The Coronavirus crisis has increased the need for proptech solutions, say two industry commentators.
It is essential that the commercial property sector uses proptech to boost efficiencies, says Richard Morris of the TechnologyWithin website.
He tells PropertyWire, “While some segments of the industry are spearheading the use of technology, the commercial real estate (CRE) industry has yet to realise the potential of proptech. In the post-COVID-19 world, it will have to catch up.”
Innovative new digital capabilities helping the sector to become smarter and more connected, he says.
Businesses have seen the value of allowing flexible working. To cater for a more location-flexible workforce, fast, reliable and effective connectivity will be a higher priority for business tenants than it ever was before.
Proptech advances led by smaller companies
However, this proptech revolution is still mostly being led by smaller challengers in the real estate sector.
“The CRE industry overall is well-known for being resistant to change, and wider adoption of the latest tech is still nowhere near where it should be.”
There is an opportunity there for the larger players to improve returns for investors and achieve a tech-driven premium, but right now they are playing catch-up.
“There must be changes on this front if commercial real estate is to drive efficiencies and remain relevant in the post COVID-19 world.”
Meanwhile, advisor Simon Johnson says technology, connectivity, collaboration software and secure cloud platforms frees businesses to be more agile, flexible and to work smarter.
But, so far, technological innovation has failed to permeate through commercial real estate and advances have been fragmented, he tells TheInstantGroup.
“This should now change. The technologies that already exist and are applied very successfully in other sectors will be applied to the CRE market. Companies will demand better data and the technology to assess the size, flexibility and functional requirements of future office portfolios.”
The future of the office will be based around a mix of different styles – the central office, the flexible locations, and enabling remote working.
“This could be the most exciting catalyst for change in a generation, as it directly addresses – and has already broken – the boundaries that have limited the appetite for change that we experience every day with the clients that we work with.”
He concludes, “This is an opportunity to forge a stronger, strategic approach to CRE that drives business value. An approach driven by better adoption of technology and use of data, which ultimately frees business to become more agile and change the way it views and uses the office.”