Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

Robots, Machines and the Unknown: Real Estate in the Augmented Age

28 September 2017
U+I plc’s offices in partnership with Heidrick & Struggles
Technology is now at the forefront of the minds of real estate industry leaders and at SAY we continue to keep our finger on the pulse of technological advancements to provide our clients with the best possible advice when designing for management.
Heidrick & Struggles and U+I seminar discussed the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR). Expert panelists discussed pain points and future, digital opportunities for the real estate sector.
There were a number of lessons learnt that will impact on the management of buildings:
  • The loss of large infrastructure ducts for cabling as wireless takes over. Real Estate leaders are familiar with MIPIM but the tech expert panelists urged executives to consider the Mobile World Congress ( in February 2018 where the future of 5G wireless will be the focus and its impact on the built environment.
  • Virtual Reality depicting a lifelike architectural render using construction data to imagine developments at an early stage. This could potentially save millions in design amendments as well as being useful during the letting process for Virtual Reality viewings.
  • The sharing economy crops up time and time again after the successes of Airbnb and attitudes towards renting must be monitored if industry leaders are to appeal to the changing demographic needs.
  • Sensors are becoming smarter and despite still being in its infancy the IoT has the potential to save property owners and managers millions. We learnt that Marriott hotels are trialing smart sensors to predict the habits and needs of its guests ( This could prove invaluable to property managers in streamlining day to day management activities.
  • Drones will play a big part in construction and smart delivery. Amazon, DHL and UPS to name a few, have already started deploying drones for parcel delivery. The advice we have been giving as a business now extends as far as to recommend drone landing pads to some of our clients as it is vital that we future proof developments.
The event was really thought provoking and has given the SAY team plenty of ideas to discuss as well as a broader understanding of the impact Proptech will have in advancing and improving business efficiencies and unlocking value for our clients.