To read this content please select one of the options below:

RICS futures: turning disruption from technology to opportunity

Daniel Cook (RICS, London, UK)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 3 August 2015




Change is a constant for all to deal with. The rise of the internet, growth of mobile and subsequent creation of ever greater volumes of data are all contributing to major societal changes that have been seen over the past two decades and is expected to continue. This paper is based upon presentations given at the 2015 RICS/SPR Cutting Edge conference and subsequent discussion including RICS Director Strategy Daniel Cook, Arup, Associate Josef Hargrave and Hometrack Research Director Richard Donnell. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


In addition to the Cutting Edge event, the discussion was based upon themes identified in RICS research undertaken between 2012 and 2014. This work identified the key trends related to technology in the land and built environment sector and proposes some areas where the implications will be felt as well as actions needed by the sector, professional bodies, firms and individuals to manage challenges and successfully take new opportunities. In-depth interviews for markets in UK, India and China have also been conducted. A number of events held have specifically looked at the impact of technology on the built and land professionals of the future. The authors have also reached out to SMEs, those from rural locations and different age groups to ensure the authors take a wide view. The approach has been: to be international, intergenerational and collaborative; consider views both from inside and outside of the surveying profession and create tangible outcomes and actions.


It is clear the built and natural environment professions need to work much more closely with the technology sector to partner, collaborate and build new skills that bring together people, place and technology within the context of professional advisory services. This will be vital as the author seeks to successfully integrate people, technology and place across cities and natural environments of the future.

Practical implications

Going forward, there is major change impacting from the rise of digital technology. There will also be major new opportunities from boosting productivity with new construction techniques to creating value from big data. One of the main areas of impact will be changes to job roles and business structures, requiring continuous learning and greater flexibility and adaptability.


This piece reflects and builds on key themes from our discussion. It also draws on many pieces of existing industry research this detail including the full report “Our changing world; let’s be ready” can be found at



Richard Donnell, Research and Insight Director, Hometrack. Josef Hargrave, Associate, Arup.


Cook, D. (2015), "RICS futures: turning disruption from technology to opportunity", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 456-464.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles