Proptech, also known as Property Technology, is a term used to describe the application of technology to real estate. It has been a growing buzzword over the past decade and the pandemic accelerated the use of many Proptech concepts, such as touchless sensors and HVAC automation to monitor and improve air quality. Proptech includes a broad array of technology like aerial mapping by drones, construction planning, digital signing of contracts, and 3-D printing of building components. CRETech, or Commercial Real Estate Technology, is a subset that focuses on commercial real estate applications.
One of the main objectives of Proptech and CRETech is to make it easier for owners, landlords & tenants to manage and occupy building space. Some landlords are implementing apps for tenants to use on their phones to control building systems. These apps can unlock doors that are accessible to the tenant, reserve desk or conference room space, be used to pay rent, and are able to receive notifications on building updates. In larger metropolitan buildings, apps are also used for access to parking and tracking building personnel and employees. This type of customer-facing remote control can increase occupancy by supporting the tenant’s experience.
Proptech also includes technology that can control heating and cooling based on occupancy and anticipate when and where it will be needed most. Smart lighting is a similar benefit for occupants as well as an energy saver for Landlords. The ability to monitor and control these items was especially effective for building owners during the pandemic when occupancy was low, and space was not being fully utilized.
By aiding the tenant experience, and streamlining the landlord’s responsibilities and costs, Proptech adds value to a building that has these technologies in place. Easier data collection is a benefit that leads to better asset utilization. With employees working part-time in the office, technology that monitors co-working and shared spaces will improve efficiency and make the user experience better while improving the bottom line. Proptech is here to stay, and utilization will continue to increase as tenants’ desire for convenience, security, and well-being continue to be the gold standard of office leasing.