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A recent survey by PwC asked respondents in real estate asset management about the impact of key technologies in areas of their business. The study analysed more than 150 technologies in terms of their global business impact using data from companies, start-ups, academia and research, picking technologies that are expected to have the most impact over the next three to seven years. Here are the top eight.

Artificial Intelligence

The ability of computer software to execute tasks that would otherwise be carried out using human decision-making is one of the most recent technological breakthroughs, and it is expected to break through real estate tasks in spectacular fashion

58.3% of respondents surveyed said that AI will influence asset management the most. Most of the respondents also believe that AI will affect property and facility management, property valuation and corporate strategy development significantly with potential applications in identity management, peer-to-peer transactions, smart contracting et cetera

Block Chain

Talk of the decentralised and distributed ledger technology are no longer news. In fact, Countries like Sweden are already employing the technology for land registries. Its importance in the implementation of smart contracts are also well documented.

Up to 66.7% of respondents in the survey said that block chains can be helpful in asset management and tenant relationship management. Other applications include fund management, investment, client relation management and valuation.

Internet of Things

IoTs describe a network of devices connected to the internet with the ability to communicate with each other. 83.3% of respondents see IoT affecting asset management, property and facility management. Three quarters of the respondents also believe tenant relation management as well as client relation management will be affected. The survey also revealed that 73% of asset managers have embarked on IoT initiatives.

Virtual Reality

83.3% of participants believe VR will affect the areas of asset management, tenant relation management and client relation management more significantly than the other areas. Virtual reality creates an interactive experience generated using simulation methods in a computer, to imitate reality e.g. building projections.

Augmented Reality

Unlike virtual reality which creates ‘new’ reality, augmented reality uses a computer software to improve user experience on the existing reality. 75% of respondents consider AR to impact asset and tenant relation management, and client relation management while 66% believed property and facility management will be affected. AR is important because it bridges the gap between the digital and physical worlds.


Robots, whether referring to the programmed machines or software, can execute or support functions performed by people. According to the PwC survey, property and facility management have the highest likelihood of being affected (83%) while fewer people believe it will affect property valuation, asset and tenant management. Although robots are not yet fully cost-effective, widespread acceptance will be achieved more rapidly once dominant providers and platforms emerge.


The greatest potential for drones lies in property and facility management according to the survey 83.3% of participants. Two thirds of the participants also believed that drones will heavily influence real estate valuation. The use of drones is based on their aerial photography capabilities as well as remote control.

3-D Printing

This technology from the manufacturing industry has scaled its way into other industries and real estate is no exception. The technology makes it possible to produce physical objects using computer models by combining and printing successive layers of materials layer upon layer. In real estate, the greatest impacts are expected to be in property and facility management according to two thirds of respondents in the survey.

The survey also highlighted the importance of cloud computing in enabling users to build technological innovations and the constant evolution of user interfaces improving interactions between humans and computers.