EXPO REAL Puts Innovative Technologies On Center Stage In 2019
Real estate industry attendance at EXPO REAL 2019 highlights the continued enthusiasm for growth held within the industry. This year saw over 46,000 visitors from 76 countries turn up in Munich to network, make deals and explore the over 2,000 companies exhibiting. The event, spread over seven convention halls was truly something to behold.
New to EXPO REAL this year was hall NOVA3, the innovation hall, which showcased a large number of PropTech start-ups and scale-ups. The innovation hall hosted over 60 technology-focused exhibitors. A few of the interesting value proposition trends we spotted were:
Aggregation and analysis of property market data solutions. Often property data is spread across multiple databases, each with their own way of capturing information. Aggregating data from both private and public sources can be extremely time consuming, expensive and riddled with more assumptions than necessary. Firms such as 21st Real Estate, realxdata and PRODA are working to bring more transparency and efficient data analysis to the commercial real estate market for better and faster decision-making. These firms work to standardize rent lists and aggregate market data like comparable rents or sales prices, to support internal portfolio analysis and identify market deviations and investment opportunities.
Platforms to manage co-living communities. The rise in housing costs in many urban areas over the past ten years, coupled with low wage growth, has contributed to the rise of the co-living market. To efficiently service the growing number of co-living renters, operators are turning to platforms that support their brand identity and community engagement. No longer will it be difficult to communicate with your landlord or tenants. Platforms, developed by firms such as Proptiq enable communication of activities, feedback and even rental payments. Co-living management platforms enable providers such as LifeX Aps and Quarters to provide an attractive experience to clients which is a world away from the analog apartment shares of the past.
Expansion in the market to provide engaging workplace experiences. WeWork’s postponed IPO does not signal a softening in the market to provide experiential workplace environments. If anything, the bond between technology and providing workplace experiences has strengthened as a new crop of firms enter the market with a technology focused strategy. For example, European property and facility manager HB Reavis has recently launched two technology driven solutions, Origameo and Symbiosy, aimed at supporting client ambitions to develop more dynamic and experiential workplaces. For those corporate real estate firms seeking to make the transition on their own, software solutions from oriient and SPACEFLOW enable hardware free occupancy analysis and community management respectively.
Connecting digital data to physical things to identify facility operational insights. While there is always talk concerning the need to capture accurate, useable data, this is only the beginning. The true value in this data lies in uncovering the insights that lead to actions for operating facilities more efficiently, providing improved building experiences and reducing ownership costs. The firms working to support building owners and operators with these objectives, such as BuildingMinds, Optimised Buildings, Sensorberg and Yardi seek to connect digital data with physical building systems to make better, more efficient built environments.
Convergence of virtual reality and digital twin technologies. The term digital twin was mentioned by several firms in the innovation hall. These firms ranged from virtual reality specialists Dimension10 to facility management giant SPIE. Each of these firms were intrigued by the potential of digitally modelling facility operational data to create an end-to-end content management system. The benefits of a virtual twin content management system for the built environment begins with creating a virtual representation of a new or existing building. Firms such as Hegias, INREAL and Matterport were on-hand to demonstrate the different ways corporate real estate firms can start to incorporate this emerging technology into their digital strategies.
Given the popularity of the innovation hall, it’s easy to see that traditional corporate real estate is beginning to thaw in its views toward PropTech. These digital solutions are expanding beyond the niche “nice to have” category, they have occupied into a more central “must have” position. This transition won’t happen overnight, but may occur faster than some realize.
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