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Pandemic Accelerates Proptech Demand

COVID-19 knocked down most barriers to proptech adoption.

Before COVID-19 barged into our daily lexicon and masks became an essential part of everyone’s wardrobe, employees were already working from home, renters were already touring apartments virtually, and families were already getting groceries delivered.

Technology made all of this possible. For example, 41 percent of respondents in the survey said they no longer need an office because technology has allowed them to work remotely. 

“Real estate had almost an existential crisis when people went home and stayed there,” Wagoner says. “It’s probably the first time in history that everyone around the global stopped using the same product at the same time. And what we saw was a massive acceleration of trends that had started pre-COVID.”

COVID-19 knocked down most barriers to proptech adoption, according to Chris Barbier, industry principal–investment management for Yardi. “The industry had to find ways to keep operations going,” he points out.

More building owners have invested in facilities management proptech because they needed to create safe environments. More multifamily owners have embraced tenant/resident CRMs. And more real estate investment firms spent money on investor portals.

Without technology, many real estate owners and investors would have suffered even worse losses. More than likely, many would’ve gone under.

No one knows which pandemic-related changes will be temporary or which ones will be permanent.

But Barbier says one thing is certain: COVID-19 created even more opportunity for proptech.