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How radical is digital in real estate? Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann was one to answer this question. How radical is digital in real estate? Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann contributed in answering this question.

How to make the property industry future-proof?

Stephanie von Keudell
Stephanie von Keudell
independent journalist

EXPO REAL 2018 asked the question about the future of the property industry already on Monday morning: How radical is digital?

“Digital Natives” and property experts discussed whether the property industry has already missed the digitalization boat or whether there is still hope in the race to catch up. Because – and everyone agrees on that – the industry has never been particularly innovative as yet. The panel consisted of:

  • Dr. Mario Herger (CEO Enterprise Garage Consultancy from Silicon Valley),
  • Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann (Professor of E-Business and E-Entrepreneurship at the University of Duisburg-Essen),
  • Alexander Betz (Head of IT & Digitalisation Patrizia)
  • Christoph J. Thumm (CEO AC+X Strategic Investments/Urban City Lab) and
  • Sascha Klaus (CEO Berlin Hyp)


Property firms between piranhas and elephants


The property industry aims at catching up on its digital arrears: Digitalization pioneer Kollmann cites the robot-supported construction of building shells as an example of its application and explains smart-home applications, such as the pre-announcement of wear and tear or damage, preparation for e-logistics and home production etc.

He warns property companies against getting worn down between piranhas and elephants. Piranhas stand for small, highly specialized fintechs or proptechs, elephants for large digital companies like Google, which can attack companies from the property or finance industry in their very own business fields.


Digital mindset for corporations


How can property companies prepare for these challenges? Alexander Betz and Christoph Thumm emphasize the importance of creating the prerequisites for digital offerings – not least by talking to customers and staff in order to learn about their requirements and ideas. Betz wants to design a “digital mindset for the corporation” and cooperate with students and universities for this purpose. The expertise of employees should be transformed into digital ideas. This takes time – becoming faster and more agile does not mean wanting to hastily run one’s head against the wall!

Tobias Kollmann is enthusiastic about the possibility of a data volume of 44 zettabytes waiting to be marketed worldwide by 2020, and is looking forward to dropping insurance premiums due to the automatic retrieval of health data in the smart home. Listeners are beginning to feel somewhat uneasy regarding data protection. But this seems to be no issue in the brave new digital world any more.

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