events, visualisation of very large data volumes, etc.. By now it is possible to even carry out predictive maintenance on these devices thanks to the algorithms applied by data scientists, and relevant and quality data.

As Proptech companies come to the market with very diverse offerings and have different visions, there is no clear path regarding the background a Data Scientists should come from when looking for a career in this booming industry. However, they should be up for the challenge, as looking back on the trends of the last couple years or even months, we can see how big the transformation has become within the industry. Considering that we are in the middle of the second information revolution, there is still a lot more to come with many more smart solutions in the pipeline.

Dora Pasztor

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