Housing Minister Esther McVey recently announced plans to promote the release of public sector data to support the growing proptech sector and property developers in the UK.

What is Proptech?

  • Proptech is a combination of the words ‘property’ and ‘technology’ and refers to any technology that is changing the way the property market works. It is also often used to describe start-up companies who are introducing this new tech. Propertyweek.com estimate the number of these companies currently stands at 7,000 worldwide.


What are some of the PropTech innovations that have been trending this year?

  • Blockchain is a database of information created by blocks forming a chain with other blocks. The information takes the form of digital records and transactions. These records are stored in multiple copies, in many places at once, on many different devices. Once a transaction has been agreed (known as a consensus) it cannot be altered, removed, reversed or disputed without permission from all those involved with it. As smart contracts for the commercial property, blockchain can speed up purchase and property management transactions.
  • A Chatbot is software that can have a conversation with a human. It can be programmed to provide immediate responses to common questions, or for example, take property viewing bookings from many people at the same time, and is available 24/7.
  • Drones are being used for efficient building inspections which cut down on health and safety risks involved as well as aerial images and virtual tours of available commercial space.
  • Smart buildings adapt to user’s needs. Through the use of sensors and apps a smart building  detects who is in a building and then calculates what lights or heating needs to be on making them highly efficient.  They can also provide information on site cleaning requirements and office equipment repair needs.  For more smart building benefits have a look at our previous blog post.
  • Big Data is very large data that can be analysed for patterns and insights for business decisions. It is aiding businesses to make commercial property choices regarding risks and opportunities with data collected from such things as transactions and social media. It can provide information on property history, costs, value (including estimates for future) and energy use.
  • AR/VR. We have been exploring both of these trending technologies on our blog. Have a look at: What are the uses and benefits of VR in Commercial Property Sales? and Using Augmented Reality for Commercial Property Marketing.