The Industrial Revolution shifted production from the farm to the factory. It was followed by the Second Industrial Revolution, the era of mass production, which the Third Industrial Revolution automated. The world may be on the cusp of another significant adjustment, the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
According to Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, this new order stands on the shoulders of advances such as artificial intelligence and robotics. However, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is not a continuation of the Third. Instead, it is a fusion of technologies that blurs the line between the physical and the digital self.
Search engines have indexed mankind’s accumulated knowledge, which can be accessed from anywhere via smartphone. Simultaneously, smartphone apps connect users with each other, business opportunities, and entertainment. A smart home can keep the perfect temperature while saving on energy. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence is changing everything from medicine to the daily commute.
Thanks to these developments, humans are increasingly dependent on technology. As the merger deepens, the speed of change will only hasten.
Impact on Real Estate
Few sectors will benefit more from the Fourth Industrial Revolution than real estate, and Propy is leading the way on several fronts. The company’s online Transaction Platform allows homebuyers to complete a purchase virtually, saving on fees and streamlining cross-border acquisitions. Propy also uses blockchain technology to automate contracts and store pertinent documents. The platform accelerates closings, eliminates the risks involved with paper records, and ensures that all parties have access to the same information.
Propy is just one example of how the Revolution is bringing real estate up to date. Others firms are experimenting with machine learning, predictive analytics, and virtual reality.
One Thing Is Clear
It remains to be seen whether Schwab’s fusion of technologies will lead to mass poverty or the good life. What is clear is the positive impact the Fourth Industrial Revolution is having on real estate, which has long been marked by high barriers to entry, costly middlemen, and a lack of transparency.