• Robert Marten

How Covid-19 is impacting real estate and how innovation and technology will be a game changer.

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

As Covid-19 has forced business’ to work remotely, many real estate companies have found themselves ill-equipped as they are still dependent on paper based processes.

We caught up with Bernie Devine, Regional Director Asia Pacific of Yardi to find out how Covid-19 is impacting real estate and how innovation and technology will be a game changer.

In a nutshell, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and Yardi.

I am a CPA from Australia and I have been working at the intersection of people, process and property for 40 years and continue to learn new stuff every day. Aligning organisations, their processes and their systems around core objectives is what I do.

Yardi brings process to real estate. By having your teams use our systems to do their jobs we help you to get consistent results and capture the data you need to make better decisions.

How has Covid-19 impacted real estate? How is the industry responding?

It’s having lots of impact. Folks have just found out that they still have paper based processes that don’t work when you work remotely. Organisations have also figured out that their forecasting tools are not as good as they need to be. They are not real time and not flexible in accommodating unexpected changes.

Logistics, retail and office use patterns and needs will change forever. Business Continuity plans are being rewritten as they need to accommodate a situation where everyone is remote. Leasing deals are being restructured and asset managers are learning new math.

Is the property industry embracing digital transformation?

Slowly and in small bites. Many in the industry don’t really understand enterprise architecture so there are many disconnected and nonaligned activities. Some are getting it right. Some have lessons to learn about process automation. Processes need to get smarter before buildings can.

How does the Asia Pacific Region compare to the rest of the world when it comes to innovation and technology in property?

China leads innovation in real estate globally with many new and different approaches. However, front end apps are not always connected to back end processes so things can get a little hectic. Government support for innovation and ESR drives a lot of what happens and China does more than most.

How can the real estate industry leverage AI and machine learning?

The key is to find data and AI that are a match. Not all AI engines and data sets are the same. AI is growing up but needs to mature a lot more. We’re seeing AI create value in FM, Retail operations and Logistics. Part of the problem is that so many companies still have manual processes with no data so AI cannot add value.

You can find out more about Yardi by visiting their website


Yardi are networking sponsors at BWT Asia which is taking place on 23 September 2020 - join space+ to attend

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