The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted how we use space and our expectations of it. As stakeholders across the real estate value chain look to the future, there is a growing acknowledgment that buildings must be liveable, sustainable, resilient and affordable. To deliver on that vision, digital tools are essential.
The capital-intensive, siloed nature of real estate – along with varying financial expectations and timelines – has contributed to slower adoption of technology. Yet a combination of trends, including those accelerated by COVID-19, subsequent evolving tenant demand and continued pressure to deliver on environmental, social and governance (ESG), is now increasing the focus on digital solutions.– World Economic Forum Briefing Paper: Driving Digitalization: Value Creation for Commercial Real Estate
To accelerate technology adoption to deliver value to the real estate sector, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Real Estate initiative launched a Taskforce on Digital Transformation in January 2021.
Fluxus CEO Fanyu Lin is a Member of The Taskforce on Digital Transformation which consists of owners, asset managers, investors, advisors and technology service providers.
Taskforce convenings underscored the myriad challenges – from financing to data interoperability – that can impede digitization of the real estate industry. Real estate companies can also vary significantly in terms of their digital maturity and organizational capacity. These obstacles are further exacerbated by gaps in understanding and communication barriers between the real estate community and technology service providers.
To address these communication issues and chart a course for progress, the taskforce sought to (1) help clarify the key business drivers behind technology decisions; (2) provide examples of how digital solutions can advance business objectives; and (3) outline the top areas where action is needed to unlock the full potential of digital transformation.
As the built world contends with the rapid pace of modern change, digital transformation will be a key enabler to real estate’s evolution. Understanding the business motivations behind technology adoption and the primary areas requiring action are necessary initial steps to better connect stakeholders throughout the ecosystem.
What is abundantly clear throughout interviews and group discussions is that the industry is on the brink of transformation and tremendous opportunity exists for those that make the leap.
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