Quoted in the Estates GazetteBrandon Weber, CPO & Co-Founder, VTS says “I think the assumption that property never adopts new technology is false. The real reason? No one has delivered innovative, high-on-return-investment technology for the sector in decades. That’s changing.”

Proptech is wide-ranging but many innovations are built on the power of sensors. Analysts predict the sensor market and the internet of things will be worth US$29bn by 2020. Cisco the tech giant estimates that there were 15 billion connected devices in 2016 and could reach 50 billion by 2020. But, what progress has been made and what customer service or product will prove to be popular closer to home, literally in our homes whether we buy them or our landlords do?

Consumers are driving this change with the adoption of smart speakers in the home such as Amazon’s Echo with Alexa. Voice control of music, digital to-do lists and tempreture or lighting adjustment is the start of the sensor in the home revolution.

In the home, for owners, renters and landlords…
Domestic sensors are increasingly available on the market such as:
– allowing you to control home electronics from anywhere; a remote video camera which sends a notification to your phone if it notices a break in;
– a fire alarm sends an alert to your phone if smoke is detected
– wirelessly connected buttons which trigger an order for a household good;
– adjustable lights which can change the colour, brightness and ambience of a room.

Our nationally representative research with 600 UK consumers shows that millions are interested in using a range of domestic sensors including:

I would be happy to use this
Your fridge to trigger an online order for goods when items were running low 17%
A computerised front door, which could be securely opened remotely with your smartphone 19%
To be notified by your smartphone of a house break-in or fire 38%
Your water/gas/electricity usage monitored in real-time and the results available on your smartphone  32%
To be able to control the brightness and colour of your room lighting using your smartphone 26%
To monitor home activities when away from home (eg misbehaving dog, young child being cared for) using a remote video camera 24%

‘Big Data’ from sensors has major implications for digital customer service particularly with CRM integration and analytics empowering frontline staff. It links directly to Davies Hickman’s concept of Smart Service: organisations monitor, analyse and react to changes in products and services to resolve issues for consumers before they become problematic.

If issues like data privacy, intrusion into consumers’ lives and training are managed correctly, the PropTech revolution presents a fresh start to improve products, services and multichannel connectivity for home owners, renters and landlords.