Proptech: Why technology must be part of your company strategy
Most of the firms are now seeing the importance of innovating and digitalizing various aspects of their business to better serve clients and to improve productivity and efficiency.
With the increasing ubiquity of the digital economy, many of us are now “cyber-consumers” who demand quick, reliable and intuitive service with a touch of an app. The disruptive force of technology (“tech”) must not be undermined as lines continue to blur between the tech industry and others.
There’s no question: Tech needs to be a big part of your strategy going forward. In fact, many firms are looking to become a tech company and we are now seeing the importance of innovating and digitalizing various aspects of our business to better serve our clients, and improve productivity and efficiency.
Property meets technology
Even in a traditional sector like real estate, technology is not only transforming the way we use our spaces, but also, the way we carry our transactions, operations and management. Proptech—or technology used to solve real estate problems—is not just a buzzword, but a new and relevant way of doing business, much like how fintech is disrupting and growing in the financial sector.
As a leading real estate player, we understand the importance of technology. “JLL takes an agile approach to technology that will allow us to meet our clients’ needs today while preparing for the opportunities of tomorrow,” says Anthony Couse, Chief Executive Officer, JLL Asia Pacific, adding that Smart buildings, Internet of Things and Big Data are just some of the innovations taking the lead in reshaping the landscape of the industry.
It is essential that all of us take the right steps in preparation to ride the tech wave. Let’s take a look at how JLL approached this:
1. Develop the right solutions
We have developed a number of industry changing technology applications to support the three main ways we serve our clients: analyzing, managing and transacting real estate. These fit-for-purpose solutions allow clients to make better and faster decisions about their real estate.
They include RED, a data and insights platform we created specifically for corporate real estate; VR 360, a virtual reality service that gives clients the ability to watch their sites at every stage of development; and an online marketplace called dichandadang for finding office space in China.
2. Invest in the right talent
Building up our technology capability means acquiring the best knowledge and talent in the industry.
JLL has made strategic investments in that direction, such as the acquisition of BRG, a workplace technology consulting firm, which has since evolved to be an integral part of JLL’s service set known as JLL Technology Solutions. This global team offers clients end-to-end real estate technology capabilities to help them drive better business outcomes by advising, building and managing the right tools and systems.
In Asia, JLL India launched its India technology investment arm last year and invested in two Indian start-ups: Foyr.com, which uses virtual reality and augmented reality to facilitate the customization of interiors; and Cloud 1 Enterprises, a cloud based platform to help companies provide safe and secure transportation for their employees.
3. Engage in the tech space
JLL Asia Pacific recently hosted a proptech panel discussion as part of tech event Tech in Asia Singapore where the session was shared live on JLL’s Facebook as we wanted both our internal staff and external audience to be part of the conversation.
This is our way of hearing what others have to say about proptech developments in the region and connecting with the tech community while keeping abreast with new ideas and innovations.
The potential of technology is tremendous. While there might be fears about how it can disrupt and upend the business, why not see it as an opportunity to put your firm in the driver’s seat and use technology to the advantage of your business activities?