Real estate buzzwords – what they mean and how they will inform our workplaces

Jul 28, 2021

The real estate industry has been buzzing lately with words such as proptech, smart buildings and hybrid workplaces – but what do these words really mean and how will these ideas impact our daily lives? At TELUS, our real estate team uses these concepts to drive strategic decisions related to our real estate portfolio. We recognize the positive impact of these ideas, and as we step into a future mode of operations, we embrace their context. 


Proptech is short for Property Technology and defines the digital products and services tailored to the real estate market. Similar to the rise in FinTech (Finance Technology), and the vast amount of digital tools that have made banking, investing and sourcing funds easier, proptech is disrupting the rather conservative real estate industry with new mobile and web-based applications that support the transactions, management and interactions with buildings and spaces. Landlords can now manage their tenants, amenities and events through a single technology platform and employees can interact with their office space from their mobile device. There has been a need for efficiency in the real estate industry and proptech aims to solve that problem. We can expect to see a rise in proptech over the next few years as the real estate industry continues to grow its digital footprint.

Smart buildings

Smart buildingsare making headway in the industry with innovative tech solutions that enhance the owner, operator, and user experience. Smart buildings solve all-too-familiar industry challenges by integrating smart technology into the physical design of a building, controlled seamlessly from a property manager dashboard. Developers who invest in a smart building can benefit from an increased market value of their property with a differentiated offering that stands out to buyers. Once occupied, smart building property managers can virtually manage their HVAC, lighting, and security systems out of the comfort of their own home, creating efficiencies for the property manager and staff. Building users can also control their environment conveniently from their smartphone app. Integrated sensors allow them to automate temperature and lighting based on their unique preferences, or detect occupancy within a building to suggest a work location that best suits their needs. As smart building technology and capabilities continue to evolve, you can future proof your space for optimal efficiency and a best-in-class user experience. 

Hybrid workplaces

Hybrid workplaces are spaces designed to accommodate a variety of work styles and work schedules through spatial diversity. A topical concept in the industry, these spaces typically steer clear of the traditional office layout where a sea of workstations flood the floorplate. Rather, these spaces invite a new way of working, one that is fluid, agile and social. Hybrid workspaces pull in design concepts that speak to enhancing company productivity and culture through deliberate integration of social and collaboration spaces. With employees now having a choice in where they want to work, a hybrid workplace must offer them an experience that is worthy of coming back to.
Over the past year, we have seen our home and work lives blending into one. Our homes have become our offices and the local coffee shop has become a meeting room. In light of the recent pandemic and the growing number of employees working remotely, proptech innovations have been accelerated into the market, with a goal to revolutionize the way we interact with buildings and spaces. As we move into the future, smart buildings and hybrid workplaces will become more common and in demand. It’s apparent that these trends are becoming more attuned to a wider audience, and with understanding their context we can truly embrace the change ahead of us.

For more information on how TELUS can support you, refer to the links below:

Proptech & hybrid work inquiries:
[email protected]
Smart building inquiries:
Authored by:
Callayna Bajer
National Real Estate Planner

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