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by Ákos Budai | Report

The key obstacles in the way of technological advancement in the property business are the lack of collaboration and transparency. Property Forum visited the International Property Technology Summit in Moscow, Russia.

The first panel discussion of the summit brought together proptech experts from different parts of the world. The moderator of the discussion, Mark Grinis, Global Real Estate, Hospitality & Construction Leader at EY, underlined that the real estate industry is the one that uses Excel the most, so there is definitely a need to step it up. One of the fields that can benefit the most from proptech is construction. Major international construction companies have state of the art systems, but smaller companies are not very technologically savvy. So naturally, that is an area where we can see dramatic innovation.
Real estate is not linear, it`s exponential
Mr. Grinis also talked about a conflict that is appearing more and more often between tenants and developers. A developer, which is building a new 90,000+ sqm (1 million sq ft) headquarters for EY in New York, wanted the firm to sign a 20-30 years long lease. EY as a tenant, however, would prefer to sign for a much shorter period (1 or 5 years), because with these current disruptions it is impossible to predict the spatial needs of a company that far along in the future. This is a conflict that needs to be solved, he concluded.
Photo: EY


The fact that companies are no longer willing to commit to long leases increases demand for temporary spaces, added Ivan Nokhrin from PropTech Russia. He believes that tech start-ups are creating a new paradigm where there are no borders in business anymore. The current exponential development of technology, however, means that many professionals will lose their jobs within the next 20 years, so we need to figure out new ways for the use of the human capital that can be replaced by technology.
Panel members agreed that the key obstacles in the way of technological advancement are the lack of collaboration and transparency. People need to work together in order to share to data, emphasised Anna Walkowska, the Founder of PropTech Poland and ProperGate, who believes that more shared data leads to increased transparency.