FinTech, InsurTech and HealthTech … the industry is facing a wave of digital disruptions that are starting to reshape the financial, insurance and health service sector. But have you already gotten in touch with the latest buzzword PropTech? And do you know what connects PropTech and business travellers?
Usually in the travel industry, booking travel is considered air, car, hotel, possibly some leisure aspects such as cruise, tour, activities (if it is not for business travel) and ground transportation (if you consider door-to-door). Today I want to draw your attention on the hotel portion – but expand on it as today’s travel environment is not so simple anymore. A better term would probably be accommodation.
From a technology point of view, even hotels alone become more and more complicated as there are numerous content sources where you can get hotel content from. This alone provides a number of challenges. But it doesn’t stop there: Private accommodation facilitated by Airbnb and others disrupts the accommodation part of a trip similar to Uber ground transportation. Journalists I know for instance were able to share a whole house at this year’s GBTA convention for the price of one hotel room.
Today I want to draw your attention to a new upcoming trend designed for long term accommodation: real estate. In our guest post, Dustin Figge, co-founder and managing director of Homelike, explains new technology developed to “book” properties online. I am curious to hear your responses. My biggest question is on the legal side. Last night I heard from a realtor friend that Airbnb is having a tough stand in Miami Beach these days as short term rentals are not really allowed there. But first let’s see how it works:
PropTech transforms the real estate industry
Property technology refers to all aspects of innovation in the real estate industry, whether hardware or software, designed to serve landlords, property managers, portfolio owners and tenants. The result: leaner processes, efficiency and transparency. PropTech takes place in real estate crowd investments, real estate agencies, real estate services and digital online marketplaces. The digitization of an entire industry, which until now has not been disrupted at all, leads to new behaviors and has an impact on different involved players. Currently PropTech is still at the early stage of development in Europe. While last year some USD 1.5 billion was invested in the development of PropTech companies, only 5% were invested in European countries.
A dynamic job market requires new housing solutions
As PropTech refers to innovation in the real estate industry, it also transforms the housing sector. The dynamic and globalized job market today requires a high degree of flexibility and mobility from employees. With increased business travel over the years, also the way of housing for long term stays has been changed. Expats, project managers or consultants used to stay in hotels for weeks during longer business trips. Especially those who have to relocate to a new city for a certain period of time refuse to live in small hotel rooms for a longer time or go through the hassle of furnishing a new apartment and wish for a better housing solution. This is where the term “temporary housing” comes in as the keyword for a more convenient way of accommodation for business travellers.
How business travellers take advantage from PropTech
With its property technology, online booking platforms disrupt the traditional real estate agency model by creating a new real estate marketplace on the internet. Where once traditional travel agencies received calls and emails to find furnished temporary apartments offline, nowadays online marketplaces such as Homelike offer an entire end-to-end online booking process for furnished apartments which involves the online apartment search, booking, payment and online signature of the rental agreement. Ever since business travellers are noticing that the booking process of furnished apartments is almost as easy as booking a hotel online. The lean process creates value for all business travellers and corporations by ensuring efficiency, rental transparency and, most importantly, by saving time.
PropTech is not only revolutionizing the current state of the real estate industry by turning an offline market into an online experience but also creates transparency and takes advantage of proven technology. In terms of the housing market, PropTech will change the way how housing will be advertised, displayed, processed, rented and enriched with valuable area information (such as closed-by restaurants or work commute times).
Dustin Figge is the co-founder and managing director of Homelike, the leading B2B online platform for furnished temporary apartments in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Before founding Homelike, Dustin worked three years for arvato Bertelsmann, for half of which he lived in San Francisco. He studied in Germany and Spain, and lived in China. During his studies, he co-founded an HR company. Dustin is an expert in B2B marketplaces, property technology and online marketing in the digital real estate space.
Homelike is an online B2B platform that specializes in the brokerage of furnished apartments and corporate housing to companies and business travellers. The founders and CEOs of the company are Dustin Figge and Christoph Kasper. Homelike currently holds more than 12,000 apartments in its portfolio of furnished apartments, serviced apartments and boarding houses, which are located in 50 different cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
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