These 10 Tech Trends are Transforming Real Estate Right Now, According to Researchers from MIT and JLL

Funding proptech firms raised soared to a record high of $9.7 billion in the first half of 2021, according to JLL research.  The pandemic is proving that even traditional property owners, managers, and builders must embrace features, from virtual reality to new materials, to stay profitable and relevant.

But which ones? A landlord dipping a toe into the proptech craze might have to decide between carbon nanotubes or graphene — two materials that both add extra strength — to shore up the concrete for a new building. A real estate brokerage could embrace either virtual reality or augmented reality for remote listing tours.

Help is on the way: There’s a new tool that helps real-estate firms make decisions about which new technologies to adopt. Commercial real estate services firm JLL and MIT’s Real Estate Innovation Lab unveiled a “tech tracker” on Sept. 8.

The cofounder and director of the lab, Dr. Andrea Chegut, said the tracker can inform industry players’ long-term plans. She pointed to virtual reality as an example of a technology whose development was heralded with lots of fanfare but that hasn’t yet made a huge difference in our day-to-day lives.

“We think proptech is incredibly important, but we need to add the longer-term view,” Chegut told Insider. “We’re a 100-year industry — but commercial products in tech can rise and fall in five to seven years.”