For those of us considering a career in real estate and who have turned up to property events or had companies visit them at university, you may have heard the terms PropTech (Property Technology) or A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) brought up. This appears to be because these are two major factors that we are likely to have to deal with in the future. In our lifetime PropTech will immeseasurably improve how property is both experienced and how we as surveyors deal with it. In addition, A.I. could mean that technology may be able to do many of the tasks that are currently within a surveyor’s domain and remit. Clearly our generation embrace this sort of technological revolution and it hopefully means that we get the opportunity to concentrate on the more interesting part of the job. However it also raises a fair few questions: Will our role develop beyond this? To what extent will these technologies affect surveying firms and real estate companies? What will surveyors do? Will there be fewer surveyors?
Clearly if the focus is to remove the boring tasks by automating them then we can concentrate on the more personable tasks of surveying. However these changes may mean we need a completely different set of skills in the future. Real estate firms are traditionally slow to change and fairly conservative in their adoption of new technologies. Maybe this is because surveying follows a very tradional business model. Almost certainly the people working in our sector are often extremely busy, meeting challenging targets and just don’t have the time and space they need to implement change. In addition their clients are often large companies and corporations who are also adverse to change. Despite this there is a fundamental and cultural shift and property innovation appears to be on the agenda of many boards. So we can conclude, technology is empowering change regardless of current institutional and cultural barriers. Innovation is happening!