James D. Marshall, chief executive officer and founder of Pupil, comments: “The pandemic has focused attention on the need to adopt new technologies so we can continue to operate in uncertain conditions that affect the property market. Consumers have experienced the benefits of tech adoption across multiple industries, including increased accuracy, improvement to customer experience and greater efficiency.”
“With that in mind, adoption shows no signs of slowing down and 2022 is set to be a breakout year, particularly for deep tech in real estate. It has the ability to transform our interaction with the property industry, negating the problems surrounding inaccurate floor plans to improve the accuracy of valuations at a time of huge price increases. It will also help to correct elevated mortgages, misrepresentative taxation levels and unreliable environmental impact data.”
Pupil has already seen this trend become more pronounced this year with over 1 million virtual viewings delivered in 2021, a number that is expected to rise significantly to keep up with growing demand. The company aims to pioneer how we visualise real estate to an incredible degree of accuracy in a digital environment via the use of LiDar and SLAM, the mapping technology that uses beams of light to create a 3D representation of the surveyed environment.
Due to the rapid increase in the use of tech in real estate, there will be a closer focus on cybersecurity into 2022. The industry needs to be sensitive to security issues and implement policies that build confidence from their customers and stakeholders. Since launch, Pupil has implemented stringent security protocols that keep customers’ data protection top of mind, including the blurring of personal or sensitive information as standard, forming part of a 21-step quality control process to safeguard users.
Decarbonisation increasingly becoming a driving force for tech adoption
COP26 refocussed minds around the need to tackle climate change. In 2022, sustainability will act as another stimulus for tech adoption. Highly accurate digital property viewings underpinned by AI and verified spatial data have enabled Pupil to prevent 8.8 million miles from being driven in London alone in 2021. Tools like this will become increasingly popular as a way of improving customer experience in the home buying process whilst also driving the reduction of emissions associated with traditional business practices.
Founder and chairman Oliver Breach says: “Pupil works with its customers to help to drive the decarbonisation of the property industry, replacing initial physical property viewings with virtual ones and deploying our dedicated workforce of Digital Surveyors on electric mopeds to reduce the carbon footprint of real estate transactions.”
“Conducting initial viewings and inspections virtually will streamline the industry, driving efficiency, sustainability and safety, particularly in the current climate of continued uncertainty. The key ingredient is the verified accuracy that Pupil guarantees to ensure that virtual viewings provide an entirely accurate representation of a space.”
Consumer demand as a driver for change
There are three main areas of consumer demand driving the shifts in the property market we expect to see in 2022. First, increasing pressure to make property transactions more efficient. More effective processes to negate the delays caused by pandemic purchasing is driving tech adoption in the industry. The refined process created by Pupil enables a Spec Verified Digital Surveyor to enter a typical London property and within 60 minutes capture all the raw data Pupil’s AI engine requires to create digital assets that are delivered back to the customer within 24 hours.
Consumers are also becoming increasingly savvy when making property purchases, inspired by the desire to secure the best value for money in the face of growing real estate prices in a highly competitive market. Inflation, rising energy costs and unfavourable mortgage rates mean that buying and running a house, and living in general, will be expensive in 2022. This drive-by cost-conscious consumers demanding the best deals on transactions will bring increased scrutiny on accuracy in property measurement.
D. Marshall adds: “We have seen over 15% of London’s estate agents adopt Spec Verified as the new standard for measurement in the capital since launch. These early adopters are seeing the benefit of increased transparency, protecting their clients, and helping to raise the bar for measurement accuracy in the property industry.”
“Greater clarity and quality of data improves the accuracy of decision making, from valuations to guide prices to accepted offers. It also helps buyers to navigate increasingly volatile pricing, knowing that they are looking at verified information on a property. Without this, comparisons will give inaccurate representations of their prospects, delaying and possibly preventing their onward move.”
Lastly, as people continue to change their lifestyles as a result of the pandemic, 2022 will see an increased focus on home configuration to match new lifestyle preferences. The incorporation of home offices, exercise space or new areas to relax will continue. With this, technological solutions will come to the fore to support people’s focus on improving their property.
The output of Spec captures, ‘digital twins’ that provide an accurate replica of each property, will benefit buyers as well as developers, architects and construction firms when beginning a renovation, with the ability to produce CAD drawings and 3D renderings from just one visit to the property, streamlining the process considerably. It will also inform more accurate information to underpin mortgage offers and insurance premiums.
Ramp up of activity in the commercial real estate market
Much like the residential market, the commercial property sector is undergoing the largest re-imaging of space configuration for decades. As more firms decide on flexible working policies, and the labour market remains red hot, 2022 is set to herald a huge re-evaluation, with it will come the ever-increasing need for accurate measurement and digital mapping of commercial space. The accuracy of Stak floor plans that correctly measure will be hugely beneficial for asset managers of both residential and commercial units to manage spaces accordingly and plan for an ever-changing market with multiple and shifting uses for units.
Breach concludes: “Pupil will continue its ground-breaking work into 2022, redefining the property industry using next-generation technology to create a verified volumetric datastore that will bring a multitude of benefits to real estate agents, buyers, sellers and investors. The next year has some exciting developments in store including the further international release of our products and new applications of our proprietary AI.”
*Pupil is a spatial data technology company that specialises in capturing and publishing 3D information about real-world interiors.