Today, technology has become an integral component of development and has turned the world into a global experience. Technology has modified cultures and lifestyles all over the world to a large extent. With the emergence of technological innovations in various sectors such as banking and finance, communication and agriculture, it is not surprising that the real estate sector has also adapted to emerging trends in technology. The application of technology in the real estate sector is generally referred to as “Proptech”. The word proptech is carved out of two words: property and technology.
PropTech is believed to accelerate the growth of the real estate sector. Globally, proptech is increasingly becoming an important aspect of real estate business in promoting transparency in real estate transactions, improving efficiency in property management, promoting efficient land titling/ deeds registration.
In addition to its diverse nature, proptech interventions are split across key areas such as property management, data-driven property services, blockchain and virtual reality innovations in estate agency.
With an overwhelming increase of 300% in the number of proptech startup firms over the past decade, it is clear that proptech is addressing some of the significant challenges in the real estate sector such as increasing access to data, increasing efficiency in property management and improving land tenure security.
Although proptech has been in existence prior to the pandemic, the pandemic created the opportunity for experimenting technology in the real estate sector, especially in Africa where proptech investments have remained relatively low. This has been a major driving force for emerging trends in the real estate sector such as work from home and hybrid work models, health and safety in buildings and sustainability.
The pandemic-driven development of technology has significantly influenced the importance of proptech in the real estate sector, encouraging global real estate firms to invest in proptech focused on transaction administration and documentation, and payment processes in recent times.
In Africa, proptech startups have received substantial investments in countries such as South Africa and Nigeria. This is evident by the emergence of proptech companies such as AnL Property Consult and Meqasa. In Ghana, proptech has proven to increase the efficiency of land administration and landed transactions. A typical example is the recent introduction of a consolidated search report by the Lands Commission where applications for search reports from the Lands Commission are easily done online through Lands Commission’s online service portal.
Proptech is gradually gaining momentum in Ghana with many of the proptech firms focused on property listings. A classic example is MeQasa, which is gradually changing the narrative of the real estate sector in Ghana. Meqasa is focused on listing properties. Presently, the company has over 40,000 listings. Other proptech firms include AnL Property Consult, Seso Global and Cofundie. Cofundie is focused on the adoption of alternative building materials and techniques in property development.
Author Makafui Kuffo