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News & opinion

13 JAN 2022

December Highlights

As I write this RICS Tech Partner blog entry reflecting on activity during December 2021, I’m resisting the temptation to make any predictions for the coming new year aside from one:  the impact of data and technology across the built and natural environment will continue to increase.

Despite the impact of the holiday season, we published more than a dozen new video conversations with our partners, and here is a summary of that content.  As ever, please do share this blog as a source of CPD for your colleagues - at whatever stage of their career.

The concept of Property Passports containing structured digital data representing physical assets is becoming well established in many markets around the world.  Erik Schlooz from KATE Innovations shared his experience of their use in the Netherlands and how other markets can gain similar benefits.

As well as creating purely technical solutions, data and technology are also creating news ways to connect different market participants - Claudia Giannoni & Budha Bhattacharya from technology startup RelAI, described how their new platform will create a marketplace connecting home buyers, sellers, and renovators.

The RICS Tech Partner Programme is playing a key role in connecting the profession with the data and technology sector, and leading industry figure Ed Mead FRICS of Viewber, gave us his perspective on the value of the programme, and the importance of the two sectors working together.

In a follow-up discussion with Titus Albrecht from realxdata in Berlin, we heard how the automation of  the loading and analysis of lease and rent rolls information is unlocking the value of commercial real estate data.

Stuart Harlow and Pete Mills of Crysp discussed how data and technology can help the profession in the UK fulfil the requirements of the Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations and other property compliance issues.

The data and technology sector, not unlike the built and natural environment, is full of jargon and acronyms which can act as a barrier when trying to navigate the potential solutions available.  James Logan and Karl Horner from Mobiess explained what Software-as-a-Service (Saas) really means for the FM and asset management sectors.

The financial stability of commercial real estate (CRE) occupiers is a critical driver of income and valuation.  Matthew Hopkinson of Income Analytics described how the availability of bigdata, coupled with the power of machine learning, is allowing the risk around CRE assets and portfolios to be assessed, managed, and rated in the same way as bonds.

Data and technology are being applied across sector boundaries with the term such as  PropTech, FinTech, LawTech becoming increasingly blurred.  Giles Thompson and David Howorth from Avvoka told us how document automation can deliver productivity gains across both law and real estate.

The role of property auctions is arguably viewed by many through the perspective of daytime TV programmes.  Indy Dubb and William Fisher of under the hammer discussed the barriers to the further adoption of auctions in a sector currently dominated by private treaties, and explained the benefits that technology and data bring to the auction process.

Land due diligence can be a time-consuming process, and the ability to combine and harness multiple datasets represents a huge opportunity for the property sector.  Thomas McAlpine of Addland spoke to me and showed how their platform supports different market participants navigate the process.

With so many solutions available that address general business needs such as accounting, customer relationship management (CRM, and messaging, it’s critical that sector specific solutions such as property management, can integrate with these other platforms.  Kurt Lyall from Rentancy talked through their approach to integration, and the challenges of developing a system to cater for multiple property sectors.

3D scanning is a relatively well-established technology across many aspects of the property sector, but their application and integration with other solutions such as BIM is still evolving at pace - Kris Atkinson from Matterport updated me on how scanning is now being used across the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sector.

Our sector faces a huge challenge in improving the environment performance of existing building stock, and Hermione Crease from Purrmetrix spoke with me and discussed how to turn environmental data from your estate into meaningful metrics on performance, and why this will become a significant tool for managing and valuing property.