November 23, 2021
Proptech Shaping Real Estate


Sarah Berman, Founder & President

Amidst the fierce competition for commercial tenants in New York, the real fight for quality is in the use of proptech in an array of building-types. While real estate has been slow to adapt to new technologies in the industry, some new advancements are making inroads and could have lasting effects. These advancements generally come down to removing frictions, and emphasizing sustainability and well-being in buildings and for tenants. 

A company like Willow shows what proptech can do to help with ease of property management. Their new feature, “WillowTwin” makes a digital copy of all physical assets, allowing for real-time updates and quicker reaction times from management for tenants in both commercial and residential properties. Joshua Ridley, the Global CEO and co-founder, said: “A century ago, the built world was illuminated by electricity. Today, the built world is being illuminated by data and a new technology called digital twins, and in the decade ahead we will see this accelerate.” This ability to adapt to owners’ needs in much quicker fashion gives brokerage companies the ability to more directly and efficiently manage multi-family properties and commercial buildings around the country if need be. 

Another obvious example of the increased use of proptech in the real estate market is seen with Latch, an access control and building software provider. Their software service allows owners to operate every access door to their properties from the same place on their phone or computer, and ensures ease of access for tenants as well, in addition to smart home capabilities. This is more important than ever; in a report on Gen-Z preferences, it was seen that 62 percent of those surveyed value home and property technology more than standard amenities such as a gym or open space. 

Important to consider as well is how proptech will affect office and commercial property-management in the future as America continues to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers are still deciding how to best utilize employees, whether that be in-office work, remote, or a hybrid-version. Locatee, a workplace analytics company, focuses on tracking worker placement within the office, usually called “seat tracking”, which can assist management in understanding how their spaces are being used by their employees. Thomas Kessler, CEO of Locatee, said: “Corporate real estate managers need to be cognisant of usage and occupancy patterns on a global scale, and with analytics software we’re able to continuously collect and share data on everything from space utilisation and desk occupancy to utility costs and overheads.” As workers operate in new hybrid roles, employers and property managers should look to incentivize workers to come back to the office with new amenities and more efficiently used office spaces. 

Before tenants can make sure their office spaces are flowing efficiently, they must first find tenants, and tenants must find renters and property owners. Dottid, a commercial real estate software platform that focuses on asset management and leasing transactions, has helped streamline this process in recent years. By allowing property owners, brokers and tenants insight into occupancies, vacancies, lease expirations, and deal activity, Dottid is streamlining and lowering costs for the process of filling space and finding tenants. Additionally, contactless communication and transactions are more important than ever as hand-washing and social distancing continue to be the norm. They’ve also rolled out a platform specifically for the Industrial sector of the real estate market, the first of its kind, right on time as the pandemic has increased the necessity for e-commerce, enhanced logistics and digital transactions. 

These proptech advancements are helping to define each of the previously mentioned company’s brands, while also capitalizing on the need for sustainable practices and health and well-being-related implementations, that have become all the more necessary as employees go back to work in the office.