CEO comment: The three main issues currently facing the property industry
The property industry is constantly evolving, with objectives and pressure points ever changing. At the moment, I think there are three main issues that are currently key to how things will develop.
- I talked about the globalisation of the property industry and the impact this is having on the services we offer in my previous blog. But this really is a significant development. We are not just seeing portfolios develop across different countries and territories but also a growth in global service providers – many of which we support with our solutions.
- Sustainability is becoming ever more important. At a staff conference we held last year, we invited some industry experts to participate in a panel discussion. One of the speakers explained how PwC sought to attract graduate recruits by making its head office the greenest building in Europe. He also explained that real estate software is going to have to cope with these changing objectives by providing the data and reports to make the sustainability improvements they seek and comply with regulatory requirements in this area. We feel our software solutions are well equipped to do this.
- The future of work was another interesting topic covered at this conference. Over the last few years, the way we work has changed dramatically with a notable rise in the popularity of mobile devices having a particularly significant impact recently.
To keep in touch with the latest developments, I attended a two-day conference on this very topic at Pembroke College. While there is some debate about exactly how this will continue to evolve, there is little doubt that – as ever – technology will be absolutely key to workplace changes in the future. This is where we feel the innovative nature of our solutions and our constant quest for improvement – along with their ability to save businesses using them both time and money – will continue to be in demand across the industry.
Research we conducted at the back-end of 2013 in conjunction with Property Week seemed to support this viewpoint. Nearly three-quarters of occupiers and around four in five investors and managing agents either said they had already invested or planned to invest in new technology and software. These figures display a clear recognition within the industry of the clear value that property software can add.
Workplace and facility managers are under increasing pressure to provide a workplace that attracts top performers and improves staff motivation, effectiveness and retention. Balancing this with the need to continually add value to your corporation and reduce costs is the ultimate goal.
Online shopping is an ever-growing threat to physical real estates in the high street. As a consequence, retail investors face the new challenge of encouraging customers to get out of the house and visit their venues rather than spending their money online.