The real estate industry appears to have reached a turning point. This time, I am not (just) talking about proptech. Slowly but surely, there has been a big shift away from traditional asset management and towards ’the service of real estate’.
Historically, real estate players only competed with each other. The immense investments required to build up a significant portfolio were effective barriers to entry. Now, as the lines between real estate and tech blur, a threat is emerging. Tech mammoths are showing a keen interest in the physical space – just think of Google’s smart city project in Toronto or Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. Investors, owners and stakeholders cannot afford to be complacent about their business models. They must endeavour to get ahead of the curve – not just to stave off competition from their peers and protect their returns, but to ward off cannibalisation from hitherto inconceivable new entrants. Investing in the service of real estate is the correct way forward, but more stakeholders need to deploy more capital into it. Angelica Donati is chief executive of Donati Immobiliare Group Source
Property companies cannot afford to be complacent about their business model”