Real estate has a new frontier to explore, one defined by lockdowns and the impact of the pandemic. As people slowly emerge from lengthy stays behind closed doors, their priorities and approaches to home living and purchasing have changed. Across the world, there has been a trend towards investing into properties that offer more than just the usual four walls and accessible parking. In many countries, the cost of living has dictated a change in approach in both the rental and purchasing markets. People want better quality of life at an affordable price.

“In Europe, London and Paris, the cost per square meter for real estate has become prohibitive and this trend is echoed in other major metropolitan areas such as New York and parts of Austria,” says Michael Franze, CEO of Citiq Prepaid. “However, they’re not adding value on top of the price tag. People are moving outwards towards areas that allow for them to have more space, better quality of life, improved value offerings and incentives. And real estate companies have been paying attention.”

The new buyer equation that has emerged is both simple, and expected: affordable prime real estate plus value-added services equals a better quality of life. So, what should the industry do? Pay attention. Invest into solutions and systems that make it easier for the tenant to choose their property over another, and more valuable for an investor to take on their development than any other. Solutions that can shift the goalposts closer towards improved experiences, less admin and more freedom.

“Prepaid sub-metering has gained traction in the market for this very reason,” adds Franze. “Properties and developments that include prepaid sub-metering systems for utilities are basically providing investors and tenants with a one-stop solution that ensures seamless utility provision using meters and online reporting tools that ensure visibility into costs, potential issues and usage. It’s a simple, but effective, tool that adds value to any estate both easily and cost-effectively.”

Prepaid sub-metering has seen a significant rise in popularity over the past few years as both tenants and property owners have recognised how it can ease traditional pain points when it comes to billing and utility control. This has spiked again, post-COVID-19, as properties seek to rebuild their profiles in a sluggish market.

Significant pain points can be managed and tenant relationships carefully nurtured through the use of prepaid sub-metering solutions,” concludes Franze. “It can prevent bill shock, tenant disputes, poor payment problems and it can potentially catch any issues before they become an expensive problem. Citiq Prepaid has developed reliable, high-quality prepaid sub-metering solutions that come with an online portal, superb call centre support and countless purchasing options so that any property can boost its value proposition and meet the demands of the new buyer equation.”