The 2019 Sydney Build Expo

A couple of weeks ago, I made the trip from our home in Maitland to attend the 2019 Sydney Build Expo.  

A friend of ours is looking to start construction on their new forever home in the next few months, and they thought it would be a good opportunity to get an understanding on upcoming trends and hopefully find that little piece of niche design that they could instill into their new home.

For me, I saw an opportunity to gain an industry advantage on what’s to come from a property sales and management perspective that I could then return and share with our clients.

My learnings from the trip are what I have tried to put together when compiling this article.


Who Should Attend the Sydney Build Expo?

Let me frame it for you,

Upon arriving at the entry of the expo, the feel is very much what you would expect when you enter any industry or product-related expo. A ticket booth flowing into an open area that contains music and a few funky talking points. In this instance, it was land-based drones that assist with traffic control and automated roadside slashers that were on display. Although really cool, this was our first indication that the term “Build Expo” may not align with the original interpretation that we had in mind. Either way, land-based drones are still cool!

I reserved my judgement on who should attend the expo until the very end. In total, we were there for approximately 4hrs looking at stalls, stands and displays across two pavilions. While also attending a couple of sessions from industry leaders talking about an array of topics such as technology advances in bridge design, the future or Virtual Reality Marketing for off the plan developments and using Geo-targeting technology to manage trades on a building site……Build Expo?

So who do i think should attend the Sydney Build Expo…….

Any Business owner or salesperson involved in the design and construction of the property. As well as Real Estate and Property Professionals looking to get an in front advantage.

While the expo does contain stalls that display the latest flooring and frame design technology, these stalls are very targeted at the builders and developers looking to buy or on sell in bulk. If you were a couple or person looking to build your next family home or residential investment, in my opinion, you would get a lot more value from scheduling a day touring the builders display homes around your area, then a day at the Sydney build expo.

As a Property Professional, I will personally be returning next year to maintain our local market advantage.



What I learnt from the expo

After 11.5 years in the mining industry, I was amazed at how far behind the Real Estate industry was with regards to technology. But I kept telling myself; it’s a different industry so you can’t compare the two.

It’s only over the last 24 months that I have started to see the term “Prop Tech” being tossed around, like the Real Estate industry had just uncovered this amazing pot of gold. This then led me to wonder, was this mindset limited to Real Estate or did it extend deeper into the original product development and creation (Building and Construction).

While the building and construction industry is still not as advanced as the mining industry, they are certainly gaining momentum in this area. My biggest learning from the expo was that technology and innovation are global and industries can no longer segregate themselves and claim ignorance. The way that people live, learn and interact is, and will continue to change at a fast pace stemming from technology advancements in community/suburban design and infrastructure.


My 3 Biggest Take Away’s

1.Smart Furniture

Like I did, you are probably thinking Dining Tables, Recliner chairs and coffee tables.

But that’s not what I am talking about. In general terms we are talking about is instilling technology into the assets that local councils and government bodies provide in your community such as park benches, play equipment, barbeques and bins.

But why?

Simple, to improve the lives of people in the community and to allow the managing bodies to make more informed life decisions around how they manage their assets and prioritisation of decisions.

But How?

At the most basic level, think solar-powered charging ports in all council park benches and chairs, allowing people to charge their phones and plug in music speakers while watching the kids play. To take it up a level, imagine a park where the Wi-Fi is free as long as you are prepared to answer a few simple questions about yourself like your age, gender and reason for visiting the park. In return, you get unlimited Wi-Fi which also enables you to report damage, suggest an improvement or activate a distress beacon that also alerts surrounding surveillance cameras to attempt to view your position in the park.

From a maintenance and management perspective, asset managers will receive damage notifications, asset location information as well as critical alerts such fire. Bins will have live monitoring advising the asset manager if they are empty or full, some are even equipped with land-based drone technology allowing them to move themselves to a central location for maintenance and emptying.

How will this affect your experience with the property industry?

It depends on your situation, from a buyer or seller perspective we need to think about not just the parcel of land that you own or are looking to buy, but the surrounding community and how the advances in technology could completely change the appeal of the area.

With the advancements in technology already here, it's not unreasonable to think that in 12 months - 3 years that the derelict park at the end of the street could become a sought after outdoor corporate workspace. It may be full of working mums watching their kids play while managing a million-dollar contract, completely changing the demand for your nearby home.

2.Technology-driven construction

Add a wifi connection to a building site, and this will then see the use of automated machines, Ai based processes, and advancements in GPS technology being used in the constructions space.

Remote supervision….. Imagine using the data from an apple watch, paired with GPS technology overlayed with Ai to determine productivity and effort from your team members to better align the right people with the right task as well as further increasing safety.

How will this affect your experience with the property industry?

My prediction is simple, higher efficiency and reduced construction times will allow houses to be built more quickly and enable a new demographic of people to enter the market or begin buying/selling and investing sooner.

3.Virtual Reality Marketing

Virtual Reality Marketing has been around for a long time in the ‘off the plan’ building space. But it has been a long time since I touched on or looked at it. It’s was clear to see that the advancements have come a long way from being able to pan around a single room to now being fulling immersed in a virtual world. Enter a virtual building in the lobby, taking the lift to the 29th-floor before walking into your new apartment complete with virtual views. This is now almost standard in this space. The Tech truly is amazing.

That said, while there is no doubt that this type of experience will flow into the single residential dwelling space in terms of marketing, I think there is still a pocket of time remaining before the demand for this becomes standard expectation the way that we see high-quality photos and floorplans in today's advertisements.

How will this affect your experience with the property industry?

There is no doubt that this tech will become the norm and is currently being offered in a limited capacity today for residential properties. When it reaches full capacity, the way properties are viewed and the interaction between buyers, sellers and real estate agents will change forever. When I suggest that there is a pocket of time, don’t get too comfortable as I am only suggesting a window of 2-4 years before full acceptance into the standard residential space is achieved.

Where it heads from there who knows?




In Summary

Sydney Build Expo is well suited for people involved in the design and construction of property, as well as property professionals who are looking to get an out-front advantage.

The advances in smart furniture and building and construction technology will change the way people live and interact in communities and suburban areas. Buyers, Sellers, Landlords, Investors and Tenants should all be aware and consider this as part of their property journey.

Specific industries can no longer be viewed in isolation with regards to technology and innovation.

The advancements in Virtual Technology for off the plan marketing are moving quickly in large development construction. However, my prediction is at least a 2 to 4 year window for usability and full acceptance for single dwelling residential, particularly in regional areas.I am looking forward to updating you again on the developments from next year’s expo.

Dan Schubert

Director – Property Solutions