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Essential real estate terms to understand the industry today

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Essential real estate terms to understand the industry today

We live in an era where the frontier between the worlds of real estate and high-tech is getting thinner. Technical real estate terms are already pretty challenging on their own. It gets even more complex when technology-related notions are thrown into the mix! Here, you’ll find a concise definition of all our selected real estate terms, as well as a brief explanation when necessary.

We don’t aim at being exhaustive: we just wanted to boil down this PropTech glossary to the essentials. You could say this is an ABC of modern real estate. Each of those real estate terms was chosen for a reason. We did not look for quantity. Instead, we tried to build a meaningful ensemble that you can use as a reference.

Essential real estate terms: what matters nowadays

3D model

The computerized representation of an object or a surface in three dimensions (length, width, depth). The modelized object can be observed from every angle and thus thoroughly visualized. The most common file formats for these models are OBJ, STL, FBX, and Collada.

Aerial photography

The process of taking pictures from the air, with a drone or an aircraft. The wide-angle creates a global view of the captured object. Aerial photography allows for striking properties pictures that are very effective on a listing. Drones have become very popular in the real estate business.

real estate terms

Artificial intelligence (AI)

The ability of a computer to simulate the behavior and intellectual abilities of humans. It includes visual perception, decision-making, holding a conversation, reasoning, learning from experience, etc.

For real estate pros, this means that machines can help with some tedious necessities, and save them time for their customers.

Augmented reality (AR)

Not to be confused with virtual reality. With the help of electronic equipment, AR superimposes artificial images on the real-world environment perceived by the user.

AVM

Stands for Automated Valuation Model. It is a computer model that analyzes information about a property and evaluates it. It is useful to provide a quick appraisal when needed. However, it requires up-to-date and accurate data to be correct.

Check-out Zestimate, it is a reference in this domain.

BIM

Stands for Building Information Modeling. BIM extends the traditional technical floor plans to 3D models. BIM  goes beyond the basic geometrical aspect. It also includes details about spatial relationships, light analysis, geographic information or building components. These information-packed models are used to design and document buildings and infrastructure design. They are also useful to generate the design documentation for construction.

BIM comes into play throughout the whole life-cycle of a project. Four crucial stages rely heavily on BIM: planning, design, building and operating. It helps to effectively manage energy costs, facilities, and applications in green buildings.

Several fields of industry have a use for BIM data. Architecture, civil engineering, and construction are its three biggest users. However,  it also has its place in MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) and intelligent piping structures.

Conceptual floor plan

A project floor plan for a future property. It can also refer to the hand-drawn floor plan of an existing property, with an approximative scale. It cannot enter the real estate market before being converted to a professional-looking plan.

CubiTool

The CubiCasa in-platform tool dedicated to floor plan editing. We rename it recently as the Quick edit. This was more fitting for a tool that lets you edit a plan in only a few minutes.

The latest editing features are renaming, rotation and moving space labels. Users can also adjust the dimensions handlers of the space. Otherwise, they can hide dimensions for space just as easily.

Floor plan

A scale drawing of a building or a room viewed from above to understand its layout. Floor plans are a valuable aid to visualize and plan a space, both for private individuals and professionals.

Floor plan app

A mobile application designed to create floor plans. The only required equipment is a mobile phone, which most users already have in their pocket. It is a convenient tool that real estate professionals can use wherever they go.

real estate terms

Floor plan creator

An app or software designed to simplify the creation of floor plans. In a basic floor plan creator, users must first take the measurements from an existing sketch or blueprint; then, they either have to order the plan or they must draw it themselves with digital tools.

Other more helpful and time-effective options exist. CubiCasa is one of them. It only requires the customer to take a video of a property. He will receive the floor plan in only one business day.

Floor plan editing

The ability to modify a floor plan after it was delivered. It includes changing the text, the measurements, and the logo. You can also personalize the colors of the plan for brand identity purposes.

For the users of the CubiCasa App, we made this process way easier. We created the Quick edit tool so that users can modify and adjust their products in a few minutes.

House floor plan

Just as the name suggests, it is the floor plan of a house. Its purpose is to display the connexions between the different rooms. It is a powerful marketing tool because buyers can envision themselves in the house. They imagine how they can inhabit the space, even before visiting the actual property.

Interview

A series of questions from a customer to a real estate agent, to ensure their compatibility before hiring. The buyer or seller must judge if the agent is competent and understand their project.

We know what you think: this isn’t one of the trickiest real estate terms. Let us explain why it has its place in this glossary. Sure, we are experiencing a huge wave of new technologies. However, nothing will ever replace the basics: communication skills, human interaction. Being a people person is still the key.

Machine learning

The process through which a computer learns new data and actions on its own. It doesn’t need any addition to its initial program. Therefore, the computer still needs human intervention for its original programming, but it can improve independently afterward.

Matterport

Matterport is a software dedicated to creating 3D models of buildings, which can then be viewed from different perspectives. Before modelizing, the buildings must be captured with specific hardware.

Mixed reality (MR)

The superimposition of real and artificial elements, blended in a seamless ensemble. It is a somewhat advanced version of artificial reality. The mix of reality and computer-generated images is not merely visual. The artificial elements are indeed “aware” of the real-life environment that surrounds them. That way they can interact with some of its components, identify obstacles on their way to avoid them, etc…

The user experiences a unified world with no demarcation between the real and the artificial. Therefore, it is a valuable tool to help to visualize a project in real-time, and interacting with it as with a real object.

MLS

Stands for Multiple Listings Service. It is the product of a collaboration between real estate agents from the same area. They create a database that compiles the listings of all properties on sale and already sold.  It is a great tool to share useful information between agents and to speed up the selling process.

Point cloud

It is the result of a scan, whether it is done with a laser scanner or a floor plan app. The scanning process records a multitude of data points on material surfaces. Those data points provide the measurements of the building.

If you want to see a point cloud, you first need to modelize it. It will look like a reproduction of the scanned room as a porous mass of colored dots. The points are set in a 3D system and each has its coordinates.

real estate terms

Property data

A transcript of the basic characteristics of a property: area size, dimensions, size of the fixed furniture, etc.

Property information model

A combination of property data that have been processed to extract new information (metadata). Thanks to this model, the characteristics of each property can be understood in full detail.

Proptech

The emblem of this glossary.  This word symbolizes the collision of real estate terms and their high-tech counterparts.

It stands for “property technology”.  The term encompasses much more than modern technology, new gadgets, and IT trends. It defines the use of technology to revolutionize and reshape the real estate industry.

Proptech is involving a wide spectrum of real estate professionals’ workload. It is a new way of buying and selling property, property or investment managing (ConTech and FinTech).

Real estate data

Fluctuating information that professionals must analyze regularly to understand the current trend of the real estate market. It takes into account all the elements that can impact the value of a property. The location of a property, its characteristics, and its ownership-history are staples. For their security, buyers also like to know the reputation of the neighborhood and the risks of natural hazards. They are solid arguments to market a house.

Real estate marketing

It is a two-level process. Real estate agents must both promote the properties on sale and their services, or the services of their agency. In any case, the targets are potential buyers.

When it comes to promoting a house, a well-crafted listing is fundamental. According to the NAR, buyers mostly look after photographs, detailed descriptions, and a floor plan.

Real estate photography

Real estate photographers shoot the interior and exterior of properties in specific angles and lighting. Their goal is to display them in the best possible way. They usually create this kind of photos for real estate listings. If you are a real estate photograph looking to get more visibility, we can suggest you to become a certified photographer on our website.

Smart home

A home where the lighting, heating, and electronic devices can be controlled remotely, via a phone app or a built-in control panel. The total automation of some features guarantees maximal convenience. Smart homes aim at simplifying the homeowners’ lives and improving their comfort.

real estate terms

Svg floor plan

A floor plan in the SVG format (Scalable Vector Graphics), which means the plan is composed of shapes instead of pixels. It allows for a sharp and simple design that can be resized without being altered. We included SVG in these real estate terms because this detail can make all the difference. SVG creates impeccable results and is perfect for multi-context scenarios.

SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. It is an XML language and file format. It allows users to code two-dimensional graphics that scale and can be manipulated via CSS or JavaScript.

The flexibility and versatility of SVG outperform the traditional file formats. Scaling a PNG, GIF, or JPG file causes them to pixelate because they are raster-based formats with fixed dimensions. SVG is vector-based. It can combine different shapes, paths, text elements.

Venture capital

A capital invested in a small, emerging firm. Venture investors take a financial risk to support a company in which they detect high potential. They tend to gravitate towards startups, especially those that are IT-oriented. The more companies they invest in, the higher the chance of seeing one them succeed. However, they still have to face a high rate of failures.

This strategy helps companies that are too small to increment in public markets. Individuals who invest in a company become stakeholders, and the profit depends on the growth.

Virtual reality (VR)

With the help of electronic equipment, users are fully immersed inside a computerized environment. If executed well, the experience feels like real life.

The entertaining dimension of virtual reality should not conceal its educational and informational purposes. Nowadays virtual tours and virtual traveling are very popular. VR features are important in different kinds of industries. It is a valuable support to sell, visualize, perform, and imagine. Last but not least, it is a tool to study psychology and simulate various situations (surgeries, flights, architecture design).

This selection of real estate terms is the fruit of our reflexion on the modern real estate world. As representants of PropTech, we want to help you find your way in a transforming industry. We hope this will come in handy in the future!

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