PropTech – Are you behind the curve?

17 January, 2018
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

10 ways Real Estate is embracing the tech revolution…

The property industry has, over the past 18 months, seen a massive uptake in embracing tech to make efficiencies. From Purple Bricks and other online agents changing how we buy and sell to Datscha’s use of Big Data and analytics to the use of tech within buildings, PropTech companies have entered and disrupted the way the property industry works.  Attitudes of the larger real estate operators are changing (as seen in a recent KPMG survey) and, in light of this, we take a look at some examples of tech adoption now and in the not too distant future …


  1. Ever switched the light on only to be greeted by darkness, or reached halfway through that urgent print job to see the message ‘Toner Empty’? Predictive maintenance is one way to combat such frustrations. One example of this is a hospital in Milan, where predictive maintenance is used on heating, ventilation and air conditioning to anticipate when something is about to break before it happens … think Minority Report, but for air con.

  2. Companies are finding more innovative ways to save energy. One way includes having chemical sensors to turn lights on/off. Perhaps this means the end to the infamous “Switch the light off and save the planet” you find plastered on some office toilets. 

  3. Tracking individuals’ health through wearable technology is also being explored (one company looking into this is KPMG) although there could be privacy issues if these sorts of initiatives are introduced.

  4. Employee trackers are also being investigated as to whether it would be appropriate to collate data to drive decisions about office layouts and facilities. The Bolton Consulting Group is even piloting a programme where employees’ badges contain a microphone and location sensor to monitor how office layout impacts communication. Follow this link for more information.

  5. Cleaning Robots? Sign me up I hear you say! A patent is pending for “Outobot” in Singapore. The robot can scan the exterior of a building using a camera and automatically plot areas to spray or paint.

  6. With a growing rental market, companies are finding innovative ways to assist landlords manage their properties to give the owners both peace of mind and higher returns. An example of this is Zenplace in Silicon Valley which takes care of all the aspects of property management from finding tenants to maintaining the property adopting adaptive algorithms used by companies such as Google.

  7. Developers and landlords have been partnering with Uber to provide rides to residents rather than including the price of parking within the purchase price.

  8. Drones are changing real estate (see link for 9 ways this is happening) . These include providing photography and videos of properties on the market.

  9. A Seattle hotel has introduced iPods and earpieces in order for staff to seamlessly communicate with each other to improve customer experience.

  10. Always find the heating too hot or cold in the office? Technology company Arup may have the answer. They are trialling a desk which will be controlled by smartphones so individuals will be able to change their environments…power to the people!