There are no industries that can avoid the adjustment to become more data-driven to meet the demands of the consumers in the future. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your commercial organization implements data-driven real estate decision-making to help drive innovation and effectiveness. There are several areas where digitalization is critical for most real estate businesses:

  • Adapt the business in line with the fast-changing needs of the tenants
  • Increase focus on being able to drive Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance
  • Data-driven real estate can lower operational costs
  • Increase the value of your buildings

Real estate stakeholders will need to find different ways to collaborate to generate these digital benefits. Real estate players should recognize that digitization means integration and networking instead of discussing who must pay for technical enablement and what data belongs to whom. Success in big data will come with breaking up existing data silos that are the foundation to transforming into a data-driven real estate business. 

Decision-making based on combined data from inside and outside the building (technical, tenancy, service, and market-level) provided by different stakeholders will create a competitive edge. A “digital twin” of the real estate asset that encompasses all the benefits outlined above (and more) must use a collaborative platform to ensure acceptance of the data, transparency, and mutual involvement. In short, tenants, investors, and services must be strategic partners in the future.

The key to success is implementing an IT infrastructure that will enable the business to develop data-driven real estate applications based on business needs quickly. We call this type of platform a Property Operating System.

Challenges to master to become a data-driven real estate business

It is not only enough to implement a solution for Property Operating System. To become a truly data driven real estate business, several other challenges need to be mastered. A deeper understanding of the challenges you need to overcome is the foundation for moving forward and taking the proper steps and investments toward building a long-term solution that can scale efficiently in line with the business needs. We have divided them into the following areas:

  • Connectivity and data availability
  • A structured agile process for development together with the business
  • Driving speed and lower cost

Connectivity and data availability based on a Property Operating System

Without the ability to easily connect and make data available in a cost-effective way, you will never succeed in your strive to become a data-driven real estate business. This is where the Property Operating System comes into play.

To connect quickly and make data available, there is a need for a common language that will make it easier for real estate owners to describe the data of interaction within the buildings that they operate – as well as the management, storage, and sharing of this data. Having the shared language that these data schemas provide enables property owners to connect their buildings with new services on a large scale and not worry about building- or technology-specific implementation details and formats.

​An ontology adapted to the industry needs makes it easier to implement a Property Operating System platform that makes it possible to gather data from all data sources. This is what we refer to as an industry-adapted integration platform. The integration platform will make it possible to easily connect all data sources from all buildings and integrate the data in one common place where it can be used for analysis or development of applications.  

An agile process is key to become a data-driven real estate business

A common approach to modern software development is that you set up cross functional teams with representatives from the business and the IT side of the organization that work together. The team drives an iterative process where the application will be built and tested in small steps and then enhanced over time depending on new or changing business needs. 

To be able to drive the development and innovation process based on this philosophy, access to a platform that makes it possible is needed.

It often takes more time to understand the business needs than to develop the functionality when you are up to speed. 

With an agile process in place, it will be easier to develop and maintain applications for your data-driven real estate organization.

Speed up and lower cost in a data-driven real estate business

If you master the challenges just mentioned above, you will be able to drive speed and develop new applications cost-effectively. But to really master the challenge of speed and cost over time you also need to consider how you can buy standard applications that are able to be adapted according to your needs. You should also potentially want to get access to applications from an industry ecosystem that is willing to share applications with each other.

The buyer’s guide for a Property Operating System

Without a Property Operating System solution in place, data access will always be a limiting factor for your possibility to become a data-driven commercial real estate owner.

If you want to get a better understanding of what you should expect from a Property Operating System, we have developed a guide that we encourage you to download. – “The buyers’ guide for integration platforms for the real estate industry

Dr. Erik Wallin

Chief Ecosystem Officer, and founder of ProptechOS and RealEstateCore is recognized as a leader in Building Operating Systems (BOS) and making the buildings of the world smarter. He holds an MSc and a Ph.D. in Media and Computer Science from KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Read his full bio and information here.