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PropTech In The Post Withdrawal World

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By DAC Beachcroft


Published 03 February 2020


In this first week of February, with the Rubicon now crossed, we will have to face the concerns about lower yields, drops in land values and increases in supply chain costs. However, PropTech has the potential to introduce innovative solutions that will help companies transition to the new post-Brexit world and enable quicker transactions.

1.Growing sums but more prudent investments

The number of PropTech companies means there will be some consolidation as the sector matures. Cautionary tales of over investment and poor performance mean investors will scrutinise opportunities and scalability more rigorously before parting with their cash. This could result in fewer investments this year but involving larger sums. PropTech companies will need to get comfortable with greater oversight from their financiers.

2. 5G

With 5G making its mark this year, investment in telecommunication masts will be a priority for telecom operators to enable its successful roll out. Considerable thought will be given to how best to create a sustainable long term model for the ownership and leasing of these masts. Where real property and long term revenue streams coincide, pension investment funds are not far behind, so watch this space.

Sharing existing masts for metropolitan areas and securing new mast locations for rural areas will continue to be the rule of thumb. However, the 5G signal is not as effective at penetrating walls as 4G , so a lot more masts are required across the country for good coverage. Operators are well aware of this and actively looking to extend their stock.

3. Internet of Things (IoT)

It’s a cold day so your mobile phone realises you’re on the way home and tells your thermostat to crank up the heating. You use your smart key to enter your house, your lights automatically turn on and your favourite playlist begins playing on your connected speakers. Those devices speaking to each other without human interaction is IoT. All these devices need the internet and the introduction of 5G enables smart homes to become a reality particularly where WiFi isn’t available or doesn’t provide the speeds necessary to handle all your devices.

As smart devices continue to penetrate the consumer market and 5G becomes more readily available, developers will construct homes ready to integrate these devices. Property owners will be able to rent out rooms or whole flats all through a mobile phone, with the maintenance operations being requested through an app. The Build to Rent sector is particularly interested in this form of self-leasing and the automation that 5G and IoT make possible.

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data analytics

Big data will drive development, growth and efficiency. Retailers are already using big data to analyse shopper behaviour for more effective personalisation; shopping centres for the purposes of occupancy needs and service charge budgets, and residential developers to determine the most popular add-ons for the kitchen or garden in new build homes.

AI analysis of smart meter data will enable utility companies to better understand consumer usage to better tune plant repair cycles and help insurance companies to better understand how well protected your home is providing a more tailored insurance quote.

The difference between you and your competitor will be what you produce next and the answer to that will lie in the information you already hold. The use of data analytics has given AI a growth spurt. The Chief Technology Officer will become more prominent within property companies; a role that will go beyond operations and become increasingly integrated in wider business strategy.