Inaugural Proptech Summit demonstrates future ‘digital twin’ for property

The Australian Proptech Summit was held on the 5th and 6th September and attracted a number of commercial real estate decision makers and finance players ready to connect with cutting-edge startups and technology companies ready to build the future of property in both commercial and residential.

Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, big data and virtual reality were themes that featured heavily over the two days and very much created a feeling most buildings will end up with a digital twin in the future (whether or not they be commercial or residential).

To give you an idea, here are some of the companies that we saw, with a rundown of how they are innovating in the property space.

Just as people we have a digital twin, buildings now too have digital twins.  In the case of Bueno, its a case of building energy efficiency and maintenance efficiency through big data. Smart buildings are connected to a network operations centre, issues triaged and resolved through a scalable platform and reviewed post job.

Will mixed reality replace the mobile phone? Melbourne-based immersive technology company Phoria say yes and their mission is to ’empower anyone with the ability to experience a physical space in a digital space’. Recently these guys who own Scann3d landed a partnership with Google for their poly upload service (Google’s attempt to organise the world’s 3D information)

Now, in terms of immersive experiences in property, it could be pointing your phone at an aircon which gives you instructions on how to work it; inspections, taking a scan of a property before moving in and relying on that scan for bond disputes – it literally travels you back in time to see if crack/stain etc was there before.

From the USA, Yardi provides integrated property management software and investment management solutions for all real estate verticals, including offices, retail and logistics, allowing managers, investors and other stakeholders access to information specific to their needs. Following on from the building ‘digital twin’ idea, the software offers to support property data analysis, building and driving competitive offerings. In Australia, the company now has two offices and 50 employees.

In addition to these players, there was a pitch contest on stage, where new apps and providers looked for funding from VCs present (including PieLabs Chris Rolls). These included:

If you – or your commercial clients – are thinking about changing up your workspace, and more efficiently using the space available, then may help through sensor technology. Currently, most space utilisation studies are about tracking people rather than spaces, whereas are interested in tracking the space rather than people removing issues around employee privacy.

Soho App
We know this one – described as the ‘LinkedIn’ for properties by Jonathan Lui (one of the co-founders of Airtasker). Basically, this one is an App that allows the consumer to create a ‘home seeker’ profile and get alerts on properties you are interested in whether they are for sale, rent, or not on the market. It also allows consumers to follow agents and claims they have more than 13,000 people on the platform and 40,000 properties. (Think Followit 2.0)

And we’re back to that building digital twin idea again, but this time it’s about log books. If the future includes how our food is sustainably sourced (think Blockchain chicken), it is definitely going to include some type of digital log book for a property, we spoke about this last year from the Inman Conference.

This will lead to a couple of things – no more lost paperwork, easy tracking on improvements, wear, tear, depreciation, materials and easier valuations, ad copy and more.

Currently, it takes months to get a building plan drawn up, submitted and approved, with multiple parties and multiple steps. Udrew hopes to fix all that by facilitating instant approvals using artificial intelligence. The software allows users to create smart engineering plans which are checked for compliance against building codes and then acts as a central location for all parties to communicate about the project. Recently they won a Startup Competition in the US.

The winner of the VC pitch challenge Symbiot aims to make the consumption of energy more efficient by using IOT connected hardware, artificial intelligence and big data.  The future then provides an energy efficient smart home which might reduce energy consumption by as much as 40 per cent. Their Homie platform allows control over the energy consumption of rented holiday homes.

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.