This time of the year is all about lists – the naughty/nice list, the list of ingredients I need to pick up for my mom’s famous beef Wellington dish, a list of New Year’s resolutions.

It’s also a time of year when I like to reflect on what’s happened over the last 12 months and, more importantly, make plans for what’s coming up.

So, with that in mind, we’re taking a look at what’s in store for the industry in 2023.

From artificial intelligence to IoT (the Internet of Things), these are the trends shifting the landscape of PropTech.

Trend 1: Software-as-a-Service

SaaS. Upper case. Lower case. Palindrome. This tech term might sound like alphabet soup, but it’s pretty simple. Saas (pronounced “sass”) is the implementation of systems and applications through a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, wherethesoftware is accessed online via subscription, rather than bought and installed on individual computers. 

SaaS is already a PropTech trend that’s been heavily adopted in the industry, helping developers, agencies and other stakeholders streamline everything from property management and leasing to investing, communications, even sales. 

READ: PropTech in the North: Competition is Heating Up Between Canada and the US

The solution is central (the software is designed to be mobile-friendly, for use anytime, anywhere, with easy updates, eliminating disruptions to business operations), economical (SaaS doesn’t require the enormous upfront investment of most old school software) and secure (data is securely stored in the cloud, reducing the risk of data loss). As this model becomes the standard, the companies that adopt it now will naturally emerge as leaders in the industry. 

Trend 2: Smart Buildings and IoT

If we’re talking smart buildings, we’re naturally talking about the Internet of Things. For some reason that terminology can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. The use of IoT technologies in real estate is really just about creating smart buildings, where ordinary physical things and smart devices talk to each other, and are connected to the cloud, establishing a method of clear communication that leads to better building management.

The biggest opportunities with smart buildings and IoT come from the ability to track and optimize energy consumption, communicate with tenants and clients, increase security, minimize maintenance costs, and monitor various aspects of a property in real time. By integrating this new technology into buildings, both developers and building managers will have greater insights into each site, and residents and tenants will have greater peace of mind.

Trend 3: Artificial Intelligence

While it’s been the subject of more than a few Hollywood films, artificial intelligence is also just as relevant in the world of real estate. Think less robo-butler and more AI-powered tools. In 2023 and beyond, AI is going to empower every section of the industry, unleashing potential in sales, leasing, operations, management, construction, and more.

Already, AI applications exist to streamline lease administration and sales, manage facilities, optimize space planning, provide accurate valuations and converse with customers to collect and unlock critical insights across all digital channels. Able to analyze millions of data sets in every category, there is virtually no level of the industry that AI can’t improve. 

Trend 4: Blockchain 

Transparency, security, efficiency. If you were making a wish list for financial transactions in real estate, this would be a good start – and blockchain technology delivers on all three. The system maintains transaction records across a variety of computers, all linked in a peer-to-peer network, with no central control. Contracts and payments are more secure. Paperwork and administration (plus the expenses that come with them) are eliminated. And transparency is guaranteed. 

Several companies are making headway in the space, offering solutions to prevent fraud, aid investors, manage properties, and execute purchase and rental agreements. It's a trend that's set for stratospheric growth in helping to both facilitate and fund future development.

READ: How Canadian PropTech is Leading the Way in a Changing World

Anyone seeking growth in the real estate industry in 2023 would be wise to look closely at these PropTech trends. Technology is changing the landscape quickly, and the smartest companies will not only look to keep up, but to get ahead of the competition.

And with that, I wish you all a great holiday season. I’m off to make my mom’s famous beef Wellington!

Cover image: Rendering by ADHOC Studio

This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.

The Proptech Review with Tim Ng