Robotics in Real Estate

31 Juli, 2018

Robotics currently reaching its limits 

Robotics refer to electromechanical machines or virtual agents that automate, supplement or support human activity autonomously or in a series of instructions - often through the utilization of special software.
Robots can be used when activities are too dangerous, monotonous or unsuitable for human work. However, these are not just physical robots, but also virtual agents, usually referred to as RPA (Robotic Process Automation). These are increasingly being used and lead to considerable work relief in highly repetitive business processes. Robots can operate largely autonomously within given instructions.

On the one hand, the advantages of this technology and thus the automation of business operations are obvious: human weaknesses such as pressure, lack of sleep, lack of attention, illness and other factors are avoided. A use of robotics thus allows a significant increase in efficiency and quality of the tasks performed. Employees can be used in this way for higher-value, intellectual tasks.

On the other hand, this idea of ​​automation also fuels fears of possible job losses. Like many other new technologies, RPA is currently reaching its limits if the processes to be automated do not have specific properties:

  • A high degree of standardization
  • High repetition rate
  • Stable environment (i.e. technology, organization or process will not change)
  • A high quality level is mandatory and regulated
  • Limited exception handling

In the real estate industry, physical robots are used primarily in construction and facility management. Virtual agents, on the other hand, can be helpful in highly repetitive back office processes such as invoice runs, NAV calculations and document screening.

Future Impact

In the future, robotics will be increasingly used in Property and Facility Management. Robots will be used in the front office and act directly with people as indispensable support providers. They move from the factory floor to many other uses along the company's value chain - including the business front, where they interact directly with customers and employees. Instead of locking up robots in their own dark factory, people design them to be safe and flexible enough to work with people.

An implementation of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) will give companies a greater degree of control in the area of risk & compliance.

Standardized activities such as copy and paste in documents are no longer handled manually, but by robots. Through additional functionalities and self-learning algorithms, the application areas will continue to grow in the future.


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Contact us

Thomas Veith

Thomas Veith

Partner, Head of Real Estate, PwC Germany

Tel.: +49 69 9585-5905

Julia Arlt

Julia Arlt

Global Digital Real Estate Leader, PwC Austria

Tel.: +43 699 16305045

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