Increasingly, innovative ideas are coming into all facets of real estate—development, investment, marketing, leasing and even advisory—all reflecting the realities of today.
Real estate is the largest asset class in the world said to be worth more than all the stocks and bonds combined. Experts say that, in the last three years, there has been an increased interest in PropTech and other innovations.
Experts and chief executives in the industry recognize the impact of innovation and are progressively adopting digital solutions for their organizations, believing that it is innovation that will drive the needed change in the industry.
“It is common knowledge that innovation has changed the way business is done in the 21st century and there is no doubt that real estate has benefited from improved efficiencies,” Udo Okonjo, CEO, Fine and Country West Africa, confirmed to BusinessDay.
Okonjo said that, given the days of online listings, virtual tours, and e-signing, there has been a significant shift in how things are currently done. With the move towards mobile, emphasis has shifted from efficiency to another dimension.
“Not only are paperless transactions the norm, but mobile-centric technology has essentially transformed the landscape. Access to information, customer expectations, and client service are more different now than they were 5-10 years ago. And there are more changes to come,” she said.
She quoted Alan Watts as saying, some time ago, that “to resist change, to try to cling to life, is like holding your breath: if you persist you kill yourself”.
Okonjo is of the view that with little resistance to change, there are many lessons to be learned, adding that it is of concern that real estate practitioners will sometimes have trouble unlearning old methods and relearning.
She cited instance of mobile business transactions which are not just a new way to conduct business, but a fundamental change in the way things are done.
“It will be hard to find a real estate enthusiast today without a smartphone and a tablet but the new mobile world is filled with apps and capabilities that may be as impactful as the internet itself,” she said.
According to her, “real estate users and owners are faced with challenges that digital enablers and innovations may provide the answer; a clear approach to these challenges will be to redefine the companies; financial, business and operating models in order to embrace innovation and becoming more digital.”
She said that these and other disruptive strategies would be discussed at the Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking in Real Estate which is a 3-day programme organized by Lagos Business School in collaboration with Fine and Country West Africa October 15 to 17, 2019.
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