PropTech Dictionary


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


aka Gen-Z

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Company that specializes in virtual reality hardware and software products.

Parallel Reality

Each viewing experiencing a different reality for example signage y Delta at Detroit airport where each person can see their own unique flight details.


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.

3D Printing

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a process where a printer creates three-dimensional objects by depositing materials layer by layer in accordance to the object’s 3D digital model. Modern desktop 3D printers are small, cheap and easy to install to operate, allowing consumers to manufacture complex objects in their own homes.

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.

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

Augmented Virtuality

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


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

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.

Ghost Kitchen

see Dark kitchen


Event in which those in software development, especially computer programmers, collaborate intensively over a short period of time on software projects. aka hackathon, hackfest or hack day

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 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.


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.

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.


Short for 'in real life' and refer to the real world rather than the digital world.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


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

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.


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).

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.


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.

Wearable Devices

Also referred to as wearable technology, wearables, fashion technology, tech togs or fashion electronics, wearable devices are electronic devices that can be incorporated into clothing or worn on the body as implants or accessories. They are often used for tracking a user's vital signs or pieces of data related to health and fitness.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Last Mile

A short geographical segment of delivery of either communication and media services or products to customers in densely populated areas. Last-mile logistics for product delivery have become a central focus for retailers in the e-commerce era as they tend to be complex and costly.

Net Neutrality

Keeps the internet free and open, thus enabling anyone to share and access information without interference from Internet Service Providers. This is the way the internet previously worked until companies began discriminating in favor of particular apps, sites or services, or speeding up, slowing down or blocking connections.


Funding provided by venture capitalists to finance a new business. The major purpose of seed money is to form a base for additional financing to aid in a real estate firm's growth. It often includes a loan or investment in preferred stock or convertible bonds.


An autonomous machine, especially one programmable by a computer, capable of sensing its environment, carrying out computations to make decisions and performing actions in the real world. They are diverse in size, capabilities and design and can be guided by either an external control device or a control embedded within.

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.

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.

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