PropTech Dictionary




























They support early-stage, growth-driven companies through education, mentorship, and financing. Startups enter accelerators for a fixed-period of time, and as part of a cohort of companies. The accelerator experience is a process of intense, rapid, and immersive education aimed at accelerating the life cycle of young innovative companies, compressing years’ worth of learning-by-doing into just a few months.


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.


Analogue is a conventional method of transmitting data. Standard landline telephones use analogue technology. It is distinct from digital technology, which provides for greater quality and speed of data transmission.

Angel Investors

A high-net-worth individual who provides financial backing for small startups or entrepreneurs, typically in exchange for ownership equity in the company.

Annual Report

A document that must be published by public corporations, disclosing in full to shareholders and regulators the company’s operational and financial activities over the previous year. Annual reports must go unqualified by external auditors. In recent years, sustainability reports, as well as corporate governance reports, have become more popular.


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.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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.

Augmented Reality

Is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensoy input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. In AR, physical space is overlaid with virtual data.


Back-end refers to the part of an application that performs an essential task not apparent to the user.

Backward Compatibility

If software is backward compatible, it is compatible with earlier (superseded) versions of the same software. For example, the Microsoft word-processing program Word 2010 can read files created in the 2003 version of the same program, so it is backward compatible.


Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data that can travel a communications path in a given time, usually measured in seconds.


A legal petition filed by an individual or business that is unable to repay outstanding debts. The process sees all of the debtor’s assets evaluated and employed to repay a portion of the outstanding debts, after which time the debtor is relieved of all previous obligations. Bankruptcy offers businesses a fresh start by forgiving unaffordable debts, while allowing creditors to regain some degree of repayment.


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.

Big Data

Is extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.


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’.

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method)

The world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction to in-use and refurbishment. BREEAM was designed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in the UK.


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 (B2R)

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.

Building Automation System (BAS)

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.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

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.

Building Management Systems (BMS)

Is a computer-based control system installed in buildings that control and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems.

Climate Tech

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

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.


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

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.


Compression is the reduction of the size of a file. Compressed files take up less memory and can be downloaded or sent over the Internet more quickly.


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.


A person or entity that extends credit to another person or entity, usually in the form of lending or advancing money. A ‘real’ creditor- bank or financial company- will have legal contracts allowing it to collect any of the debtor’s assets if he or she fails to pay back a loan.


The practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.

Customer Development

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.


C++ is a cross-platform language that can be used to create high-performance applications. C++ was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup, as an extension to the C language. C++ gives programmers a high level of control over system resources and memory.


C# is a general object-oriented programming (OOP) language for networking and Web development. C# is specified as a common language infrastructure (CLI) language.

Data Centre

A large group of networked computer servers typically used by organizations for the remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data.

Data Modelling Language

Data modeling is a process used to define and analyse data requirements needed to support the business processes within the scope of corresponding information systems in organisations. Therefore, the process of data modeling involves professional data modelers working closely with business stakeholders, as well as potential users of the information system.


Depreciation is a term used to measure the loss of a tangible asset’s value over time and is often cited when referencing any deductions brought about by unfavourable market conditions. If an asset is anticipated to lose its value after ten years then it will be depreciated after ten years.


The use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.


The process of converting information from a physical format into a digital one.


Otherwise referred to as Dividend Per Share (DPS), dividends are a portion of the company’s earnings allocated to shareholders and decided upon by the board. The sum is typically paid out on a quarterly basis and is drawn from the company’s reserves.


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.


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


Git is software for tracking changes in any set of files, usually used for coordinating work among programmers collaboratively developing source code during software development. Its goals include speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows (thousands of parallel branches running on different systems).


The concept of a Hackathon is to turn an idea that solves a problem into a working prototype within a very short space of time. Participants are expected to think outside the box.


Computer hardware refers to the physical parts of a computer and related devices.

High Performance Computing

“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.


HospitalityTech is the implementation of technology in the hospitality industry to improve the performance of the business and to better serve clients.


Hyper-text markup language (HTML) is a set of symbols inserted into files intended for display on the world wide web. The symbols tell web browsers how to display words and images – e.g. which colour, font and type size to use – and they direct it to link to other pages on the world wide web via hyperlinks.


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)


An organisation engaged in the business of fostering early-stage companies through the different developmental phases until the companies have sufficient financial, human, and physical resources to function on their own.

Internet of Thing

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.


Java is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented programming language designed for having lesser implementation dependencies. It is a computing platform for application development. Java is fast, secure, and reliable, therefore. It is widely used for developing Java applications in laptops, data centers, game consoles, scientific supercomputers, cell phones, etc.


Javascript (JS) is a scripting language, primarily used on the Web. It is used to enhance HTML pages and is commonly found embedded in HTML code. JavaScript is an interpreted language. Thus, it doesn’t need to be compiled. JavaScript renders web pages in an interactive and dynamic fashion. This allowing the pages to react to events, exhibit special effects, accept variable text, validate data, create cookies, detect a user’s browser, etc.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

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. LEED was designed by the U.S. Green Building Council.


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.


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 centres, and other real estate carriers of the logistics business.


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 of a network through which city infrastructure can communicate.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is the study of computer algorithms that improve automatically through experience. It is seen as a subset of artificial intelligence.

Market Analysis

The process of determining the viability of a new service or product through research conducted directly with potential customers. Market analysis allows a company to discover the target market and get opinions and other feedback from consumers about their interest in the product or service.


The system of buying and selling in competitive conditions.

Modular Construction

The process in which a building is constructed off-site in sections (modules), using the same materials and designing to the same codes and standards as conventionally built facilities.

Mortgage Broker

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.

Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is a single investment vehicle comprising a number of funds from a select few investors. The fund is aligned with a specific objective dictated by the investors and is maintained by a money manager, whose job it is to invest in securities with the ultimate intention of yielding profits.


Node.js (Node) is an open-source development platform for executing JavaScript code server-side. Node is useful for developing applications that require a persistent connection from the browser to the server and is often used for real-time applications such as chat, news feeds and web push notifications.

Offsite construction

Offsite construction refers to the planning, design, fabrication, and assembly of building elements at a location other than their final installed location to support the rapid and efficient construction of a permanent structure.

Open data

Data that is freely available for everyone to use without copyright, patent or other restrictions.


Photovoltaics is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistry.


PHP is a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, a scripting language used to create dynamic and interactive HTML Web pages. A server processes PHP commands when a website visitor opens a page then sends results to the visitor’s browser.


A category of cloud computing services that provides a platform to facilitate the development and management of digital applications.

Predictive Analytics

The use of statistics and modeling techniques to make predictions about future outcomes and performance. Predictive analytics looks at current and historical data patterns to determine if those patterns are likely to emerge again. This allows businesses and investors to adjust where they use their resources to take advantage of possible future events.

Private Equity

Private equity is an alternative investment class and consists of capital that is not listed on a public exchange. Private equity is composed of funds and investors that directly invest in private companies, or that engage in buyouts of public companies, resulting in the delisting of public equity.

Private Real Estate Investment

Private equity real estate is a professionally managed fund that invests in real estate. Unlike REITs, private equity real estate investing requires a substantial amount of capital and may only be available to high-net-worth or accredited investors.

Product Development

A process of creating a new product or modification of an existing product. Refers to all of the stages involved in bringing a product from concept or idea, through market release and beyond.

Product Lifecycle

Product Lifecycle stands for the period from the moment the product enters the market and ends with its withdrawal from the market. Product lifecycle stages are Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline.

Product Management

An organizational function that guides every step of a product life cycle within a company and manages all the activities related to the development, marketing and selling of a product.

Product Metrics

Quantitative measurements that help product managers and marketers evaluate the success of their product. Product Metrics allow to ensure whether the product meets business goals and the product strategy is working.

Programming Language

A programming language is a set of commands, instructions, and other syntax used to create a software program.

Property Management

The daily oversight of residential, commercial, or industrial real estate by a third-party contractor.


Property technology (PropTech) is the use of information technology (IT) concerning information provision, transactions, management and related to all types of real estate including residential, commercial, hotel, logistics and land. It is designed to streamline and connect processes for participants in all stages of the real estate market involving buyers, sellers, brokers, lenders and landlords.


Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. Its high-level built in data structures, combined with dynamic typing and dynamic binding, make it very attractive for Rapid Application Development, as well as for use as a scripting or glue language to connect existing components together.

QR code

is a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.

REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust)

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns, operates, or finances income-generating real estate. Modeled after mutual funds, REITs pool the capital of numerous investors. This makes it possible for individual investors to earn dividends from real estate investments—without having to buy, manage, or finance any properties themselves.

Residential Real Estate

Residential real estate is property made up of land and the buildings on it. It can be houses, condominiums, and townhouses. The structures may be single-family or multi-family dwellings and may be owner-occupied or rental properties.


Return on investment. This is a performance measure used to evaluate the profitability of an investment. ROI is calculated as a percentage or ratio based upon the benefit of an investment, divided by the cost. The result of that calculation provides would-be investors with a simple determination as to the worth of any given investment opportunity.

Search Engine

A search engine enables a computer user to search information on the Internet. It is a type of software that creates indexes of databases or Internet sites based on the titles of files, keywords, or the full text of files.

Seed Funding

The first official equity funding stage. It typically represents the first official money that a business venture or enterprise raises.


An electronic component, module or subsystem used to detect events, triggers or changes in the surrounding environment.


SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the practice of making adjustments to certain aspects of a website in an effort to improve its ranking on search engines.

Series A Financing

An investment in a privately-held, start-up company after it has shown progress in building its business model and demonstrates the potential to grow and generate revenue. The companies, depending on the industry, going through series A funding aim to raise between $2 – $15 million dollars.

Series B Financing

The second round of funding for a business through investment, including private equity investors and venture capitalists. The Series B round generally takes place when the company has accomplished certain milestones in developing its business and is past the initial startup stage. The companies, depending on the industry, going through series B funding aim to raise between $10 million to $20 million.

Series C Financing

In this stage, investors inject capital into the meat of successful businesses, in an effort to receive more than double that amount back. Series C funding is focused on scaling the company, growing as quickly and as successfully as possible. The average funding in this stage is around $100 million.

Sharing Economy

is an umbrella term used to describe economic and social activity involving online transactions. In practice, consumers serve each other directly rather than being served by companies and pay for the use or access to goods and services rather than own them. Technology advancements, consumption and lifestyle patterns, along with societal factors, are driving the rapid growth of the sharing economy.

Smart Building

is any structure that uses automated processes to automatically control the building’s operations including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security and other systems. This infrastructure helps owners, operators and facility managers improve asset reliability and performance, which reduces energy use, optimizes how space is used and minimizes the environmental impact of buildings.

Smart City

Is a city that implements information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve the quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation and utilities in order to reduce resource consumption, wastage and overall costs.

Smart Home

A smart home is a residence that uses internet-connected devices to enable remote monitoring and management go appliances and systems, such as lighting and heating.

Smart Networks

A network that contains built-in diagnostics, management, fault tolerance and other capabilities to prevent downtime and maintain efficient performance.

Smart parking

A system that helps drivers find vacant parking spaces using sensors and communications networks.

Smart street lighting

Street lights that are controlled wirelessly to save energy and reduce maintenance costs. The wireless network controlling street lighting can also be expanded to connect sensors that gather data on weather conditions, air pollution and more.

Smart waste

Waste receptacles, such as city litter bins and commercial waste bins, equipped with connected sensors that collect and share data on, for example, the need for and frequency of waste collections.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Is a distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the internet.


A client, investor, sometimes a user of the product or all of them. Stakeholders are interested in the final version of the product; they can influence product development and management, participate in decision-making processes.

Succession Planning

The process of identifying and developing a talent pool of internal candidates able to assume key roles if and when current company leaders become obsolete or otherwise incapacitated. Adequate succession planning ensures for a swift transition of power that does not affect a company’s functionality or services.


The maintenance and betterment of the ecological, social and economic health of a city.


This concept, often linked with the ridesharing service Uber, is now considered a movement. It reflects a new generation of consumers who are open and willing to share.


Venture capital (VC) is a type of private equity, a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that are deemed to have high growth potential, or which have demonstrated high growth (in terms of number of employees, annual revenue, or both).

Verified Views

Verified Views show you what your proposed development will look like in the real world. They are highly accurate photomontages that layer real life photography with computer generated images (CGI) of the proposed scheme. Taken from a specific viewpoint and using site specific data, they allow you to gauge the visual impact of the project before a single brick is laid.

Virtual Reality

An artificial environment that is created with software and presented in such a way that the user experiences this as a real environment.

Working Capital

A ratio that measures a company’s efficiency and short-term financial stability. Working capital is found by subtracting a company’s current liabilities from its current assets. The resulting ratio demonstrated whether a company possesses enough assets to cover its debts in the short-term. Companies with a negative working capital ratio may find themselves unable to repay creditors, potentially leading to bankruptcy.