Experts at the recently concluded Africa International Housing Show in Abuja have stated that incorporating property technology, or proptech, can potentially cut project costs by up to 50 per cent.

They stated that avoidable costs such as agent fees can be eliminated through the use of Artificial Intelligence virtual inspection while a simple and transparent process financing platform could be utilised to build investors’ trust.

Speaking during a proptech session at the event, which was themed “Research for affordable housing policy and delivery in Africa”, the experts said proptech would unravel issues on crowdfunding, construction management, alternative financing window, cheaper marketing strategy, among others.

The Chief Executive Officer of Octo5 Holdings Limited, Babajide Odusolu, said technology had been created to fast-track the actualisation of opportunities in the real estate sector, which would reflect on product price.

He said, “Proptech is the use of applications of information technology and platform economics to boost the real estate industry. It is an interface of technology and real estate.

“These platforms using your mobile phones make it possible to scale up businesses speedily. Prop tech will make your business transparent to you and your investors.

“For instance, costs on project developments can be reduced by 50 per cent. A minimum of 15 per cent of project cost goes to compliance and design cost and 35 per cent on land and services but with the adoption proptech platforms, developers can slash compliance costs by half, simply by using technology.”

According to him, proptech can simplify financing platform and help real estate operators to access funds easily.

Reeling out other advantages of proptech, the former Managing Director of Ogun State Property Investment Corporation, said the deployment of technology in housing would lower transaction and financing costs and tap a formal source of crowdfunding.

“Technology lowers development and marketing costs across the entire spectrum. It gives access to a larger market and ensures that residual income is predictable,” he noted.

The Chief Executive Officer of Prop Crowdy, Roland Igbinoba, claimed over 2.5 million enterprises in the real estate value chain suffered from high interest rates and had no alternative financing window, signaling a need for a crowdfunding intermediary platform.

On his part, the CEO of Haap Living, Ezekiel Bassey, recommended co-home ownership, roommate matching, and virtual inspection as ways to make housing affordable for young people without reducing profits.

“Thinking from a deficit angle, we have to see how to optimise existing housing stock, creating more with less space. This could be more people staying in a single space but demarcated to share facilities.

“With this method, rent seekers can save up to 35 per cent while the owner of the facility can earn 50 per cent more.”

The CEO of Sytemap, Ndifreke Ikokpu, explained that the digital process would reduce sales procedures by 50 per cent, lessen human error and duplicate allocations, automate payments and payouts, and build more trust allowing a borderless diaspora market.

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