PropTech, Smart Objects, and Property Management

In May 2011, the UK government mandated that Building Information Modelling (BIM) would be capitalised on. All public buildings contracted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BIS) would require BIM level 2 compliance. This marked the government’s recognition of an emerging market in PropTech that could be capitalised on.

Since 2011, the Internet of Things (IoT) has taken on a new meaning, changing and developing property management and PropTech for the better. There’s no longer any need for checklists or spreadsheets, instead, there’s a wide range of property and facility management software that you can invest in.

Now, BIM, Smart objects, and PropTech have paved the way for a more streamlined and effective approach to property management.

 

How IoT is Informing PropTech

The phrase “Internet of Things” was coined in 1999 and has quickly grown to mean so much more than originally intended.

Originally, it was used in the context of tagging objects to link them to a digital system. This way, items could be controlled or monitored by RFID tagging. In this case, all of the items tagged and their digital profiles would become a literal “internet of things.”

Now, IoT informs a much wider scale of decisions within most technology companies, whether FinTech, PropTech, or BioTech. Instead of just tagging or cataloguing every “thing,” now these “things” can be populated with more information, and many more processes can be automated.

The relationship between supply and demand here is homeostatic. Innovation creates its own demand, and IoT’s widening ability to automate processes and populate digital profiles of items is fuelling development in PropTech and Property Management.

 

The Emergence of Smart Objects and Digital Twins

The concept alone of Smart objects and Digital Twins, whether in the context of IoT or of BIM, creates a demand to capitalise on the development of PropTech.

Smart objects are objects that can be digitally interacted with, and Digital Twins are exact digital replicas of a living or non-living entity. So, a lot of Property Management Software is capitalising on the ability to use Digital Twins to turn objects into smart objects.

For example, property and facility managers will be able to view a back end of all of the objects in their properties and interact with them. Streamlining and digitising processes such as maintenance management, inspection schedules, and issues management.

BIM is instrumental in these developments and, although the UK Government mandated BIM level 2 compliance in 2016, it’s still a developing and growing set of processes. Eventually, the integration of BIM and Digital Twins will create fully digitised buildings, changing the foundations of PropTech and property and facility management.

 

The Future of Managing your Estate, Property, or Facilities

The fact that IoT, BIM, smart objects, and Digital Twins are all moving towards both ubiquity, and a full integration with each other begins to elucidate how property and facilities management will change.

At a base level, there will at least be online systems that show a fully interactive model of your building, with BIM processes. This will then be populated with Digital Twins and these, thanks to IoT processes such as RFID tagging and online item profiles, these will become smart objects.

This largely creates a “read-only” representation of your building with some elements of interactivity with the smart objects therein.

However, this creates a massive opportunity that PropTech has already started capitalising on. AI systems that can categorise Facility Management issues by severity, real-time representations of your buildings, and the use of VR and AR to represent properties are just some of the innovations that are already being developed.

So, what does BIM, IoT, smart objects, and Digital Twins mean for the future of PropTech? Automation. The ability to manage properties as much as possible, as economically as possible, and as sustainably as possible, all from a remote location.

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