The Digital Future of Homebuilding Renovation is Now

The way Canadians build and renovate their homes is changing. Some builders and home renovators are going to experience massive disruptions to their businesses unless they seize the opportunity not only provided, but demanded, by technology.

This is a good thing.

Technology has changed our lives. We are constantly connected across the globe with billions of real-time conversations happening every second of every day. We carry tiny supercomputers in our pockets that make the whole of human knowledge available to us at the touch of a screen. Innovation is everywhere, from transportation, where self-driving cars will soon be ubiquitous, to medicine where robots will eventually diagnose us and recommend the 3-D printing of organs for our bodies.

This is the new normal. This is what consumers expect.

That’s why we need to start looking at how Canadian building and renovation specialists can benefit from technology. Ours is one of the last major industries to be transformed by technology, despite the fact that Canadians are some of most tech-friendly people on the planet. Canadians are online almost twice as much as the global average. They’re also early tech adopters. Right now, 34% of Canadian homeowners have Smart Home products with over 60% intending to own one within the next two years.

We’re not just talking about modern modular homes, the tiny home movement, and other urban living revolutions. Those are just the early signposts of change for our industry. High performance pre-fab homes are coming online. The Internet of Things (IOT), 3-D printing, the rise of the Blockchain, Virtual Reality and other technology is going to completely remap how we build, rebuild and renovate.

But we have a disconnect. In Canada, the return on investment for home buyers and and home owners looking to renovate is in freefall at exactly the same time these spectacular new technologies are coming online.

What’s more — the CHBA reports that Canada has a need for 150,000 new renovators and builders in the next decade. That’s not going to happen with humans alone. Technology is going to play huge role in how the home building and renovation industries innovate and evolve. Companies who come too late to the available technologies, or not at all, may find they don’t exist a decade in the future. We will have our own Blockbuster Videos, our taxi industries and our travel agents wondering where all their customers have gone.

The solution, however, is simple. We need to deeply integrate technology into everything we do and everything we offer our consumers. There are issues we’ll need to address, of course, particularly government support and adoption. But the time to have those conversations is now.

The good news for our industry is technological advancements are already happening. A group of Canadian technology companies at buildertech have already built software and technology products that are going to be critical in the evolution of real estate in this country. Some of these have long been in the game, leaders before their time. They play key roles today and are building the technologies and solutions for tomorrow.

Of course, people are not built for this kind of change. We struggle with it.

Humans often project technological advances and change on a linear scale because that’s how so much of our lives happen and that’s how our minds are built. But technology doesn’t play by those rules. Technology is advancing exponentially. What does that mean? We can expect in the order of 20,000 years of progress in this century alone, if we’re thinking only at today’s rate of change.

The future is now. The future is inevitable. This is a good thing.

Canadians are realizing that in the 21st century, we can finally unlock the potential of how we want to live; what creates the best lives for ourselves, our families and our communities.

Home builders and renovators can play huge roles in this process.