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Three ways technology will transform the real estate business

To most people, property or real estate means residential, or the housing market.

Property prices have gone up for many more years than they have gone down, so we can all be forgiven for thinking that real estate investment is not too difficult.

However, investing serious sums of money in real estate - which is what our pension providers have to do - is extremely challenging. We should remember 2006-9, whena housing crash in the USbrought down parts of the banking system and infected the commercial property market and, with it, our savings. Interest rates have never been the same since – good for some, but bad for savers.

Investment means putting money at risk in the expectation of earning an income and, hopefully, a capital gain. While such professional investment activity on behalf of our pension plans increasingly will include large-scale rental housing developments, the vast majority of this money is invested in office towers, shopping centres and industrial parks. And to suggest that these sectors are challenging would be something of an understatement.

The reason for this is not Covid-19, which will hopefully be behind us in a short while, but technology, whose impact largely lies ahead.

'PropTech', as the property technology sector is known, has affected and will continue to affect real estate markets in three ways:

  • First, the way buildings aredeveloped and operated受数据流的增加(例如,来自传感器),该数据将用于优化建筑物的设计和性能。
  • Second, the way buildings are占据已经改变;得益于支持空间共享的技术(想想Airbnb或Wework),办公楼将变得更像酒店。
  • Finally, technologists are trying very hard to change the way buildings areowned.

1. Buildings as better products

First, buildings have to be better products - more energy efficient, more productive and (if occupied by human beings) more healthy.

Ahigh proportion of emissions comes from buildings, and carbon neutrality by 2030 requires action now.

更多的数据描述建筑性能的方式rm will be available to managers. Increasingly carbon-conscious tenants will be armed with feedback platforms and need to be treated as discerning customers.

Working from home is possible, albeit sub-optimal, so offices have to compete.

2. Flexible leases

其次,租赁缩短了 - 旧25年的办公室租赁现在更有可能是5或10。更短,更“灵活”的租赁再次对客户意味着更多的权力。

我们可以期望看到更多的所有者 - 经营者房东,其特征是学生住房和多户住宅居民区,作为共同工作和共同生活的运营商与传统的财产所有人合并,共同创建,拥有和运营Multii Multi,- 可利用,节能,灵活的空间。

3. Digital ownership

Third, digital ownership is an irresistible challenge to many innovators, and加密货币世界鼓励他们考虑如何现代化房地产市场。


Property is highly illiquid. It is expensive to trade, there is a large risk of abortive expenditure, and the result can be a very wide bid/offer spread (a gap between what buyers will offer and sellers will accept).



Through wise reflection on what went wrong in 2006-9, coupled with sensible innovation, intelligent risk-averse professionals will strive to achieve reasonably diversified, not very liquid property portfolios which deliver something close to pure property-style returns, replicating the return on a property index without too much specific risk, thereby offering diversification against stocks and bonds and good and steady real returns in the long run. Others will continue to strive to ‘shoot the lights out’.

All of them will be driven by technology, and in particular by platforms that help them to know their customer. We wish them all success.

David Hartzell和Andrew Baum的第二版《房地产投资:策略,结构,决策》,可从Amazonor direct fromWiley.

The book and research provides the basis of theOxford Future of Real Estate Programme, led by Professor Baum, Oxford Saïd faculty and leading industry experts.

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