A like Artificial Intelligence, B like BIM, C like Cities of the Future down to L like LegalTech and M like Management Software. We continue the PropTech ABC with N like Nature to T like Tailor-made experiences. Tackling On-demand economy and dreaming about vertical forests.
N: Nature: Instead of concrete jungles people demand real jungles. The bigger and more polluted our cities get, the bigger gets the wish for parks, green spaces as well as green houses. Plants do not only have a positive effect on our health and mind, they also improve air quality and cool down the cities. The needs and wishes of the people have arrived at the real estate companies, employers as well as building authorities. More and more buildings are being built where nature, light and plants have a central role. And not only Google or big companies have magnificent green offices but medium size companies are claiming it too. Such as:
- Wonderwoods in Utrecht, Netherlands by Stefano Boeri: An apartment building hosting around 200 apartments as well as a 90 mt high Vertical Forest, which will be home to 10,000 plants of different species (360 trees, 9,640 of shrubs and flowers). Wonderwoods will contribute to absorb more than 5,4 tons of CO2.
- Écotone in Sophia Antipolis, France by Jean Nouvel and Manal Rachadi: Offices, co-working spaces, a hotel and parking spaces will be built on approximately 48,000 sqm2. But the largest part, 56 percent, will be greened.
- The Utrecht Community (UCo) by except: The UCo is a national center for sustainable entrepreneurship located in a monumental train deport of the Dutch Railways, which operates energy neutral, water neutral, toxin free and waste free.
O: On-demand economy: We live in an On-demand economy. Almost everything is almost immediately available from basically everywhere. Real estate was for a long time an exception as it was less digitized than other sectors. But the customer demand for immediate availability is growing and PropTech has the power to satisfy the customer with services such as:
- Real estate marketplaces, which let customer search online for properties to build and rent such as the German startup Homeday, which offers the complete handling of a real estate sale. The company works for the most part digitally and therefore very cost-effectively, which is why it requires a very low commission. Or A Nekretnine the first digital real estate company of Croatia.
- Augmented Reality application, which let customer experience their apartment with all its details before it is even built.
- Connected workplaces, which give people the opportunity to work from all over the world using apps, clouds, instant-messaging softwares and other digital tools.
P: Privacy: A big topic when it comes to new technologies, not only in the real estate sector, is privacy. Almost every aspect of our lives revolves around data. Almost every service we use involves the collection and analysis of our personal data. The more data is collected, the more concerns in regards to security breaches and misuse of data arise – and the scandals of the past years have shown that these concerns are to be taken serious. Nevertheless data helps saving time, effort, energy and helps cities to become smart and The reaction of the European Union to the increasing use and collection of data is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which amongst others specifies that “every person has the right to be forgotten”. In other words – companies have to delete personal data at all times, if requested. That is opposing to some emerging technologies, e.g. Blockchain, which main characteristics is immutability, but at the same date gives the data sovereignty back to their owners. With new technologies also new possibilities are created and the coming years will define how we handle our data.
Q: Quality Control: A big potential for PropTech lies in its ability to monitor and to improve our well-being with the use of sensors and data. Let’s take temperature for example. Smart buildings will blend data from connected building sensors and existing building management (BMS) data to provide a detailed picture of the conditions, which then can be adjusted accordingly.
R: Robots. One of the hottest topics when it comes to robots these days is autonomous vehicles. The question is not if, but when, because, one thing is for sure: Autonomous vehicles will be the transportation vehicles of the future. It will be the biggest change in the human history of transportation since the horse carriage got replaced by a car, and it will shape our cities accordingly and make space for new real estate options. Three examples:
- Their will be less need for parking lots and garages. First because driverless vehicles will drop off passengers and move on. Second because less people will own a car. The freed space can be used for more housing, parks, public plazas and open space.
- Areas, which are now unpopular due to pollution and noise, such as areas close to an urban highway or main road, will go up in value.
- As cities will become again more pedestrian and bike friendly, some expect an revitalisation of urban commercial centers.
S: Space-as-a-service: In the past tenants used to rent a space and that was it. But that is changing. Driven by the co-working scene landlords started to provide not only a space, but a complete office, furnished and with services such as internet, cleaning, food etc. As a customer you have basically access to attractive spaces with all its commodities, but without the burden of ownership. What begun in the office, started to swap over to the living space. C0-Living spaces, such as The Collective or Flatmates by Station F are becoming increasingly popular.
T: Tailor-made experiences or customer centricity: We live in a world where we are used to getting everything immediately and tailored to our wishes. Especially Millennials as well as Generation Z’lers are used to ordering everything they want and how they want it directly through mobile apps. E.g. Muesli can be mixed online exactly how you like it and then brought to your door. The same applies for coffee blends, your personal digital fitness trainer, in some regards even for dates and countless other daily needs. And now real estate. PropTech companies have embraced tailor-made experiences from Augmented Reality to Tokenization. A few examples:
- PROMPTO: Around Media, market leaders in everything 3D and Virtual reality in Belgium, launched their new product PROMPTO in 2018. A new PropTech 3.0 sales tool, that allows real estate developers to give their customers a completely personalized experience, tailored after their needs and wishes
- Apartment Ocean: a conversational platform based on artificial intelligence (AI) helping real estate companies to reduce customer-related expenses and increase customer satisfaction by answering their questions quick and reliable.
- Acasa: A software for tracking household expenses in a simple and straightforward way.
Thank you and kind regards,