Alissia Iljaitsch, Dirk Brandt, Dr. Thomas Herr, Jürgen Michael Schick, Martin Rodeck

Quo vadis, Property Industry?

One gets tired of hearing it: Companies have to use digitalization for their own good, otherwise they will perish. Quite true, but: How does the property industry have to change to keep pace? And where are we going? We asked our experts from IQ Gemini, Strabag, CBRE, IVD and ZIA – enjoy browsing!

Alissia Iljaitsch

Alissia Iljaitsch
Founder and strategist for digital innovation, IQ Gemini

Which old hats do you think the property industry has to abandon in the digital era?
More and more functionalities in and around the house can be controlled by voice commands. The automotive industry is also experimenting with new business models involving voice-activated systems. I would like to urge the property industry to consider the possibilities of automation and networking as a serious new business field, because many aspects of home automation already go directly to electricians, and therefore, pass by the property industry.

Which new hats does it have to put on?
My advice is to invest much more in technology partnerships and internal technology knowhow. Corporate culture needs to change. Employees and teams must be supported, who can imagine what might be ahead and can then package ideas into a smart business model. We have to rely not only on young tech talents, but especially on the established property experts to do that.

What was your personal “digital wake-up experience”?
My everyday work is marked by testing new technologies and deriving new products and business models. I am always thrilled to bits with technical innovations. My digital wake-up experience, however, comes from a different field. Various players are needed for the development of a good technology project: Visionaries, product experts, engineers, designers, project managers. My digital wake-up experience is when a team creates something bigger than itself.

Photo: IQ Gemini

Dirk Brandt

Dirk Brandt
General Manager Technical Facility Management/Building Management, STRABAG Property and Facility Services

Which old hats do you think the property industry has to abandon in the digital era? Which new hats does it have to put on?
Asset management, property management and facilities management are property services the processes of which are still much too isolated from each other. This has to change. The telecommunications industry has shown this with E2E. Integral models with consistent process chains are needed - from the customers with all their requirements to the provision of all services - without any visible interfaces.

What was your personal “digital wake-up experience”?
The leap from 3D glasses at the cinema to MR or AR technology at work: Avatar was yesterday. Digitalization raises property services to a new dimension. Example: HoloLens.

Photo: Strabag

Thomas Herr

Dr. Thomas Herr
EMEA Head of Digital Innovation, CBRE PREUSS VALTEQ

Which old hats do you think the property industry has to abandon in the digital era?
The industry lived well with a certain degree of non-transparency for a long time. This was the basis of entire business models. But this will change, just like the cooperation between suppliers and clients, but also between man and machine.

Which new hats does it have to put on?
According to a recent study which we conducted 75 per cent of the employees in the German property industry are not ready for the digital technologies. Therefore, it is important to build digital competences and to invest in the technologies of the future. But the most important aspect is the internal transformation of companies and the respective change in corporate culture.

What was your personal “digital wake-up experience”?
The phrase: “Forget English! The lingua franca of the future is code.”

Photo: CBRE

Jürgen Michael Schick

Jürgen Michael Schick
President of the Property Association IVD

Which old hats do you think the property industry has to abandon in the digital era?
Many of those involved in the industry rely too much on old strengths and long-gone practices. But nostalgia is not a model for the future. For many the great danger is that they are simply doing too well and, therefore, neglect their own innovative strength. Who will change their methods, if they are doing well financially? When it comes to digitalization this attitude is extremely dangerous.

Which new hats does it have to put on?
A good economy should be used to make a step forward - not theoretically, but with very specific measures. Together with numerous experts the IVD has developed a “digital compass” for this purpose. The compass is a guideline and an interactive adviser, which has provided step-by-step support for medium-sized companies in the property industry which are going digital since June this year. It analyzes the company, highlights requirements and makes very specific recommendations for actions with the respective providers and cost calculations.

What was your personal “digital wake-up experience”?
For me digitalization is of twofold importance. First our customers respond in real time nowadays, and they expect the same of their service providers. If someone has a question today, they do not want to get the property details two days later. On the other hand digitalization offers us enormous potential for the optimization of our own processes. What required many employees and took much time can be done with a few clicks today. This makes us fit for the future.

Photo: IVD

Martin Rodeck

Martin Rodeck
Innovation Officer of the German Property Federation ZIA and General Manager of OVG Real Estate GmbH

Which old hats do you think the property industry has to abandon in the digital era?
The property industry is a very traditional business. We have to start looking for new ways now. This is why we will have to critically question the “how” in planning, development, financing and letting in the future in principle. How do tenancy agreements develop, for example, in times of changing user behaviour? And how can I optimize the planning processes by digital means?

Which new hats does it have to put on?
We should put on as innovative as possible a hat. For this purpose we need people who may have less property expertise than we do, but who have unconventional ideas instead. It is important to take every idea seriously and to declare innovation strategy a management issue. Meanwhile there are numerous proptech startups along the entire supply chain. It is worth talking to many startups. This should be attempted.

What was your personal “digital wake-up experience”?
Digitalization allows networking: The perspective that a smartphone integrates many different functions, such as that of a wallet, a key ring, light switches or a remote control, thereby simplifying everyday operations.

Photo: OVG

Alissia Iljaitsch
Dirk Brandt
Thomas Herr
Jürgen Michael Schick
Martin Rodeck

Read more about digitalization and the future of the property industry in our blog posts Proptechs: Embracing Instead of Being Scared, The Ticket Has Been Obtained: 25 Startups Are Going to EXPO REAL and Startups and technology companies on board.

Get more information on REIN Forum, the platform around digitalization at EXPO REAL, on our website or here.

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