What Does PropTech Mean for the Future of Building


Design and construction professionals are beginning to embrace PropTech in their working lives. They see PropTech as a solution to the rising demand for sustainable "smart" buildings with state-of-the-art amenities.

So what is PropTech and what accounts for its popularity? How has it shifted the trajectory from being real estate-specific to now making a strong impact on the design and construction industry? These questions have fascinating answers, which we'll explore in greater detail below.

The Meteoric Rise of PropTech

What Does PropTech Mean for the Future of Building

PropTech is an abbreviation of "property technology." It refers to the multitude of technologies that have disrupted the real estate industry over the past several years. These can range from more familiar equipment like unmanned aerial vehicles to intensive software for building information modeling. 

Though these innovations are quite different, they fall under the umbrella of "PropTech." Any technology that exists in the real estate space is, by its very nature, property technology. An obvious example would be an app that streamlines communication between a landlord and their tenants, while a less obvious example is Amazon Alexa.

To clarify, a virtual assistant allows a homeowner to better integrate with their property. This small detail is fundamental to understanding the nuance of PropTech. PropTech doesn't have a set definition but is constantly changing to encompass an increasing number of technologies with changing and evolving features. 

The incredible promise of PropTech has made it popular among investors. They've recognized the value in drones, for example, which are capable of more than aerial photography — they can aid in insurance inspections, appraisals, heat-loss imaging and building management. With the impressive functionality of these innovations, they've seen adoption elsewhere. 

PropTech in Design and Construction

What Does PropTech Mean for the Future of Building

The inclusion of wireless sensors is a fitting example of PropTech in action. As the cost of this equipment continues to decrease, it's easier than ever to implement systems for monitoring and management. Smart sensors can detect occupants' locations, count and movement with amazing precision without compromising their privacy. 

Best of all, companies can install 100 lightweight mini-sensors in just a single hour. The process is fast, convenient and increasingly accessible. Of course, sensors are far from the only solution in the PropTech space, and design and construction professionals have incorporated other technologies which are equally beneficial. 

Construction companies have simplified their building surveys through mapping software. Digital maps are nothing new, but advancements in 3D rendering and new platforms for map editing have dramatically changed traditional survey techniques. Professionals can apply many different technologies for the construction process.

Looking Toward the Future

What Does PropTech Mean for the Future of Building

The value of PropTech is impossible to overstate. It's more than a buzzword or a passing trend, but something far more substantial. It represents a significant shift in the status quo for real estate, design and construction professionals who want to refine and improve on their outdated practices

Whether they're piloting a drone, donning a VR headset or checking the details of a project in a new program, executives and workers with a progressive mindset will play an indispensable role in the future of their industry. They're the early settlers on an exciting frontier which is, for the most part, unexplored. 

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