Investors and developers should harness existing data to better understand the real issues that need solving. In 2019, the industry is on the cusp of a down cycle and a balanced view of operational and end-user priorities will help maintain advantage with lessons already to be learned from early adopters. This could include filtering portfolio data in order to recognise essential building management projects and geospatial data to better understand people’s use of space in order to anticipate and respond to changing consumer demand.
Real estate companies should seek to recruit people with digital skills into their organisations in both leadership and delivery roles to assess potential for transformation through technology and to enable practical adoption. A digital strategy should be created with teams who can speak the language of tech and effectively manage appropriate pilot projects. Alternative recruitment routes and a programme of training should be considered in partnership with education providers and industry bodies.
Investors should make the most of the talent and experience of the technology sector to co-develop solutions suited to the property and development lifecycle. Innovation will occur when real estate invests time and effort in relationships with the tech sector with a priority to balance the customer-supplier relationship. This will be achieved by setting up contractual and business frameworks such as partnerships and joint ventures to build trust, incentivise adoption and measure value. A low-risk environment will enable investors to confidently test and refine solutions.