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PROPTECH Dictionary


Is a fixed-term, cohort-based program that includes seed investment, connections, mentorship, educational components, and culminates in a public pitch event or demo day to accelerate growth.



 A time-boxed, iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end.


API stands for ‘application programming interface’. It’s a set of definitions, protocols, and tools that allows different software and hardware to integrate with one another.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions) and self-correction.

Augmented Reality

AR is a live view of the physical real-world augmented (or supplemented) by a computer-generated sensory such as graphics, video, sound, or data – thus providing a composite view.

Augmented Virtuality

Where the real-world is placed into a virtual environment. For example, superimposing a person into a virtual setting.

Autonomous Vehicles

Vehicles in which human drivers never have to take control in order to safely operate the vehicle. They combine sensors and software to control, navigate, and drive the vehicle. Autonomous vehicles could aid in the expansion of so-called “edge cities,” as they enable workers’ to fill their commutes with work, rest and play rather than driving.


Uses deep learning and natural language processing to enable machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. With Ai technology computers can be trained to perform specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns within.


A person's digital persona. Often takes a visual form and is designed by an individual to resemble either what they look like IRL or a character with which they identify.

Data Analysis   

A process of analysing data that uses analytical and statistical tools to examine each component of the data provided and discover useful information.


A collection of data that is organized into some type of data structure.

Dark Kitchens

Restaurants that only serve delivery customers. Born as a result of the unfavorable market conditions for traditional restaurants, dark kitchens utilize advanced food preparation, underused real estate and algorithm-driven optimization to lower expenses and increase output.

aka Ghost Kitchen

Digital Twins

A pairing of the virtual and physical worlds through a virtual model of a building. This allows analysis of data and monitoring of building systems to prevent problems before they occur, eliminate downtime, develop new products and opportunities and utilize simulations to plan for the future.


An unpiloted aircraft or spacecraft that can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans. They were traditionally used in the military but have since moved into the civilian sector.  Delivery services and ‘flying taxis’ are some ways that they can be used in the future.


Legal technology refers to the application of technology and software to help law firms with practice management, document storage, billing, accounting and electronic discovery. Since 2011, Legal Tech has evolved to be associated more with technology startups disrupting the practice of law by giving people access to online software that reduces or in some cases eliminates the need to consult a lawyer, or by connecting people with lawyers more efficiently through online marketplaces and lawyer-matching websites.

Offsite construction

Offsite construction refers to the planning, design, fabrication, and assembly of building elements at a location other than their final installed location to support the rapid and efficient construction of a permanent structure.

Open Source

Generally refers to computer software people can modify and share because it is publicly accessible by design. The copyright holder grants users the right to study, change, and distribute the software to anybody and for any purpose. Open-source software is often developed in a collaborative public manner. “Open source” also includes a broader set of values, including open exchange of projects, products or initiatives, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.


Allows real estate property owners to issue tokens, which represent a certain amount of shares for the asset, through blockchain platforms. Other investors can purchase these tokens and become partial owners of that asset. These investors can sell any amount of their shares whenever they want, even through some other online markets.


At its most basic level, a blockchain is a list of transactions that anyone can view and verify. For example, the Bitcoin blockchain is a record of every time someone sends or receives bitcoin. Blockchain is fundamental for most cryptocurrencies because it enables secure payments to be made between people without having to go through a third party verifier (such as a bank). Blockchain technology also has many uses beyond cryptocurrency. It is being used to accelerate cancer research, improve the sharing of healthcare records, verify people’s identity and much more.

Big Data

Term that describes the large volume of data with which businesses are inundated each day. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. The primary value of big data comes from the processing of it and the insights that emerge from its analysis, not from the data in its raw form. Data is usually garnered from streaming data, social media data and publicly available sources.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.

Building Management Systems (BMS)

is a computer-based control system installed in buildings that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems.

Build to Rent (B2R)

Build to Rent is a term used to describe private rented residential property, which is designed for rent instead of for sale. As the name suggests, Build to Rent (B2R) involves the building of homes specifically for the rental market. These developments are typically owned by companies (such as property companies or pension or insurance investment companies), and let directly or through an agent.


An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfilment of a condition. For example, the earnest money deposit is put into escrow until delivered to the seller when the transaction is closed.


Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. These criteria help to better determine the future financial performance of companies.


A house in multiple occupation, or a house of multiple occupancy, is a British English term which refers to residential properties where ‘common areas’ exist and are shared by more than one household. Most HMOs have been subdivided from larger houses designed for and occupied by one family.

Hospitality Real Estate

In Hospitality, property usually means commercial premises: the hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, chalets, luxury apartments and other types of buildings. It is meant for individuals, couples, families, and groups to pay to stay, eat, have fun, relax, and to take advantage of all the offered in-house services available.


System of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects or people with the ability to transfer data over a network without person-to-person or person-to-computer interaction. The IoT allows the connection of any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). aka Internet of Things


A collective term used to define companies offering technologically innovative products or new business models for the real estate markets. PropTech is a part of the digital transformation occurring in the property industry, considering both the technological and mentality change of the real estate industry. It is a relatively new trend and is closely connected with Construction Technology (ConTech), such as smart cities and buildings, the sharing economy and the home building industry, as well as Finance Technology (FinTech). aka ReTech or CreTech (Commercial Real Estate Technology).


Combines Infrastructure-as‐a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technologies for use as a common, city-wide platform for the deployment of integrated smart city technologies. Think: operating system for the city.

Climate Tech

Climate tech is a rapidly emerging industry in which data-driven products are developed to enable communities, companies, and governments to understand their risk and exposure to the effects of climate change and take action to adapt and become resilient.


 A specific subset of co-living that prioritises resident and community governance. Typically, residents and sometimes the wider community are actively involved in the planning, development and management of the co-housing community.


A situation where two or more people are working in the same place but for a different company. It offers flexibility, networking benefits and potentially even increased productivity. Instead of working remotely in separate offices, independent professionals, telecommuters and others who have the ability to work from anywhere share one working environment.

aka Flex-Space


Co-living describes residential real estate offerings with communal facilities and shared spaces that move the emphasis away from buying and renting homes.

Housing where residents with similar interests, values, and/or intentions share a living space. This idea was imagined by millennial professionals who value openness, collaboration, sharing and social networking.

Co-living focuses on individual or group access to attractive accommodation without the burden of ownership. This model aims to strike a balance between individual privacy and community spaces, offering high standards of accommodation with added services to help residents achieve a better quality of life.

Cyber Security

Protection of internet-connected systems, software and data from cyberattacks. These cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information, extorting money from users or interrupting normal business processes. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly difficult today as the Internet of Things (IoT)  is growing and attackers are becoming more innovative.

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate (CRE) is property used exclusively for business purposes or to provide a workspace rather than a living space. Most often, commercial real estate is leased to tenants to conduct business. The four classes, of commercial real estate, include office, industrial, multifamily, and retail. CRE provides income, as well as some capital appreciation, for investors.


ConTech or Construction Technology. The ways that PropTech will change our physical environment. In building methods, it concerns prefabricated or modular buildings, alternative and sustainable building materials, 3D printing and robot bricklayers.

Creepy Factor

Despite evidence that personalization and tracking in marketing works and achieves increased sales, consumers are also becoming increasingly concerned about the “creepy” aspects therein. Many consumers love the personalized advertising tracking allows, but they do not want to feel tracked.


Digital asset used as a medium of exchange, leveraging blockchain technology to gain transparency, and immutability. Most importantly, it is not controlled by any central authority. The decentralized nature of its blockchain technology makes cryptocurrencies immune to government control and interference.

Machine Learning

A branch of artificial intelligence based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention. Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. There is a resurgence in interest in machine learning due to the increasing amount of available data, more powerful computational processing and affordable data storage.

Modular Construction

A process in which a building is constructed off-site under controlled plant conditions. The process utilizes the same materials and designs to the same codes and standards as conventionally built facilities, but can build them in about half the time  with less error, thus reducing construction costs. Buildings are constructed in “modules” and then put together on site.

Smart Access

Allows users to have full control of their environment and surroundings by integrating their iOS or Android device with the world around them.

Smart building

is any structure that uses automated processes to automatically control the building’s operations including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security and other systems. This infrastructure helps owners, operators and facility managers improve asset reliability and performance, which reduces energy use, optimizes how space is used and minimizes the environmental impact of buildings.

Smart Cities

Urban areas that use different types of electronic Internet of Things sensors to collect data and then use that data to manage resources and operate efficiently. Rapid urbanization is leading to smarter cities that are transforming to improve environmental, financial, and social aspects of urban life.

Smart Devices

An electronic device that is able to connect, share and interact with its user and other smart devices via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G etc.

Smart home

A smart home is a residence that uses internet-connected devices to enable remote monitoring and management go appliances and systems, such as lighting and heating. 

Space as a Service

There are two ways to understand space as a service. First, it is space that is obtained on-demand for a specific purpose, although these purposes can be very wide ranging. Secondly, it is a workplace that provides the spaces and services needed for each individual to perform their job to its highest level of success. Space as a Service (SaaS) is a new trend in office spaces where the physical workplace is designed in such a way to promote efficiency and increase quality of work.


A company that is in its first stage of operations. They are often initially funded by their founders as they attempt to capitalize on developing a product or service for which they believe there is demand.


A term used in the venture capital industry to describe a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion. The term has become widely used to refer to startups in the technology, mobile technology, and information technology sectors with very high valuations that may not necessarily align with their fundamental finances.

UX Design

User experience (UX) design is the process used by design teams to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. “User Experience Design” is often used interchangeably with terms such as “User Interface Design” and “Usability.” While they are related they are not synonymous. UX design involves all aspects of acquiring and integrating a product, including branding, design, usability and function.

Venture Capital

A form of private equity. A type of financing that investors provide to startup companies they believe to have long term growth potential. It can be monetary in form, as well as technical or managerial expertise. This type of investment comes with great risk, but also a great potential reward if the companies become successful.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment and experience that can be similar to, or completely different from, the real world. By simulating vision, hearing, touch and even smell the user is seemingly placed inside a virtual experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. VR is typically used for entertainment and educational purposes. While often confused with augmented reality (AR) that simulates artificial objects in the real environment, virtual reality creates an artificial environment to inhabit.



Born 1995-2010 this generation are digital natives in that they have not known a world before the internet and thus blur the line of delineation between digital and IRL realities. aka iGeneration

Digital Native

Born into an age of technology and thus have been familiar with computers and the internet from a young age.


Born 1980-1994, Millennials straddle analogue and digital realities, having been introduced to the internet and computers gradually. aka Generation-Y or Gen-Y


aka Gen-Z

Early Adopter

A person who starts using a product or technology as soon as it becomes available, before the majority of the population. Often referred to as "lighthouse customers" because they serve as a beacon of light for the rest of the population to follow. These are the users that will take the technology or product and make it part of the mainstream.


The newest development in mobile internet connectivity. It offers faster speeds and more reliable connections than ever before, paving the way for a huge increase in Internet of Things (IoT) technology. 5G will allow for a smarter and more connected world.

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