Can Data Collaboration Help the Real Estate and Retail Industry Discover More Resilient Business Models?

It was a bright and early start for the team and our panelists across Southeast Asia yesterday as we got together to discuss how the real estate and retail industry can better weather the challenges facing the industry through data collaboration and exploring new business models that looks at data across the real estate value chain.

With an ideal framework of how data collaboration could look like and how outperforming firms allocate investment spend, we dived into case studies from last year’s AIBP Enterprise Innovation Award Winner from the Philippines, Aboitiz Equity Ventures and from Far Eastern Departmental Store. Both conglomerates had identified their digital transformation roadmap and clearly defined the outcome they would like to achieve, and as such, each had digital projects which have helped their companies be more resilient in this climate and mitigate the downturn and lockdown better than its peers.

These examples helped guide the participants into a discussion of how they could unlock value in property and retail developments and below are some of the topics that were covered:

How do I establish data ownership, digital platform frameworks and partnership models?

Van Tang, Director, APAC Head of Business Development & International Partnerships from Hitachi started off the open discussion by looking at a framework of looking at data collaboration through the goal of increasing happiness in the city. With government services becoming more digital, developers across the regions have the unprecedented opportunity to build upon that and correlate the large data pool they collect to partner with tenants and residents to develop new services.

Van mentioned that developers should not just look at large players but also nurturing the ecosystem for small companies, similar to what Filinvest is doing with f(dev). Similarly, Pak Freddy from Lippo Kawaraci said that they are partnering with Tokopedia and Grab to deliver new digital services for their users.

However, these collaborations do not come easy. As identified by Pak Hendra from Smartfren, it is not easy to get data even within the Sinarmas Group. At CP Group, K. Vasan shared that the CP Group companies have a unified cloud data platform operated by True and they have structured their innovation and ecosystem to deliver on their 6 pillars of digital transformation to guide them in this journey.

How do I prioritize digital services and technologies?

For Hung Thinh, Tommy shared that as one of the top 3 real estate developers in Vietnam, they are looking at utilizing technology like AI to build a competitive advantage for the firm.

Similarly, JP from Filinvest said that technologies that can help to make their tenants/ residents lives better is their priority and it need not be complicated. Citing an example of how they have made transactions for their tenants paperless, technologies that deliver value to the end user should not be ignored.

Aileen Neoh from Aecus Asia also shared that digital services can look at both creating new revenues and a reducing cost. Some of the real estate developers she is working with have realised the need for digitalization with this COVID19 crisis due to the lack of line of sight and with increasing operation costs, technologies could help to bring down cost and better the bottom lines for these companies.

How do I align my digital transformation roadmap to my EPC cycle?

Digital transformation for the real estate value chain should look at developing new type of data driven services which could range from looking at food safety for CP Group to collaborating with tenants to define the requirements of the infrastructure.

For EEI, Sir Bobby Castillo mentioned that it was because of the use of digital plans, EEI was able to build 3 COVID 19 health facilities for Philippines rapidly for the community. If information was available throughout the real estate life cycle, companies would be able to access information for facilities management, supply chain, user experience – thereby contributing to greater shared value for all the stakeholders.

How do I identify high-value digital services and technology portfolio that can scale across my assets?

By looking at the desired outcome, Aboitiz Land was able to work with the innovation team led by Sir Jojo to digitize the traditional real estate transaction which relied on face to face interaction and paper document to offer an online sales channel and as a result, their sales has been less impacted.

What are the metrics for driving future digital innovation in the built environment?

Pak Hendra from Smartfren mentioned an interesting metric for telcos previously – they used to be measured by customer acquisition, numbers, volume but now the focus is to deeper customer relationship and increase the relevance of data for customers.

Similar to how banks are no longer measured by the number of new branches, the new metrics for digital innovation in the built environment would likely be based on how well real estate stakeholder can create new human-centred urban services for all the stakeholders.

To sum up, Arnel from AECOM shared that for data collaboration to deliver a new business model for the real estate value chain, stakeholders need to have a very clear vision from the get go and it will be this clarity of vision that will ultimately bring together all parties and partners.

Missed out on the discussion? Watch the session here.

Asia IoT Business Platform

22 May 2020

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