How is Technology Changing the Commercial Property Industry?

30th June 2016


“I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition,” said Bill Gates – and who are we to argue?

Measurement rules our everyday life. From buying a pair of shoes to investing in a new office building, how big or wide or deep something is makes a difference in whether we want to buy something.

This is why getting measurements right in the commercial property sector are vitally important to surveyors. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has recently introduced its International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) and, to not to overstate things, it is one of the most important changes in the commercial property sector for decades.

Before IPMS was introduced last year, property measurement could vary by as much as 24% according to the standard used, leading to confusion and risk for landlord, potential tenant and surveyor. The implications of IPMS for property investors, occupiers and owners who increasingly operate across boarders are obvious and significant.

These new regulations pave the way for the introduction of new technologies to the commercial property world. Of course this was already underway with the widespread adoption of cloud computing and mobile devices meaning that – however remote the property – information is able to be accessed (and logged) remotely.

This in turn saves time and money for the landlord, and increases productivity for the surveyor who can now reduce the time s/he spends travelling between site and office.

Technology is everywhere and is revolutionising the way we work. We see it on a regular basis in our offices with innovations such as 3D printing, and smart sensors.

And then there are drones. Fast-shedding their militaristic past, drones are now being used to take photographs at predetermined intervals (ranging from one to 30 seconds) together with continuous film footage. The benefits are twofold: the images are incredibly high quality, and they can be issued electronically within hours of the survey being completed.

Architects are benefiting from building information modelling (BIM) and data and information is now being shared around every discipline within the commercial property industry, and as long there are the necessary regulation to prevent breaches of privacy, security and fraud then we can all benefit.

Landlords and tenants will benefit immeasurably from the white heat of the technological revolution with more accurate rates reviews, and at NG we’re not afraid to invest in new tech to help this happen.

It was none other than American President John F Kennedy who said: “For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”

Land, property and construction professionals should take a leaf out of JFK’s book and look towards the bigger picture. In short: the whole industry needs to up its game. Whilst some of this tech might seems a hefty investment, it will pay dividends time and time again. Not only that, you will have a chance to shape how property is used today, tomorrow and beyond.


To find out more, feel free to contact us, give us a call on 0115 958 8599 or email info@ng-cs.com.