WHO WILL BE THE INNOVATORS OF THE REAL ESTATE MARKET?
Proptech Hungary organized a conference on the present and future of digitalization in the real estate market, where, in the presence of more than 210 participants, international and domestic specialists presented and drew attention to the potential inherent in various technologies. The organizer, Zoltán Kalmár, the founder of proptechzoom.com, started intensively dealing only with the proptech topic half a year ago, according to his claim, the timeliness of the topic has really arrived.
The digital transformation of the real estate market cannot be avoided. But the appearance of information technology and technology in the real estate market is not new at all, what is new is that we talk about it, that the systems are interconnected, that we manage them in an integrated manner, that there are already measurements and data, there is the possibility of optimization, we can make decisions and assumptions. It is interesting that, ahead of his time, Zoltán Kalmár organized a similar conference with his former company in 2018 and 2019, but before the coronavirus, few market players were open.
It was said at the conference that the areas of proptech can be divided into five categories depending on which life cycle of a building is supported by the given technology: financial and investment support, design and construction, market and transaction, operation and operation, and living and working. Most proptech companies are not only in Hungary, but also worldwide in the operation and maintenance category, as this is where the return on investment can be shown the fastest.
Basically, 3 aspects have the greatest impact or can accelerate the digital transformation of the real estate market: regulations, climate neutrality, ESG, in addition to the runaway energy prices, due to which real estate companies have an increased need for cost optimization, they are looking for new, alternative income opportunities, and tenants, the digital transformation of companies and the need for transparency. Of course, the coronavirus has triggered many processes, which also affect the market in a complex way.
Dirk Paelinck, founder of proptechhouse and EU proptech consultant, spoke about the regulations at the conference. He brought comprehensive research on market trends and investment figures, the framework of the EU Green Deal, InvestEU, and the European climate law. We talked about impact investing and ESG, and to what extent this can be a trigger for proptech development.
Unissu founder James Dearsley's presentation focused on the results of a recent survey conducted by Cherry Pick People on the attitudes of real estate innovators. He brought in very interesting aspects of what changes there will be and how to react to them, how we can prepare as a company and as employees for the challenges ahead. What kind of people should a real estate company employ in order to respond to changes.
In his opening speech, Zoltán Kalmár emphasized that in most cases it is induced by the tenants, that the demand for a specific technology to be introduced can come from them. The same was the case with green certifications and sustainable certificates (Breeam, leed, well), which are now almost mandatory for all developments, but this was not always the case. The real estate market is an investor's market, i.e. if something is worth it financially, you build it. Many technologies have serious initial costs and pay off only in the medium or long term, which is the biggest problem with the industry.
Smart buildings powered by artificial intelligence are no longer so far away, the MOL headquarters presented at the conference is aiming for no less laurels than being Hungary's first really smart office building. The conference also discussed the latest trends, the rise of BIM, how it could be used effectively even in operations, building automation, shared solutions, monitoring with sensors and their potential areas of application. And of course, the hit topic could not be left out either: the raison d'être of the Metaverse.
At the end of the event, the announcement of the results of the Proptech Startup Program organized jointly with Hiventures was also held, where the three finalists were announced. The Green Estate and Otthonefújítók teams also made it to the finals, but the winner was Inside 5D, founded by Péter Molnár.