How to Create and Use Digital Twins in Real Estate

Digital twins in real estate help with the developing, designing, and managing of properties. Explore the benefits of creating a digital twin.

Rustam Kerimov Vero

by Rustam Kerimov

Innovation Director

The last decade has seen a rapid development of real estate technology, also known as proptech. Over a couple of years, we went from 2D drawings and computer-aided design to 3D renderings of interior spaces to complex, lifelike visualizations of entire cities. This advancement is driven by new developments in artificial intelligence (AI), big data, the Internet of Things, VR, AR, and much more. New technologies keep cropping up as we speak. Or write, to be more precise.

The most noteworthy proptech trends are:

  • Blockchain and predictive analytics for more secure and informed decision-making.
  • Automated rental platforms that streamline the property search and transaction process.
  • 3D virtual tours and digital twin modeling that enhance property viewing experiences and operational efficiency.

Digital twins are a combination of the most innovative real estate solutions. This state-of-the-art concept can boost the process of developing, designing, marketing, and managing properties: starting from the stage of pen and paper to the time when a ready property is already occupied.

How to create digital twins for real estate
Building a digital twin for commercial real estate

What is a Digital Twin?

A digital twin is essentially a virtual representation of a physical building. It includes crucial information about the structure and surroundings of the object it mirrors. It’s designed to reflect its physical counterpart and offer a range of information about it. Building a digital twin involves relying on real-time data, simulations, machine learning, expert knowledge, and logical reasoning.

This virtual ecosystem is a genuine treasury of useful information, which can facilitate decision-making. It is particularly valuable in industries like manufacturing, automotive, architecture, and smart cities, where it not only leads to greater efficiency, productivity, and innovation but also enables early diagnosis of issues and helps prevent failures.

Digital twins in construction rely on smart systems, which are the backbone of their integration, operation, and optimization in various applications. Since creating a digital twin entails using extensive, reliable data, smart systems are an essential source of such information.

Here’s how they contribute to digital twins:

  • Smart systems gather data from IoT sensors and other sources so that the digital twin can use it in real time.
  • They utilize generative and predictive AI as well as machine learning to simulate various scenarios and predict outcomes, which facilitates decision-making, early diagnosis, and failure prevention.
  • Smart systems automate processes and control the management and functioning of real property based on insights gained from the digital twin, thus boosting efficiency and reducing the possibility of human error.

These systems monitor the performance and condition of the real property and its components, overseeing maintenance needs and scheduling necessary repairs.

The importance of creating a digital twin for developers
What is a digital twin

Using Digital Twins in Construction

Digital twins streamline access to critical information, and as such they facilitate knowledge management. As stated above, they enable timely and accurate diagnosis, which means fewer disruptions and higher resident satisfaction. 

This is how modern technology contributes to fast, data-driven decision-making. Since the major data sources for digital twins include IoT devices and sensors, wireless sensor networks, IT and digitized systems, and third-party cloud services, if applicable, all of this information combined with predictive modeling and 3D rendering creates a valuable database and a precious tool for builders, architects, engineers, and property managers. 

Digital twins enable a simulation of different design options before the construction begins. This reduces the need for changes during the construction process and saves money on reworks. Thanks to the advanced technology, collaboration among various stakeholders in the building and marketing process becomes seamless. While architects, engineers, contractors, and building owners have access to real-time information, they can make timely, data-driven decisions without unnecessary back-and-forth.

This also extends to customer service and tenant experience, while digital twins can become a powerful addition to the CMS. This is when answering queries and requests for information becomes much faster and better organized.

Digital twin technology in construction
The use of digital twins in construction

Benefits of Creating a Digital Twin

Judging by what has been said so far, we can break down the benefits of using digital twins into a few distinct categories. These virtual tools streamline the real estate sales process, boost customer experience, cut down on costs and time, improve facility management, and elevate the design and construction. Below we’re going to briefly discuss each of these benefits.

Streamline the Real Estate Sales Process

Digital twins significantly streamline the real estate sales process by providing a detailed, lifelike 3D rendering of a property. Thanks to this technology, prospective buyers can explore properties virtually, without having to visit them in person.

Digital twins usually display details that might skip the visitor’s attention. This is a great opportunity to explore the interior and exterior layouts, fixtures, installations, and other necessary facts and figures, including simulations of various conditions. 

With the help of innovative tools, marketers can showcase properties in a favourable way, highlighting their advantages. Digital twins account for a well-rounded tour and positive customer experience, also because answering any queries is much easier in this scenario, and responses are based on actual data obtained from the systems.

Building a digital twin streamlines the real estate process
Boosting development with digital twins

Enhance Customer Experience

Digital twins make a world of difference in the real estate industry by providing lifelike 3D models of physical spaces. That’s how potential buyers can inspect a property of their choice at any time, at their convenience, even when the place is inaccessible due to construction or renovation. 

During such a virtual tour prospective buyers can examine interior and exterior layouts, appliance brands, and amenities. The 360-degree view helps them navigate through the entire space and provides an immersive experience. It’s in fact a 24/7 virtual open house!

Creating a digital twin boosts client engagement
Improved customer experience with digital twins

Cut Down on Costs and Time

Digital twins cut down on operational costs associated with physical staging. And the benefits don’t stop there: innovative technology helps you reduce the cost and save time at other stages of property management. 

At the construction stage, digital twins help visualize issues and pinpoint weaknesses in the design, thus enabling early diagnosis and timely remedy. This way you can solve specific problems without having to dismantle the finished work. This proactive approach reduces downtime, saves costs, and ultimately enhances property value.

At the marketing stage, virtual tours offer an elevated customer experience, which is often reflected in speedy transactions and high occupancy rates. 

The savings are all the more pronounced because the cost of creating a digital twin is incurred once, and the benefits roll out as time goes by.

Digital twins in real estate cut down on costs and time
Reduce expenses by creating a digital twin

Improve Facility Management

Digital twins are a game-changer in modern property management. First of all, this solution consolidates all the data and documentation, making it readily accessible. Any issues can be timely sorted out before they become a nuisance.

Secondly, digital twins streamline maintenance operations in that they collect data from IoT devices, sensors, and IT systems. Managers can analyze this data to predict maintenance needs and plan the necessary steps without unnecessary downtime. 

Thirdly, proactive maintenance enhances sustainability and boosts tenant experience. Digital twins help managers screen tenant behavior and draw appropriate conclusions. Thanks to this insight, efficient HVAC and lighting management is possible, which makes the whole facility more sustainable. And since this usually means lower utility costs, the outcome is greater tenant satisfaction.

Improve Design and Construction

Digital twins effectively bridge the gap between the virtual and the physical world. During the design phase, they account for seamless coordination among project teams, contractors, and subcontractors. Stakeholders can monitor the progress of the construction process and identify possible weaknesses. 

It is also possible to test various scenarios against different conditions. This function streamlines the risk assessment process and helps navigate through subsequent stages of construction and property management.

Advantages of digital twins for real estate management
Digital twins in construction optimize processes

Get Started with Digital Twins

It may be hard to navigate through the abundance of interactive tools. Building a digital twin is an effort you make to boost your real estate business, streamline your operations, cut down on costs and time, and most of all, elevate the customer experience. 

To make the most of this journey, it’s a good idea to use the expertise of specialists armed with professional software, such as Unreal. Teaming up with experts who specialize in digital twins in construction will save you even more time so that you can focus on your core real property business. This way you let the technology of tomorrow work for your own future.

about the author

Rustam Kerimov Vero

"When there is an idea which has many other ideas inside - ask me and I will help to frame them and become tangible"

Rustam Kerimov is the Innovation Director at VERO, where he manages his digital production team of 7, who create challenging interactive AR, VR, Mobile products, and websites. A Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering in Belarus, two Master’s... read more

real estate

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