Navigating Tomorrow: Upcoming PropTech Trends to Anticipate in 2024

Within the realm of Property Technology, often referred to as 'PropTech,' we are consistently discovering novel approaches to enhance the management and user experience of our buildings. Here are four PropTech trends expected in 2024 that are designed to enhance efficiency, safety, cost-effectiveness, and overall well-being for your properties.

Biometric Access Solutions

In 2024, the PropTech arena will continue to see a transformation with the prominent integration of AI into trust, risk, and security management. The use of advanced biometric-based security services is at the forefront of this progress, working to advance identity verification for properties. Employing real-time scanning, document analysis, and verification, this AI-driven system ensures that only authorized individuals gain access, thereby strengthening security measures significantly. Additionally, this system facilitates enhanced operational efficiency for properties.

It’s clear from Brivo’s Top Security Trends of 2023 report, that biometric access solutions will be important in 2024, seeing that in the next three years, 60% of security professionals want to add biometrics to their buildings and they predict that facial recognition will have the biggest impact in access control technology during this time.

Hot Desking and The Return to The Office

The hybrid work model has been gaining popularity over the last few years since restrictions from the pandemic were lifted. Now we are seeing an increasing number of workers making a complete return to the full-time office schedule and for everything to run smoothly, it’s necessary for companies to focus on their digital transformation. The "Framework for Hybrid Integration" illustrates an organization's position concerning its level of hybrid adoption and digital transformation. The model includes Bystanders, Wanderers, Returners, and Integrators, each representing different stages of hybrid work and system integration. In a report by Robin, 56% of respondents (business managers and facilities managers) said the majority of their employees work in the office full time and 40% said the majority of their teams work hybrid.

One reason we are seeing this pattern is because businesses are using incentives to get workers back into the office such as ‘hot desks’, which are flexible and shared workspace arrangements that are booked by workers on a first come first serve basis. Compared to the traditional desk model where each worker has an assigned desk, the hot desk model encourages a more adaptable and dynamic work environment.

Through streamlined management systems such as B-Line, workers can easily create in-app bookings for hot desks and other amenities/assets at their offices such as collaboration rooms and AV equipment.

As we approach 2024, it's vital for your organization to avoid stagnation and be well-prepared to embrace digital transformation. This readiness not only ensures that employees and staff can return to the office with the utmost comfort but also positions businesses to operate more efficiently upon their return.

Tenant Experience Apps

Organizations leading the adoption of physical security solutions are currently placing a strong emphasis on two key factors: user experience and convenience. The integration of mobile access stands out as a significant contributor to enhancing these factors. Workers are finding it much more convenient to use their smartphones, which most of them have, to gain access to their workplaces compared to using a traditional plastic fob. Smartphone access is just one feature of a ‘tenant experience app’, which many organizations are choosing to implement as a way to create a better work environment.

Tenant experience apps allow workers to feel more in control of their workspace which increases employee happiness and productivity. Additionally, with these streamlined apps, employees can do more than just enter the property with their smartphone; they can also book parking spots, amenities, and workspaces, order food, track their health and wellness, and even control the temperature and lighting in the building.

In 2024, with the increasing influx of Generation Z into the workforce, organizations are expected to prioritize user experience and convenience. This will be achieved through the implementation of tenant experience apps, meeting the expectations for technology-enabled, frictionless access.

HVAC and Occupant Sensor Integration for Sustainability

Another PropTech trend expected to take center stage in 2024 is energy management. Commercial buildings, historically energy intensive, now have the opportunity to significantly enhance both their energy efficiency and, consequently, their overall environmental sustainability through the advent of new smart building technology. One of these emerging innovations involves integrating HVAC systems with strategically positioned occupancy sensors and motion detectors. By integrating these sensors and utilizing AI to analyze historical user data, the HVAC system can adjust in real-time based on occupancy patterns. This ensures that energy is utilized only when necessary.

While these minor HVAC changes might appear inconsequential, they contribute significantly to long-term energy savings. As indicated in a ScienceDirect article, adopting occupancy-based control strategies like these can result in a substantial 20% reduction in HVAC energy consumption for commercial structures over time.

Integrating ambient lighting control with occupancy sensors serves as another catalyst for enhancing energy efficiency in commercial buildings. By leveraging AI algorithms, both historical and real-time occupancy data are employed to regulate lighting and shading in various spaces. This ensures that energy is used efficiently, and spaces are aesthetically pleasing, ultimately fostering occupant satisfaction, increasing productivity, and leading to significant cost savings for building owners and operators.

In the dynamic world of PropTech, where occupant needs are always shifting, staying current with the latest trends is essential. To optimize energy efficiency, boost occupant well-being, and achieve cost savings in 2024, consider implementing biometric access solutions, providing 'hot desks' for employees, and prioritizing user experience and convenience through tenant experience apps. Additionally, integrating HVAC systems with occupant sensors is another effective way to enhance your properties. Stay ahead and navigate the evolving landscape with these strategic approaches.

Article contributed by Duncan Gagnon