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Technology – research into its position and impact on surveying

Following on from the PropTech Survey carried out in 2018, GoReport, alongside the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and The Survey Association came together and surveyed almost 500 people within the built environment to find out where the industry now stands with regards to the technology adoption journey.

Overall, the results can be seen as a positive step forward for the role of technology and its position and impact on surveying. Download a copy of the results here.

An interactive Business Intelligence Dashboard has been built that allows us to examine further the correlation between certain demographics such location and age versus the level of implementation and opportunities and challenges technology presents. For a more detailed analysis of the response, see here.

Key Findings:

The surveying profession no doubt recognises the opportunity digitisation presents but real progress up until now has been moderate. Many respondents shared their experience of working with innovative technologies that are driving digital transformation projects, while others are still in the implementation stage or not fully engaged.

In comparison to the opinions from 2018 respondents, this year attitudes are more open and optimistic. The fear of disruption to existing methods still exists however the results show they are slowly dissipating within the industry, with surveyors starting to embrace technology and in turn realise the benefits from adopting new ways of working.

In the 2020 survey, we explored further the reasons why digital adoption has been slow. The questionnaire looked at the challenge’s facing the sector and its increased reliance on data. It also investigates the challenges holding back wider adoption such as lack of knowledge, cost and lack of leadership from the top down.

In 2018, headline results revealed a gap between opportunity of digitisation and adoption.

Asked whether they saw Technology as an opportunity or a threat, 95% of respondents said that it presents an opportunity. However, asked to score their company’s progress on PropTech take up on a scale of one to ten, 23% opted for one, indicating no adoption at all. Whereas in 2020, 79% of the respondents surveyed state that they are now working on putting a digital or data strategy in place, up from 43% in 2018.

Those using Technology has increased from 60% to 68% and those with a good understanding of PropTech is up from 43% to 52%. Those who see Technology as an opportunity has risen from 95% to 98% – almost all respondents. However, whilst respondents with the necessary skills and expertise to fully embrace Technology has increased from 40% to 48%, it is clear there is still much to do to equip surveyors with the skills needed for the future.

GoReport Executive Chairman, David Bell commented: “Since the last survey in 2018, surveyors are seeing a greater impact of technology on their business and many are actively embracing the opportunity to drive efficiency, service improvements and to make more informed decisions.

In the current climate, now more than ever we are witnessing the true value of technology and the benefits of digitisation as surveyors look to find smarter and more flexible ways of working. A continuation on this journey will enable the profession to be more resilient to deliver services to clients. The survey highlights the importance of increased information and training required for successful integration of technology into everyday working practices and the need to adopt a customer-centric flexible approach.”

For many people, the pandemic has compelled people to make greater use of technology in their private and work lives. The next chapter will be interesting to see how surveyors use digitisation to support the profession.

Anthony Walker, Technology Survey lead, RICS UK and Ireland Board member commented: “Over the last 2 years the pace of technological change that is powering the digitisation of the built environment has continued to increase, requiring us to think strategically about how we deploy our expertise and resource. Surveyors need to be positioned centrally to add credibility to bridge between the technology sector and the surveying profession to ensure that technology is an enabler to augment their knowledge, skills, expertise and reflective thought. Technological is no longer an optional extra – without it Surveyors will struggle to compete, be productive and add maximum client value.”

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