‘Technology is taking over real estate’
Aakash Ravi, Co Founder & Chief Business Officer, Spaceti
Even the most traditional property companies are changing their business models and strategic focus to include technology and data analytics, Aakash Ravi, Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, Spaceti, told Real Estate Day.
‘This is the trajectory the industry is following,’ he said. ‘Every event I come to, it seems that technology takes up a bigger amount of the space and the trade shows and the traditional real estate takes up a smaller and smaller amount, which is really interesting to see’.
The technology company he has co-founded has mirrored the sector’s growth, Ravi said: ‘In the last year we have expanded to 15 different countries, beyond our European base, to North America and also to Asia. We have signed on some very large clients and partners, such as Invesco from a landlord’s perspective and Vodafone, MSD and Sodexo from a tenants’ perspective’.
Spaceti has also started working with more of the agencies like CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield to bring technology and data analytics into how they consult and help their clients.
The growing importance of technology is one big trend in real estate. Another big trend is a focus on human-centric and sustainable buildings and cities. The two go hand in hand, Ravi said: ‘I think the whole smart cities aspect, connecting people with their environments in a more technologically driven manner is bringing many different components together in a very interesting way’.
It is part of a wider re-thinking of how people interact with space, he said: ‘If you look at companies like WeWork, they’ve now rebranded into the We company and they’ve launched WeLive and they’re expanding not just into office spaces but also into residential and education. The idea is that you don’t go work or live or learn in single separate spaces, but you can combine that all together in one place and be really connected to the community and the city as a whole. Belonging to a community, feeling like you’re part of something, is a big part of wellness’.
Human well-being and environmental awareness also go together. ‘Unfortunately we’ve seen global warming and air pollution in cities worldwide, so there’s a bigger focus on sustainability and more tests being done on air quality,’ Ravi said. ‘Studies are being done on sick building syndrome, where people get negative long-term health effects from spending too much time in buildings that are not optimized for human health’.
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