The Future of Real Estate: "Smart Cities" Will Require Smart Development


14 March 2018

A hot new topic emerged among real estate investors at this year’s MIPIM industry event in Cannes: What will urban life be like in 2030 or 2050? Specifically, what impact will the influx of technology have upon the places where we live and work (and invest)?

By 2030, fully two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. The good news is that the real estate industry will be driving this transformation and can add lots of value to this change.

Embracing technology will be key for future urban planners. Smart homes and offices must align to the way we live and use personal devices. And in ‘smart cities’ new technologies will be used increasingly for solving civic problems like organizing infrastructure, running services – even managing fleets of self-driving cars. Plus, new challenges to housing standards will rise as people expect their homes to be smart.

Similar to planners, the developers of tomorrow’s cities will also need to embrace and employ all the technological tools available to the industry, to manage incredibly complex deals, sought after by a growing pool of international investors – all in an increasingly competitive environment. A real estate company’s profitability – even survival – will depend on the speed, accuracy and security through which principals find and execute on every deal. Financial technology will not but a luxury, it will be a necessity to find the right deals and optimize value.

Currently, real estate is still largely an "analog" industry. The big question hanging in the air: Is this business ready to accept the demand for digital solutions and handle personal data securely? Even if the answer is yes, are we really sure the industry is implementing all necessary aspects of data security and connectivity?

It will be interesting to see how these conversations play out in 2018...

Read a related article, The Investment Market is on a Roll. The Stakes are High.

See how my own company is driving digital transformation in the Real Estate space.