FORWARD MARCH
Property Report|August - September 2020
Disruption is revolutionising the property industry. Turning industry pain points into potential, these four proptech pioneers are among those renovating the face of real estate in Asia
LIAM ARAN BARNES

Technology has become intrinsic to the real estate sector in a way few could once have imagined. For decades, the property sector was steeped in traditional practices and slow to adopt new ways of doing things. Industry norms barely shifted. But with the advent of online real estate portals in the early 2000s, the recent supercharged commercialisation of mixed reality hardware and software, and the rise in artificial intelligence and data analysis, the sector is now benefitting more than most from bleeding-edge tech.

From humane recruitment platforms and next-gen visualisation software to the latest laser projection technology and data-driven property portals, a growing number of disruptors and innovators in Asia are remoulding how construction companies, interior designers, consumers, and real estate developers, to name a few, now operate.

With technology moving at an exhilarating pace, these new norms will also inevitably be challenged and transformed. But for now, at least, here are four of the most innovative proptech pioneers who are helping to create the near future of real estate in Asia and beyond.

STEFAN RAFAEL, CO-FOUNDER AND HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY AT ONE TO ONE DISPLAYS

Tale behind the tech

A death in the family and divorce aside, moving house often tops the list of most stressful life events. So, imagine the sleepless nights and racked nerves when starting from scratch.

This was the reality encountered by Stefan and Marian Rafael as they spent countless hours renovating and building homes: a passion of theirs that also carried its fair share of stresses.

Frustrated with the confines of blueprints and show homes, as well as limited opportunities for customisation after signing on the dotted line, Stefan turned to his extensive background in the audiovisual industry for a remedy.

The Australian is now co-founder and head of technology at One to One Displays, a to-scale blueprint projection display startup well on its way to revolutionising how individuals and companies conceptualise everything from a dream home to corporate headquarters.

Why it matters

Based in Melbourne, the company—only the third of its kind to open in the world, according to Rafael—combines the latest laser projection technology with augmented reality software to showcase one-to-one-scale blueprints of properties in a 300 sqm display centre complete with software allowing for much larger plans.

The company also created an app, which allows clients to explore life-size versions of their future properties, and immediate environment, at their leisure with the aid of only a tablet—a particular boon for both the business and clients during the recent Covid-19 lockdown.

While the take-up of the app in recent months demonstrates how popular the floor plan technology is with individuals looking to save time, money and sanity—just like the Rafaels a few years ago—it is within the wider construction and development sector that One to One Displays is set to challenge the status quo.

Already in partnership with Surbana Jurong, one of Asia’s leading urban, infrastructure and management services consulting firms, the next step is collaborating with developers on display centres to offer projected alternatives to environmentally unfriendly and costly MDF show units.

In addition to mitigating risk on a much larger scale for potential homeowners, the savings on offering walkthroughs could potentially be game-changing for the industry.

In his words

“The lightbulb moment was this builder’s agent who, unable to show us a display home similar to our designs, told us to go down to the beach with a tape measure and a stick and just draw it out. Firstly I was like, ‘brilliant, love the idea... however, are you serious?’ Since starting this business, loads of people have told us they’d done similar things on the beach, in their mother-in-law’s living room or on a basketball court using chalk. All these cool and innovative ideas—the human mind is amazing. It definitely got us thinking and we believed this was such a good business opportunity, a really modern concept that revitalises an industry process unchanged for years.”

KIRTAN PATEL, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF SAMA

Tale behind the tech

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PROPERTY REPORTView All

Taking flight

Home to Jakarta’s international airport, Tangerang is emerging as a viable investment option thanks to its lifestyle and infrastructural perks

4 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Portion control

As China’s central government aims to rein in runaway real estate prices, new measures will restrict land auctions to three per year in large cities including Beijing and Shanghai

4 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

PROVING ITS METTLE

Silver linings have been hard to find for debt-distressed Sri Lanka recently, but the resilience of its property sector provides at least some grounds for optimism

8 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

SUN, SEA AND SANDS

The elements come together to make Manila’s SMDC Sands Residences one of the most auspicious property investments of 2021

3 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

SHOT IN THE DARK

Thailand’s pandemic nightmare is not yet over. And with national vaccination efforts proceeding slowly, investor confidence in the country’s real estate market is suffering

7 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

LET THERE BE LIGHT

By converting empty soft-drink bottles into solar lamps, Illac Diaz has illuminated the lives of people in rural areas around the Philippines and beyond

6 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Dividends in division

With an emboldened Israel pushing forward with its construction of illegal settlements in Palestinian territory, one of the world’s most disputed areas has become the site of an unlikely real estate boom

5 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

DESIGNS FOR LIFE

A teenage prodigy from a family of architects, Medi Korasani continues to hone his passion for design as director of Melbourne-based DW Architects & Interiors

6 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Everything's Gone Green

With sustainability in sharper focus than ever before, visionary entrepreneurs around Asia are helping to steer the real estate industry on a mindful track

10 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Healthy Working Culture

With its green credentials and high-tech trimmings embodying modern office development, The PARQ provides an urban oasis in Bangkok for its tenants

6 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021
RELATED STORIES

SUJATA MASSEY

Sometimes, an idea needs time to incubate until it’s ready to grow. That was the case with Sujata Massey’s series about Perveen Mistry, a woman attorney practicing in India during the 1920s.

10+ mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

SHOWSTOPPING

THIRTEEN FASCINATING 4X4S from the2020 Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals

9 mins read
Four Wheeler
July 2021

4X4 PARTY!

Recap of the 39th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals

5 mins read
Four Wheeler
July 2021

Klara Landrat & Her Journey with Endometriosis

Klara Landrat is an American-Israeli actress of Polish origin, producer, a writer known for her talent worldwide. She is starring in the Irish TV series – “Gods & Fighting Men” due for release in 2021.

6 mins read
Women Fitness
March 2021

HER MAJESTY PEDDLING HOMEMADE HOOCH!

QUEEN ELIZABETH looks like a dowdy, straitlaced granny, but she’s turned into a heck of a bartender — serving up her own brands of homemade hooch!

1 min read
Globe
May 24, 2021

The Winter of Discontent

Even though america is preparing for a summer reopening, the Coronavirus will still be around to dog us when the temperatures fall.

10+ mins read
Newsweek
May 21 - 28, 2021 (Double Issue)

India thought it had the virus beat. The virus had other ideas

Governments around the world keep repeating the same mistakes. In a country of 1.4 billion, the consequences are on a whole new scale

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

Andrew Yang's Insider Campaign

How did a former CEO of 100 employees become the front-runner to govern a city of 8.5 million? Not simply by being a national celebrity and an excellent campaigner.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
May 10 - 23, 2021

UNITY IN A WORLD OF DIVERSITY

BRIAN JONES explores unity in a world full of challenges and diversity. Through different analogies and his own personal experience with meditation, he finds effective ways to achieve unity through the silence of the heart.

6 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
May 2021

Reincarnation And Realpolitik

China, India, and the U.S. are vying to influence the selection of the next Dalai Lama

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 19, 2021