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PropTech Latam Summit 2023: Unleashing the Power of Digital Twins, Net Zero, and Retrofitting

In the fast-evolving landscape of the real estate industry, the recent PropTech Latam Summit of 2023 served as a vibrant platform for industry experts to converge and discuss the latest trends and innovations. Among the myriad topics explored, three key themes emerged as the focal points of this year's summit: Digital Twins, Net Zero, and the retrofitting of old properties. In this opinion piece, we delve into the transformative potential of Digital Twins and its impact on the property market.

My first encounter with the concept of Digital Twins was back in 2019 during the Singularity University executive program. At the time, this term was entirely unfamiliar to me, but the passionate explanation by Professor Amin Toufani opened my eyes to its tremendous benefits.

Digital Twins had already found practical applications in industries such as insurance and healthcare, and its influence was expanding, even permeating the realm of social media. Intrigued by its transformative possibilities, I returned from the program inspired and eager to explore this novel technology.

When my partner, Andres Correa, first mentioned that we were developing software capable of creating digital twins of properties, I was immediately captivated by the immense potential that lay within. It was an innovative approach that distinguished Alpaca Technology from the rest. While virtual reality experiences through platforms like Matterport were not entirely new, Alpaca was leveraging this technology in an entirely groundbreaking manner. Today, we proudly hold the intellectual property rights to build a cutting-edge Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) atop the Matterport framework. This allows us to access and collect data from every asset within a property, regardless of size or type, ranging from light bulbs to HVAC systems, furniture to electronics, and everything in between. Our digital twin technology presents a comprehensive representation of the property, revolutionizing the way property owners and managers interact with their assets.

What sets Alpaca Technology apart is our commitment to democratizing access to this transformative software. By leveraging data-driven insights, we have devised a more cost-effective alternative to traditional CMMS solutions. This affordability enables us to empower property owners of all scales, allowing them to harness the power of digital twins and make informed decisions to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of their properties. Just as Discovery Insure provided their clients with free car sensors, later extending the offering to include free Apple Watches for life insurance, Alpaca aims to provide advanced CMMS capabilities to our clients.

As discussions unfolded at the PropTech Latam Summit 2023, another theme that resounded throughout the event was the concept of Net Zero. By 2050, the goal is to create a world with an almost zero carbon footprint, presenting a colossal opportunity for the real estate industry. The keynote speaker, Steve Weikal, the head of MIT Real Estate and Technology initiative, shed light on this ambitious objective.

Weikal emphasized that constructing new buildings with IoT integration and sustainable materials is relatively straightforward. However, the real challenge lies in the existing properties, which account for 80% of all structures projected to exist by 2050. This staggering statistic highlights the immense potential of a $450 trillion market in PropTechs and ConTechs that can assist in transforming these properties into Net Zero assets. The significance of this market opportunity was repeatedly underscored throughout the PropTech Latam Summit, including the event hosted by Deloitte.

Reflecting on my time at Singularity University, I recall one of our esteemed professors, Mr. John Hagel from Deloitte, introducing the concept of "Zoom In Zoom Out." This approach entails focusing on the short-term (zooming in) while also considering the long-term (zooming out) implications. Understanding the vast potential of this $450 trillion market, it became apparent that Alpaca Technology possessed the capacity to assist existing properties in their journey towards achieving Net Zero by 2050, all while avoiding the need for substantial upfront investments.

To effectively navigate this transformative landscape, Alpaca Technology should align itself with government initiatives aimed at scanning as many properties as possible. By initiating our data collection process, we can gather valuable insights and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to process information rapidly. This will enable us to determine the most suitable and sustainable products for each property type, empowering us to advise our clients on the ideal environmentally friendly solutions. By guiding property owners to adopt these products whenever their current assets require replacement, we can progressively transition towards achieving Net Zero on an asset-by-asset basis.

The path to Net Zero is both an opportunity and a responsibility for the real estate industry. Alpaca Technology stands ready to play a pivotal role in this transformative journey, harnessing the power of data, AI, and strategic partnerships to facilitate the sustainable retrofitting of existing properties. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the strategies and approaches that will pave the way for a Net Zero future.

Now, let's zoom out and explore Alpaca Technology's roadmap for retrofitting old properties by 2050. As we set our sights on this ambitious goal, we have outlined a strategic plan to leverage our technology and forge partnerships to drive meaningful change.

By 2030, Alpaca Technology envisions scanning a significant number of properties, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive database of valuable insights. Additionally, we plan to establish collaborations with international funding organizations that are committed to supporting Net Zero initiatives. These partnerships will enable us to serve as a platform where our clients can access loans for retrofitting their properties. Crucially, we will ensure that the funds are allocated toward materials that best align with achieving Net Zero, as these materials will be procured through our platform.

Through this innovative approach, Alpaca Technology not only facilitates the financing of retrofit projects but also guarantees our partners that the funds are utilized effectively. This assurance stems from our commitment to sourcing materials that genuinely contribute to the Net Zero objectives. By linking funding and material procurement, we establish a robust ecosystem that drives sustainable transformation

Moreover, our comprehensive data collection efforts will empower our clients to align with forthcoming government carbon taxes and emerging standards. As regulations evolve, Alpaca Technology will provide valuable insights into the true costs associated with achieving Net Zero by 2050. This data-driven approach ensures that our partnering lenders can substantiate the proper utilization of funds and demonstrate their commitment to driving sustainable change.

Our vision extends far beyond mere property retrofits; we aim to redefine the standards of environmental responsibility within the real estate industry. By integrating cutting-edge technology, strategic partnerships, and data analysis, Alpaca Technology is poised to be at the forefront of the Net Zero revolution.

The PropTech Latam summit surpassed my expectations and left me inspired by the leaders and speakers who graced the event. It was a well-orchestrated gathering that underscored the immense potential of this industry. Upon returning, I immediately convened with my partners, and together, we revamped our approach to Alpaca Technology, recognizing its disruptive power in the property market.

To me, a true disruptor goes beyond incremental improvements. It's about revolutionizing the status quo. It's like creating a washing machine that doesn't just use less soap but uses no soap at all. Alpaca Technology embodies this disruptive spirit, and as we zoom in and zoom out, envisioning the next six to twelve months and the next ten to twenty years, we are confident that we will be a formidable force in the property market.

I anticipate providing you with updates in the coming months as our journey progresses. I am grateful to my teammates and the entire team behind the PropTech Latam summit for igniting a fire within us, sparking new ideas and illuminating a world of possibilities.

Exciting times lie ahead, and we invite you to join us on this transformative journey.


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