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News & opinion

10 FEB 2022

January Highlights

As well as my usual look back over the content we published last month, the first of 2022, I want to look forward to some upcoming RICS thought leadership content that I will be publishing over the coming weeks. 

Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) and the general effects of automation on the valuation process across all asset classes, not just property, have been discussed in many of the RICS Tech Partner videos and I carried out a programme of market engagement during 2021 based on the AVM Roadmap paper published that July.  My summary of the market feedback and the potential response by RICS to this evolving subject will be available very soon.

Data on property is increasingly being collated into so-called Property Passports, Property Logbooks, Building Passports etc., both in the UK and in many other countries, to support a variety of use cases such as conveyancing, valuation, fire safety, and energy efficiency.  As this data flows to and from market participants I explore this subject in more depth, and look at the issue around digital identity as we seek to validate who we are dealing with in a digitised world and how we execute documents and transactions using various forms of electronic signatures

Many of you may be aware of RICS’ support for the wider adoption of the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) in the UK and I described the benefits of using the UPRN across the public and private sector in an RICS Journal article back in May of 2021.  At the end of November 2021, the UPRN was appended by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for private properties and to Display Energy Certificates (DECs) for public buildings – a major step forward particularly in the context of initiatives around energy efficiency.

January was as ever, a long month in some respects, and short one in other ways!  Here’s a summary of the content we did publish, covering our usual wide range of topics with partners from the UK, South Africa, and Australia.  Please do share this blog as a source of CPD for your colleagues and peers.

The marketplace for rural land in the UK is becoming increasing digital with datasets now available to SMEs as well as larger firms.  With the emerging focus on issues around phosphates and nitrates affecting rural land, I spoke with Thomas McAlpine for Addland and discussed how technology can help support biodiversity and local authority planning.

The challenge of retrofitting residential property across the UK is becoming ever more urgent and Stewart Little from IRT Surveys shared his experience of the impact of the Domestic Optimised Retrofit Innovation Concept (DORIC) project in Aberdeen.

Yet another acronym to decipher- ‘Applications for a platform as a service’ or APaaS.  But if we move beyond the jargon, how can technology help asset owners develop a centralised database of their key property data and collaborate better with their consultants, investors, and contractors?  Liam Murray from Build-Apps helps us navigate the latest developments.

As a global programme, I have the privilege of speaking to Tech Partners right across the globe and I discussed the South African commercial real estate market with William Harris from Gmaven and learnt about the concept of ‘Brilliant Basics’ and how we should all apply this to property data.

The RICS Code for leasing business premises supported Least as they applied data and technology to the leasing process in the UK.  Leon Ballard from Least explained the challenges involved in speeding up the leasing process and the importance of having a mix of technical and property skills and knowledge across your team when you are developing a PropTech business.

Large infrastructure projects raise complex challenges in ensuring that cost, time, and benefits are fully realised.  Cuong Quang from AI Octant talked me through the application of artificial intelligence to this issue and gave me his perspective on how we need to work with and learn from other sectors and disciplines.