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What’s the Secret to Becoming a Smart Building Expert? With Matthew Marson and Michael Grant


In the 7th episode of the 9th season of The Propcast, Louisa is joined by the Co-Founders of Smart Building BootcampMatthew Marson and Michael Grant to chat about the secret to becoming a “Smart Building Expert”. 

Matthew and Michael describe what is offered by Smart Building Bootcamp and how they equip their customers with the skills they need to become Smart Building Experts. By cutting through the jargon and enabling people to see through the smoke and mirrors, Smart Building Bootcamp simplifies smart technology. 

They discuss the wide range of businesses that sign up for their courses – from real estate firms to investment banks – and why it’s so important to walk these clients through the fundamental components of smart building technology. After all, digitising a building can’t happen overnight, it’s a journey that requires a certain level of understanding.

Later in the episode, they touch on what skills they are looking for in the hiring process before they wrap things up with their expectations of the smart building industry.




Companies Mentioned:


Shout Outs:


Key Insights From This Episode: 

  • Before you invest in digitising your estate, you need to educate yourself. – Michael
  • Digitising your building can’t happen overnight, it’s a journey. – Matthew
  • Hiring managers should think of their teams as a patchwork that is tied together with all those different experiences, rather than looking for a herd of unicorns, cause you won’t find them. – Michael 
  • If we’re going to stop the world from warming up, if we’re going to reduce energy costs and we’re going to improve indoor air quality, you need to make buildings smarter. – Michael
  • People want their buildings to be smart and they want their buildings to react immediately. – Michael
  • Customers are looking for different services, some want indoor air quality, some want energy and water monitoring and some want occupancy and capacity monitoring. – Matthew
  • Since COVID, I have seen the 3 Cs; compliance, coerce and collaboration. First, it was making sure the air quality was suitable, then it was how can we get people back into the office and finally it has been about collaboration. – Matthew 
  • To get people back to the office, the obvious answer is to deploy the right smart building technology in order to prove and adapt to all the things that are going on. – Matthew


About Our Guests:

Matthew Marson, Co-Founder of Smart Building Bootcamp

Matthew Marson is the Global Technology Sector Director at a large consultancy firm and the co-founder of the recently launched Smart Building Bootcamp. 

Having founded WSP’s Smart Places practice and grown Accenture’s offering in this field, Matthew now leads a €100m business across a range of asset types and geographies.

Marson was named as the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Young Engineer of the Year 2022 and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Young Visionary 2016 for his work in creating The World’s Most Connected Building. He now sits on the Institution’s Strategy Committee. 

As a recognised thought leader, Matthew is a keynote speaker at international industry events related to emerging technology, net-zero design and places at the building and city scales. He was an author in the Encyclopaedia of Sustainable Technologies and a published writer in a variety of journals, earning a doctorate in Smart Buildings.

He has recently launched Smart Building Bootcamp in an effort to share his knowledge and bring smart technology leaders together, to educate the real estate industry on how they can benefit from smart buildings.


Michael Grant, COO & Co-Founder at Metrikus and Co-Founder at Smart Building Bootcamp

Michael Grant is the co-founder and COO of Metrikus, and co-founder of recently launched Smart Building Bootcamp. Michael is an operations, strategy and management professional with over 20 years in the technology sector. Specialising in technology, software, IoT, ESG and cloud, Michael has over 10 years’ experience working at Senior Management and C-Level and has dealt with large teams to deliver solutions with exceptional service – clients include those from banking, commercial real estate and IT sectors.


Smart Building Bootcamp

Smart Building Bootcamp makes smart simple. The smart building industry is overwhelmingly complicated. There are hundreds of vendors all saying the same thing while at the same time all claiming they do smart ‘differently’. We exist to equip you with the skills you need to interpret technical jargon.

With our online on-demand courses, you’ll be a smart building expert in no time.


About Our Host

Louisa Dickins

Louisa is the co-founder of LMRE, which has rapidly become the market leading global PropTech recruitment platform and search consultancy with operations across North America, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

To promote the industry she is so passionate about, Louisa set up the Global podcast ‘The Propcast’where she hosts and invites guests from the built environment space to join her in conversation about innovation.


About LMRE

LMRE is globally recognised for leading the way in Real Estate Tech & Innovation talent management.

From the outset our vision was to become a global provider of the very best strategic talent to the most innovative organisations in PropTech, ConTech, Smart Buildings, ESG, Sustainability and Strategic Consulting.

At LMRE we are fully committed at all times to exceed the expectations of our candidates and clients by providing the very best advice and by unlocking exclusive opportunities across our global network in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.



[02:00] Matthew: Can you elaborate on your career journey?

  • I trained as an architect and engineer and started off working at a bank.
  • I then went on to Accenture in the sustainability team where we were looking for ways in which we could reduce energy consumption for our clients.
  • After that, I went to WSP to set up their smart places practice.


[03:35] Matthew: How did you meet Michael? 

  • A chance meeting at an industry event. 


[04:20] Michael: Can you talk us through your career journey? 

  • I am a sparky (electrician) by trade, I then went into engineering and then IT. 
  • I was never in real estate until I got brought into the previous company and then I did a buyout with Metrikus Ltd, 3 years ago. 
  • AirRated sprung out of Metrikus and is now run as a separate business. 


[07:55] Matthew: Can you talk us through Smart Building Bootcamp’s key modules? 

  • There are 15 modules and we have arranged them into three tracks of five. 
  • Track 1: Trends
  • Track 2: Physical
  • Track 3: Digital 


[09:40] Matthew: Give us an example of some jargon which you teach. 

  • Different types of databases.
  • What’s a server? 
  • How different systems come together. 


[11:10] Michael: Who are the main people taking this course?

  • Quite a wide mix, people from real estate, investment bankers, heads of operations, surveyors, heads of workplaces or heads of facilitates.  


[16:45] Matthew: Coming out of COVID what are your customers looking for and what are they wanting from your product?

  • It depends on the customer and what they want.   
  • Before COVID, 95% of our customers were tenants/occupiers and now it is almost 50/50. We have more landlords than we have ever worked with before. 
  • Some customers want indoor air quality, some want energy and water monitoring and some want occupancy and capacity monitoring.
  • Michael: The 3 Cs: compliance, coerce and collaboration. 


[22:00] Matthew: What skills do you look for when hiring people, and where do you see the talent coming from? 

  • Having a good combination of software, some built environment experience, good problem solvers and technically minded.
  • I’m looking for more to do with curiosity and interest and the right attitude.


[24:45] Michael: What skills do you look for when hiring people, and where do you see the talent coming from? 

  • We only have 1 hire that came from the real estate industry (building management systems).
  • It is really difficult to find people.
  • I don’t think people need to come from the real estate industry as long as they are smart and they understand what it is you are trying to do. 


[28:45] Why are you both passionate about making buildings smart?

  • Matthew: Growing up, I wanted to be an architect and I was inspired by throwing away ornamentation and antiquity and using the technologies of the time. Now I see this as a new architecture kind that will fundamentally change how we manage our space.
  • Michael: I didn’t come from this space, I came from a place where state of the art and cutting edge were everything you wanted but with the real estate industry, it’s like going back in time.
  • Michael: If we’re going to stop the world from warming up, if we’re going to reduce energy costs and if we’re going to improve indoor air quality, you need to make buildings smarter. 


[33:20] What are the major trends you’ve seen and do you have any expectations in the smart building industry?

  • Matthew:  We are seeing a rationalisation in the number of companies that offer sensors and  we will see an upsurge in more master systems integrators. 
  • Matthew: On the professional services side, we will probably run out of opportunities to do use-case playbooks and the customers will become much more sophisticated in setting the agenda of what they want to do around intelligent procurement decisions.
  • Michael: A lot of drivers are if the government’s going to give me a huge tax rebate or pay for 50% of me digitising my building and help make it more efficient then I’m going to do it.


[40:40]The ‘LMRE’ part, Louisa asks the guests to talk about; 

L– Touch on the main lessons you have learnt throughout your career.

Matthew: When you’re designing a system, know the difference between cool and creepy. 

Michael: You need to deliver what you say you’re going to deliver in this space.

M – Please give a mention to anyone / product / service.

Matthew: Brad Koerner, Presentation at Integrated Systems Europe

Michael: Charlotte Laing

R – What has been the most rewarding aspect of working in PropTech?

Matthew: Creation of a new architecture 2.0 and the difference it will make to the built environment.

Michael: Feedback from customers that say we’ve genuinely helped them. 

E – What are you excited about in the future of PropTech?

Michael: Smart Building Bootcamps



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