Technology has been revolutionising the way that we live and work for decades and yet in relative terms there has been little impact on the traditional world of real estate.
Investors and developers continue to operate on traditional models without much incentive to change.
The impact technology is having on the built environment itself is however undeniable. Retail space is now being repurposed to match changing consumer demand. Residential and commercial buildings offer tenants hyper-connected, co-working and co-living spaces. And there is so much more to come.
In this report, we explore where in the real estate sector technology is being introduced to accelerate the speed of change. Why has there been a hold-up in tech adoption and execution? And how do we move beyond the hype to unlock the real benefits for property businesses and their end users?
What we set out to discover is whether the culture of real estate has made it more averse to change than others and what practical blockers can be removed through greater collaboration.
Looking at the current challenges for the real estate sector, there appear to be three key areas where, with a bit of effort, real estate can work with tech to achieve real progress:
- Strategic focus: Developers and investors are beginning to understand that, to achieve long term success, they need to focus on the end user more than ever. Tech can help by providing valuable data to better understand how end users experience place and space.
- Skills: Real estate needs to bring in the right tech skills to help them interpret the huge amounts of incoming data and identify the real estate problems that tech can help solve.
- Collaboration: The real estate industry is fragmented and complex so tech and real estate businesses need to spend time getting to know each other through both formal and informal collaborations.
A number of highly credible tech companies are engaging with real estate investors and owners to offer new ways of working. But there can be a disconnect between the ambitions of the tech sector and the practical needs of real estate. This could be avoided if we can improve the in-house tech skills within real estate and encourage greater collaboration.
Tech companies are here to stay and early real estate adopters are gaining advantages. Given the pace of change, we believe it is time for greater engagement across the industry.
For our buildings and places to remain relevant to the people they serve, creating connections between the real estate and technology industry is essential. Together, the two sectors have a great opportunity to generate measurable value in all aspects of the property lifecycle and create innovative projects from which we will all benefit.