Tenant Experience to influence proptech adoption over the next five years
Cushman & Wakefield, a leading global real estate services firm, has today published The Proptech Top 5 for Asia Pacific Asset Services report – their 2019 survey of over 100 clients across Asia Pacific on their sentiments towards proptech. The respondents include office asset managers, development managers, leasing managers and technology specialists across the region including Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The report identified chatbots and real-time occupancy portals as the most desired technology solutions being able to drive proptech adoption, placing tenant experience firmly at front of mind.
Chatbots present a game-changing opportunity to reduce costs for helpdesks amidst increasing call volumes and to enhance customer experience. The transformation of tenant portals will offer greater value by providing real-time data, connecting workers from different companies within buildings or landlord’s portfolio of buildings, and driving new revenue streams.
“Drone technology is increasingly being adopted by the commercial real estate sector, specifically for use in building inspections to improve safety. It has become increasingly common for drones to perform roof and cladding inspections which otherwise would expose personnel to fall-from-height risk and prolonged exposure to outdoor environments, both of which are significant concerns across the Asia Pacific region.”
The respondents were also asked to rank the top five drivers for investing in proptech and their top five concerns around using proptech. Operational efficiency and improved capital growth emerged as top drivers for proptech adoption, while the high costs of implementation and uncertainty over return on investment are the top concerns.
“In recognition of the need for chatbot services, Cushman & Wakefield Services in Singapore has developed Chatbot technology to manage high-frequency/fast-resolution service calls. Benefits of the service include reduction in human error, increased efficiency and removing bias from customer service interactions. Further developments of this service are underway to work through logical self-check questions before work orders are raised.”
Dr Dominic Brown, Head of Insight & Analysis, Asia Pacific said “The survey results show that companies are currently focused on mitigating costs to drive improved financial performance of the asset. Landlords are clearly directing their core focus on efficiency and an asset’s capital growth prospects. However, the respondents to our survey have indicated a shift in focus to improving the quality of the workplace experience over the next five years.”
The report said that it is not surprising that the main drivers of proptech adoption are financially oriented, and that lndlords are clearly directing their core focus on efficiency and the asset’s capital growth prospects. These internal drivers produce positive benefits in the short-term, helping improve annual financial performance and so suit the current investment climate. The report suggested that his approach however, will need to change, because while operational costs will remain under the microscope, a wider viewpoint also needs to be taken – that of the tenant.
“Going forward, proptech will be used to drive tenant experience. A smart building can drive operational performance but it can also enhance human experience. Without tenants, a building as an asset will perform poorly, regardless of how operationally efficient it may be, or the amount of capital growth targeted. This change is already being recognised, with tenant experience a top-three driver. As operational efficiency increasingly comes under control, we expect the next wave of proptech to focus on satisfying the future needs of the occupier, wherever and however they choose to work.”
Cushman & Wakefield said that the overarching opportunity in proptech adoption is to generate data-driven reporting more quickly, which in turn will facilitate more insightful decision making.
Doing this will link the building to the corporate occupier and ultimately to the asset’s financial performance in a clearer, more systematic way.
“Surprisingly, respondents told us there is comparatively little concern around security, privacy or the complexity of the task at hand. Undoubtedly data encryption and storage have become increasingly secure, though data breaches remain a regular part of the media cycle.
“Lesser concerns on security risk may result from the perceived lack of value in the data to potential hackers. However, we argue the focus should be on securing access to a building’s management system rather than the actual data it logs.”
The Asia Pacific region is uniquely placed to adopt and harness the power of proptech. More than half, 62 per cent of the world’s millennials reside in Asia Pacific. There are in excess of one billion smartphone users in China and India alone, while smartphone penetration is as high as 69% in Australia. These drivers, together with a governmental desire to create leading edge smart cities generate a powerful force for change, which will drive the proptech adoption rates in the region.
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