Jul 16, 2021
By Kate Camerlin

What Is Proptech? | How Proptech Is Shaking Up Corporate Real Estate

Proptech (or property technology) is real estate and property software that helps organizations manage and optimize their portfolios across the entire lifecycle of their buildings.

The term proptech is fairly new. Although other industries have long embraced innovations such as cloud storage, sensors, and mobile tech, the real estate sector has taken a little longer to start widely adopting these technologies. Proptech solutions enable organizations to manage their properties more easily, operate buildings more efficiently, and better oversee construction and renovation projects. They allow companies to track things like costs, valuations, usage data, and much more. One study shows that in 2020, 81% of real estate organizations planned to use new digital technologies in traditional business processes.

Although proptech crosses into residential real estate, many US-based proptech companies are focused on the commercial and corporate sector. The following article dives into corporate applications, outlining a few keys ways proptech is changing that market.

4 Ways Proptech Is Shaking Up Corporate Real Estate

There is a wide range of new proptech startups competing for their share of the real estate market; one Verdantix study shows that in 2019, proptech investments reached nearly $6 billion. This makes it a volatile segment prone to acquisitions and mergers. In fact, in 2021 alone, there have been several high-profile acquisitions: iOFFICE was acquired by investment firm Thoma Bravo, Infor’s EAM business was acquired by Hexagon AB, Fortive acquired ServiceChannel (a SaaS-based facilities services solution), and MRI Software acquired Manhattan Real Estate and Workplace Solutions.

Although this changing market makes it difficult to predict what it will look like in the long-term, it is clear that proptech is shaping corporate real estate in several key ways.

1. Construction project management

NFX, a venture firm looking ahead at the proptech industry, predicts that new changes and catalysts will upend the construction market going forward, which will create a new surge of real estate tech startups. Driving this innovation is technology like cloud solutions, mobile platforms, and AI, which make it easier to track and plan capital projects.

When all data, deadlines, and financials are in one place (not spread out over multiple applications, departments, or spreadsheets), teams have better insight into how capital and construction projects are progressing throughout their lifecycles. This also spans capabilities like vendor management, in which capital project software solutions can help with the bidding process and provide support for managing and tracking those vendors throughout the project.

Plus, when everything is hosted on the cloud, construction teams can access the same project management software that other teams and departments are using, ensuring all groups are on the same page. Real estate and capital project managers can get detailed insights into all ongoing initiatives, not just the major ones.

2. Data-driven reporting

Additionally, when all information is hosted in one place, teams can get an unprecedented look at their data. Proptech software solutions make it easier to create reports and dashboards, so real estate professionals can set up alerts or quickly visualize their data and make better analytics-driven decisions about their properties.

One recent Forbes article notes that facilities and asset management are two activities that stand to gain much from improved data-driven practices. Proptech solutions enable facilities and maintenance teams to have better insights into how their buildings and assets are performing; teams can create dashboards measuring work order response times, asset repair costs, reactive maintenance requests, and more. They can even keep track of factors like energy costs and sustainability metrics in addition to equipment and asset performance.

This enables real estate professionals to have a better view into how much their facilities are currently costing, how much they’re projected to cost, and where teams could streamline or optimize their assets and portfolios.

3. Space management and mapping

Space management solutions are directly related to the data and analytics capabilities referenced above. With the rise of sensor data, space mapping, and digital wayfinding functionality, it is easier than ever to get insights into how space and facilities are being used.

Real estate professionals can track how many employees are utilizing a space—and with the right solutions, employees can book or reserve workspaces, desks, and more. Additionally, teams can visualize floorplans and then update and publish them, so all users can see the changes instantly. This provides a clearer view into space and building utilization.

A report from Unissu notes one reason for the innovation in space management is that office-based jobs are dwindling as remote working becomes increasingly popular. This means there is less demand for traditional, long-term commercial leases. For this reason, real estate managers need to take a closer look at their portfolios. When real estate professionals can see space usage data across all facilities and buildings, they can make better data-driven decisions about their real estate portfolios—deciding where to expand, right-size, and optimize their facilities and buildings.

4. Lease tracking

One other way proptech is changing the real estate landscape is by facilitating lease tracking and management. When teams have to manually track leases using disparate spreadsheets and home-grown databases, there’s a greater chance of errors, and they’re potentially missing insights into the bigger picture.

Cloud-based platforms enable you to track critical dates, contacts, renewals, payments, and other chosen attributes. Plus, you can create alerts and automate approval actions.

And when everything is located in one place, you can more easily share data with the rest of the organization. Solutions that integrate lease management into enterprise platforms enable real estate managers to become true workplace strategists.

The Connected Workplace and Proptech

The proptech industry as a whole is a quickly changing market that consists of many disparate solutions—meaning there are numerous point solutions that organizations need to work to integrate into their existing systems and databases, and making it difficult to predict what future holds.

However, Nuvolo Connected Workplace is different. It is invested in being a unified platform that seamlessly connects business applications together. It enables teams to consolidate their databases and unify their tech solutions.

Connected Workplace is cloud-based, and it connects all people, places, and processes across an organization. It enables real estate professionals to manage leases, assets, and portfolios on the same platform as other business applications (like space management, facilities management, HR applications, and more).

With Connected Workplace, teams can create intuitive dashboards and reports based on all their space and real estate data, so they can make more informed, analytics-driven decisions.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to our team today. Or read more about our real estate solution.