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Search our proptech glossary, designed to help you navigate the proptech world
is the process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
AEC stands for Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industry
The Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) is the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies with the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure to achieve more efficient IoT operations, improve human-machine interactions and enhance data management and analytics.
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.
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.
is an ecosystem of internet-connected “things” that can intelligently respond in real time to business needs.
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.
is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. In AR, physical space is overlaid with virtual data.
We’re fast approaching the era of self-driving cars. They’re just one type of autonomous vehicle – a category of vehicles that can sense the environment around them and navigate from one place to another without human input.
A list of new features, modification to existing features, bug fixes or other activities that can be delivered in order to achieve a particular outcome.
Beacons are small, wireless transmitters that use low-energy Bluetooth technology to send signals to other smart devices nearby. They are one of the latest developments in location technology and proximity marketing.
Bid management involves the automated management of bidding for digital marketing campaigns. Bid management tools, also called bid optimisation platforms, enable you to automate your CPC (cost-per-click) bids for different campaigns. By using a digital analytics solution with a bid management tool, you can generate profits as well as brand awareness.
is extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.
The term “Big Tech”, along with its synonym “Tech Giants”, has been used in journalism to refer to the largest and most dominant companies in the information technology industry.
is the backend infrastructure that makes digital assets behave like physical assets. It enables digital transactions to take place securely. Jakob, CEO of Brickblock, defines it shortly and efficiently:’ big database recording transactions’.
Bluetooth technology is a short-range wireless communications technology to replace the cables connecting electronic devices, allowing a person to have a phone conversation via a headset, use a wireless mouse and synchronize information from a mobile phone to a PC, all using the same core system
Usually refers to the daily buying and selling of thirty-year treasury bonds. Lenders follow this market intensely because as the yields of bonds go up and down, fixed-rate mortgages do approximately the same thing. The same factors that affect the Treasury Bond market also affect mortgage rates at the same time. That is why rates change daily, and in a volatile market can and do change during the day as well.
Not used much anymore, bridge loans are obtained by those who have not yet sold their previous property but must close on a purchase property. The bridge loan becomes the source of their funds for the down payment. One reason for their fall from favour is that there are more and more second mortgage lenders now that will lend at a high loan to value. Also, sellers often prefer to accept offers from buyers who have already sold their property.
Broker has several meanings in different situations. Most Realtors are “agents” who work under a “broker.” Some agents are brokers as well, either working for themselves or under another broker. In the mortgage industry, broker usually refers to a company or individual that does not lend the money for the loans themselves, but broker loans to larger lenders or investors. (See the Home Loan Library that discusses the different types of lenders). As a standard definition, a broker is anyone who acts as an agent, bringing two parties together for any kind of transaction and earns a fee for doing so.
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.
A building automation system (BAS) is an intelligent system of both hardware and software, connecting heating, venting and air conditioning system (HVAC), lighting, security, and other systems to communicate on a single platform.
A building Energy Management System (BEMS) is a computer based centralised system that helps manage, control and monitor particular engineering services within a building or group of buildings. It can limit energy costs and labour requirements and provide a more comfortable environment.
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.
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.
CAGR or compound annual growth rate, is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.
CHP is an energy-efficient technology that generates electricity and captures the heat that would otherwise be wasted to provide useful thermal energy—such as steam or hot water—that can be used for space heating, cooling, domestic hot water and industrial processes. CHP can be located at an individual facility or building, or be a district energy or utility resource. CHP is typically located at facilities where there is a need for both electricity and thermal energy.
The delivery of services based on solving the needs and challenges of the people they serve – used as a way to increase public satisfaction, improve efficiency and reduce costs.
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 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.
Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services — from applications to storage and processing power — typically over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis.
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.
Co-living describes residential real estate offerings with communal facilities and shared spaces that move the emphasis away from buying and renting homes. 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.
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.
The National Community Land Trust Network defines CLTs as a form of community-led housing, set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes as well as other assets. CLTs act as long-term stewards of housing, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier.
Locality defines this as an approach to housing that is designed and managed by local people and built to meet the needs of the community – not for private profit.
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.
is the use of an office or other working environments by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, usually to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.
An agreement in which a borrower receives something of value in exchange for a promise to repay the lender at a later date.
A record of an individual’s repayment of debt. Credit histories are reviewed my mortgage lenders as one of the underwriting criteria in determining credit risk.
Someone who purchases products (services or goods) produced by a business.
A business methodology used to improve the understanding of customer problems and obtain all necessary information to turn customer problems into potential solutions. It includes four stages: customer discovery, customer validation, customer creation, customer building.
A process of analysing data that uses analytical and statistical tools to examine each component of the data provided and discover useful information.
a large group of networked computer servers typically used by organizations for the remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data.
is a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming and modelling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision making.
A specialized format for organizing and storing data. Serves as the basis for abstract data types. General data structure types include the array, the file, the record, the table, the tree, and so on.
A collection of data that is organized into some type of data structure.
A sum of money given in advance of a larger amount being expected in the future. Often called in real estate as an “earnest money deposit.”
A decline in the value of property; the opposite of appreciation. Depreciation is also an accounting term which shows the declining monetary value of an asset and is used as an expense to reduce taxable income. Since this is not an actual expense where the money is actually paid, lenders will add back depreciation expense for self-employed borrowers and count it as income.
A digital twin is a digital replica of a living or non-living physical entity. By bridging the physical and the virtual world, data is transmitted seamlessly allowing the virtual entity to exist simultaneously with the physical entity
In the mortgage industry, this term is usually used when referring to government loans, meaning FHA and VA loans. Discount points refer to any “points” paid in addition to the one per cent loan origination fee. A “point” is one per cent of the loan amount.
DERs are electricity-producing resources or controllable loads that are connected to a local distribution system or connected to a host facility within the local distribution system.
The part of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage.
Due diligence is a rigorous process that determines whether or not the venture capital fund or other investor will invest in your company. The process involves asking and answering a series of questions to evaluate the business and legal aspects of the opportunity.
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 database system designed for management solutions of the embedded space performs reasonably in stable environments. It doesn’t need a server, built into an app. Can be used for email archive searches, stored game data, for industry-specific tools, etc.
An energy management system (EMS) is a system of computer-aided tools used by operators of electric utility grids to monitor, control, and optimize the performance of the generation and/or transmission system.
An energy service company (ESCO) is a business that provides a broad range of energy solutions including designs and implementation of energy savings projects, retrofitting, energy conservation, energy infrastructure outsourcing, power generation and energy supply, and risk management.
Energy-as-a-service (EaaS) is a business model whereby customers pay for an energy service without having to make any upfront capital investment. EaaS models usually take the form of a subscription for electrical devices owned by a service company or management of energy usage to deliver the desired energy service
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.
Once you close your purchase transaction, you may have an escrow account or impound account with your lender. It means the amount you pay each month includes an amount above what would be required if you were only paying your principal and interest. The extra money is held in your impound account (escrow account) for the payment of items like property taxes and homeowner’s insurance when they come due. The lender pays them with your money instead of you paying them yourself.
Once each year, your lender will perform an “escrow analysis” to make sure they are collecting the correct amount of money for the anticipated expenditures.
The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, and other property expenses as they become due.
The ownership interest of an individual in real property. The total of all the real property and personal property owned by an individual at the time of death.
FinTech or Financial technology is the technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services. It is an emerging industry that uses technology to improve activities in finance
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information from individuals who live in the European Union (EU).
A person or idea that transforms the accepted rules, processes, strategies and management of business functions. Typically leads a movement of related businesses in the same direction.
The second Product Life Cycle stage. Characterised by a growth in sales, profits and revenues. The product becomes more recognisable and the number of customers increases
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.
“High-Performance Computing,” or HPC, is the application of “supercomputers” to computational problems that are either too large for standard computers or would take too long. A desktop computer generally has a single processing chip, commonly called a CPU. A HPC system, on the other hand, is essentially a network of nodes, each of which contains one or more processing chips, as well as its own memory.
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.
HospitalityTech is the implementation of technology in the hospitality industry to improve the performance of the business and to better serve clients.
Data gathered or shared within a very tight geographical area, such as a street or apartment block.
IP phone uses voice over IP technologies for placing and transmitting telephonecalls over an IP network, such as the Internet, instead of the traditional public switched telephone network
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. IaaS is one of the three main categories of cloud computing services, alongside software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS)
is the interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.
The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection.
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. A measurable value that demonstrates how efficiently the company is achieving its key business objectives.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.
Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network. It facilitates long-range communications at a low bit rate between connected objects. Think a network through which city infrastructure can communicate.
Land is real estate or property, minus buildings and equipment, that is designated by fixed spatial boundaries. Land ownership may offer the titleholder the right to natural resources on the land. The land is regarded as a factor of production, along with capital and labor.
A written agreement between the property owner and a tenant that stipulates the payment and conditions under which the tenant may possess the real estate for a specified period of time.
An alternative financing option that allows home buyers to lease a home with an option to buy. Each month’s rent payment may consist of not only the rent but an additional amount which can be applied toward the down payment on an already specified price.
A way of holding title to a property wherein the mortgagor does not actually own the property but instead has a recorded long-term lease on it.
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.
Life-cycle assessment or life cycle assessment is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life-cycle of a commercial product, process, or service.
For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), a limit on the amount that the interest rate can increase or decrease over the life of the mortgage.
An agreement by a commercial bank or other financial institution to extend credit up to a certain amount for a certain time to a specified borrower.
Logistics real estate belongs to the category of industrial real estate, which means that investors invest in logistics facilities. Its scope includes logistics parks, logistics warehouses, distribution centers, and other real estate carriers of the logistics business.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is a general term used to describe the consolidation of companies or assets through various types of financial transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, tender offers, purchase of assets and management acquisitions.
Machine-to-machine, or M2M, is a broad label that can be used to describe any technology that enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions without the manual assistance of humans.
Machine learning is the study of computer algorithms that improve automatically through experience. It is seen as a subset of artificial intelligence.
An assessment which determines the attractiveness and the dynamics of a particular market within a specific industry. Can be used to evaluate the current market, or look at new markets, to evaluate the strategy on how to run the business.
he system of buying and selling in competitive conditions
Mediated Reality refers to the ability to add to, subtract information from, or otherwise manipulate one’s perception of reality through the use of a wearable computer or hand-held device such as a smartphone.
A mortgage company that originates loans then places those loans with a variety of other lending institutions with whom they usually have pre-established relationships.
The lender in a mortgage agreement.
Simply a system that facilitates a variety of transport options, such as cycling, bus, light rail, train, ferry or walking.
is service used by a group of real estate brokers that allows each of them to see one another’s listing of properties for sale.
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. It has the least amount of features possible so that customers’ interest in the product can be understood without fully developing the product.