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Changing emphasis of data needs fuels proptech growth

There is an increasing emphasis on smart buildings and touchless technologies and one of the main drivers of that is the need to capture more data about the way buildings are being used.

“Building managers, occupiers and owners expect to have data on their utilisation,” said Paul Speariett, co-founder and director of Bristol-based proptech company Forge. Safety, and measuring variables such as air quality has also become a priority. Until recently, the emphasis in data gathering was on ensuring that a building provides value, Speariett said.

The demands on proptech are therefore growing and becoming more complex because end users want more interoperability and integration of systems.

Forge, whose focus has been visitor management, smart access control and “people counting” has recently been acquired by Yardi which Speariett said will allow the company to expand vertically and geographically.

Covid and the move to hybrid working – part in the office, part remote – has accelerated many pre-existing trends, he added.

“Hybrid working puts different demands on the systems that manage buildings so people are moving much more dynamically. Longer term leases are becoming much shorter and there’s greater fluidity of movement of people into buildings and that needs a different classification of systems to manage it,” he said.

Click on the video above to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.

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