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News & opinion

14 DEC 2021

November highlights

As I look back over November 2021, I’m happy to report that it’s been another productive month for the RICS Tech Partner Programme.  We now have over 150 Partners and have published over three dozen videos highlighting the impact of data and tech right across the built and natural environment.

Once again, our new Partners continue to reflect the diversity of the sector and the potential for data and technology to innovate and deliver better outcomes for RICS members and their clients.

As I discuss the application of data and technology with our Partners, I am continuing to focus on the issues, themes, and value of adoption, rather than getting too deep into the underlying technologies themselves.  Technology and digitisation are not ends in themselves, and we need to focus on solutions that address the real needs and wants of the profession, solve real world problems, increase productivity and profitability, improve the service that the profession can provide to clients, and critically, be accessible from both a technical and cost perspective to firms of all shapes and sizes.

RICS and our Tech Partner Aprao would like to hear from you and get your views on the role of technology in the profession and how it is affecting you.  Just click the link below to answer the survey, which only takes two minutes to fill in.  Your answers will help us create a comprehensive report from which we will collate our findings and share the results:

The form will only be available for a limited time, so make sure you have had your say.  And don't worry, your answers will be anonymised so please feel free to be completely honest. Thank you for your time, on behalf of both Aprao and the RICS.

Every time I talk to our Partners I am struck by the necessity, and power, of their teams combining people with technical skills with others who have a deep understanding of the built environment.  Developing solutions that add real value for the sector needs this mix of skills together with an ongoing feedback loop between the developers and the market they serve.

Here’s a summary of the content we published during November.  Please do share this blog as a source of CPD for your colleagues - at whatever stage of their career.

Based in Berlin, realxdata, are now part of Moody’s Analytics, and their founder Titus Albrecht, discusses the opportunities of using data and technology across commercial real estate and tells us about his journey from real estate finance to the world of data and technology.

Property professionals in all sized firms need to be aware of cyber threats and Kerrie Machin from Mitigo gives us an overview of the current threats we all face and how we can reduced risk and protect ourselves.

The Netherlands is leading the way in the digitisation of real estate valuation, and in this panel discussion, Erik Schlooz of KATE Innovations, Maurits Cammeraat of SBR Nexus, and Gerard Schalk of SolidBriQ bring this story to life and provide insight on how other markets can learn from their experience.

The short-term rental market is changing and Merilee Karr of UnderTheDormat explains how the market is evolving and how data and technology is playing its part in helping property companies to capitalise on these new opportunities.

With huge amounts of capital continuing to flow into PropTech how do you keep up with the trends and try to predict the future trends and impacts across the sector?   From opposite sides of the global, Ivo Van Breukelen and Stephen MacDonald of The Proptech Connection share their insight gained by their work with investors, technology buyers and Proptech firms.

Peer-to-peer lending is increasingly being used to fund commercial real estate, and Brian Bartaby of Proplend explains how this form of finance is being deployed and how it fits within the existing forms of finance available in the marketplace.

With the current focus on making offices attractive and safe places for people to occupy, Jo Morris and Rob Maxwell from Locale provide an update on the major changes in property management and occupier engagement over the last 3 years, both before and after the arrival of Covid-19.

The availability of a unique property identifier is critical to assembling digital datasets that can support many use cases.  Vik Tara from Technology Blueprint tells us about the opportunity in the UK to use the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) and explains the benefits and some of the barriers to mode widespread adoption.

The term digital twin is widely used, and misunderstood, so I spoke to Robert Bray from Autodesk and asked him what the term means and how can they help us design better buildings.

PropTech must also play its part in supporting and delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, so I talked to Menno Lammers from PropTech for Good to hear how this alliance is connecting CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and sustainability leaders from all around the world,

It’s critical that we continue to transform property data from documents to more structured datasets and Erik Schlooz from KATE Innovations shares his experience on how best to start this journey.

We all use the word ‘quality’ every day to describe objects as varied as books, fine wine, and clothes, but how should we quantify ‘quality’, especially when we consider commercial real estate and the impact of these judgements on value?   Cyril Theret from Real Quality Rating and I talked through this issue, its impact on asset management, and how ESG factors are becoming increasingly important.

Advanced computer vision and machine learning are coming together to improve productivity across the construction sector and Tom Kotecki & Wojtek Szymczak from Oculo showed me how easy it is to  employ this technology on site.

How do we close the performance gap using data and technology to help us run buildings more effectively?  Mike Darby from Demand Logic spoke with me to explain the problem and how we can fix it.

Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) are being used across the world and Declan King, Saadain Lari, and Haider Tuaima from Valustrat shared their expertise and experience on issues such as data quality and availability, and the key question of when it’s appropriate to use an AVM.

It was fascinating to look at PropTech from the perspective of an investor, and RICS member Thibault Weston Smith from Realty Corporation, described their investment process and shared his predictions on the future of the sector with me.

Many people describe the process of digitisation as a journey, and as so many firms and organisations begin this journey, I asked Kevin Grice from Trace Solutions to explain the principles behind digitisation and how to make it ‘stick’!

Managing the peaks and troughs of supply and demand is challenging for any business, and the last couple of years has seen understandable volatile in the UK residential lettings market - Costas Frangeskou from Goodlord and I discuss how data and technology can help.