Data is the new gold - soon also in the real estate industry

Property owners have, after decades of falling interest rates, steady population growth and moving into cities, seen how the value of their properties has skyrocketed. Owning and managing real estate has for a long time produced a huge return, without the owners having to make any dramatic changes in their business. Perhaps this is one reason why the real estate industry is far behind in digitalisation compared to many other industries, something is stated in The trade association Real Estate Owners' Report from last year. The result of the survey is also that the potential is great, with good opportunities to create value through new business models.

However, there's a new dawn coming for the real estate industry. The technology is available to offer virtual displays of apartments and premises using Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR). The commercial property owners talk about co-working and digital services. Common to these types of services is that you need the most important raw material of our time - data. Data and information about the property is at the heart of enabling digital services to be created. With the help of digitalisation, the property owners will be able to create new revenue models, thanks to the information generated by the property and tenants. These can be sensors that sense temperatures, people's movement patterns, energy consumption - down to the room level. Or that the elevator reports error itself and that the waste sorting calls for emptying when it is full. 

A week ago, David Lundkvist and Ann Palmér attended the Nordic BIM Summit, where leading system suppliers, innovative start-ups, construction giants and property owners gathered to look at the future of how Building Information Modeling (BIM) will fundamentally change the real estate industry. Working with BIM is briefly about making information about a property available at every stage of the construction process; everything from planning the property's interaction with the rest of the city, planning, construction and management. A BIM model is a digital model of the property, where information from the entire life cycle of the building is collected. The idea is that the BIM model always reflects the property, even after renovations and tenant adjustments. The BIM model can also be a valuable source of knowledge and insights for the next building order.

David Lundkvist brings the following insights from the Nordic BIM Summit:

  • Property owners can now seriously start making money from their data and information about the building by creating new digital services. It is about time to find new business models.
  • 13,000. This is the number of buildings that need to be built globally by 2050, to meet the population increase - 13,000 per day. This also leads to new issues; how do we create all this data? How should we cope with the huge environmental and climate impact this will lead to?
  • The property owners who do not keep up with the development run the risk of being overtaken and irrelevant.

How do you think the real estate industry will change in the coming years?

We at Ekan work with several of the major property owners; both within commercial premises and housing, both municipal and private. We see that many of these are currently making a journey towards increased digitalization where the availability of property information is a prerequisite for digitalization. You are welcome to read our example assignment on effective and value-creating information management at this link. Contact us if you want to hear more about how we work!