Various industries have been disrupted by technology and the speed of these disruptions is growing exponentially especially after it was triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Pundits say that the current pandemic has exacerbated technology disruption as each transformation usually happens slowly over time, as people get more contented with the technology.
New realities are forcing the workforce to utilize and quickly iterate and adapt to new technology to have any semblance of productivity. Technology is quickly emerging and shaping the future of the real estate and the world coping with the pandemic is fuelling the mass adoption of many new technologies.
Awareness and forward thinking will be vital in strategy and the approach to certain aspects of the ever-evolving real estate environment. Covid-19 triggered innovations have created an ecosystem for rapid advances, disruption, and the changes of old approaches and systems.
Mwenda Thuranira, the CEO of Myspace Properties, said, “Technology has transformed the property sector in the region and more transformation in the sector should be expected especially after Covid-19 triggered changes in every sector. The virus is a humanitarian challenge that has transformed the way we live and perceive the world. Property Developers and other stakeholders will face potential long-term effects brought by the pandemic, including large-scale technology adoption, changing consumer patterns, and more. Restricted business travel, conferencing, and increasing dependency on digital interaction and video conferencing are gaining preference, transforming the real estate sector.”
Technology has developed exponentially, and the speed at which reliable and stable industries are disrupted is irrefutable therefore, the industry is compelled to reflect, review and reconsider business strategies to gear up for the changes that come with technology catalysed by the pandemic. Rental and commercial chains have been affected in the long run with low transaction volumes and increasing work from the home culture in one fell swoop.
The Covid-19 pandemic triggered an unparalleled wave of tech adoption for businesses across all industries, the country, as well as around the world – as employees and consultants worked remotely and connected with their team and customers virtually.
While much of the technology that was adopted was not ‘new,’ it was just not yet implemented by many of the businesses that were transformed by the pandemic. Necessity being the mother of technology adoption, the real estate sector is going through an evolution right now with the tech providers have not been left behind as they have stepped up to the plate to shape the industry.
“Covid-19 accelerated the growth of technology in real estate with smart building and sustainable technology being the most largely adopted modernisations to date. It might therefore be said that what drives technology adoption are major events whether a pandemic, terrorist attack, hurricane, wildfire, cybersecurity incursion, etc. and these events have significantly more impact on advancing adoption than the announcement or roll-out of a cool new technology that generates worldwide trend. While the adoption of new methods and technologies are accelerated during disruption, the proven value and reliability of these solutions typically continue, expand and improve as we believe will be the security case,” says Mwenda.
The high-tech risk has affected the real estate sector in Kenya it being at the forefront of this disruption. The pundits who are anticipating these disruptions and building technological risk mitigation into their current and future business models will inherently become more risk-averse, effectively creating opportunities by positioning their firms to adapt when this inevitably occurs.
More prominently, it is improving green or sustainable construction as property developers are building structures and add-ons that make a smart and innovative home. A technology-based solution aims to build environmentally friendly properties using durable, cost-effective, and safer materials for the health of future tenants.
Mwenda Thuranira said, “The number of organizations across different sectors embracing emerging technologies like the internet of things (IoT) will continue to grow due to the immense capabilities the technology is having in operations of institutions. Many business executives and managers have assessed and accepted the increased awareness IoT create to the security and efficient running of their businesses.”
Technology has transformed the workplace design and infrastructure as the corporate world is reinventing itself to facilitate hybrid workforces, design, and functions of the office to adapt to the recent changes.
New workplaces will have to support a greater range of hybrid and work-from-anywhere models, requiring fully-fledged digital connectivity and infrastructure with the capacity to adjust to new technologies, from internet of things connectivity to 5G. This will place a much stronger spotlight on the digital capabilities of buildings; for example, as measured by their WiredScore rating.
The physical design of workplaces within buildings will also need to adjust to accommodate a variety of flexible functions.
Myspace Property CEO said that flexible space is one of the key drivers in the adoption of technology by the real estate sector. Availing flexible preferences to enable work-from-anywhere policies will be a significant constituent of supporting hybrid workforces.
The speedy growth in co-working providers and space was slowing even before the virus, and the landscape is likely to shift further as institutional property owners increasingly offer their flex space services to meet this demand.
Ms. Catherine Murache, Human Resource Manager of MyTown, said, “new ways of working will provide a unique challenge for organizations that need to spur efficiency, talent retention, and co-operation across disseminated teams. Adopting these innovations will necessitate an in-depth comprehension of how workstations are being utilized, which will help to inform strategic decisions around portfolio optimization, as well as the planning and organizing of workstations. This will need technology such as occupancy sensors and IoT devices for monitoring how space is being utilized, yard sticking this information, and communicating key insights in an accessible manner.
An improved comprehension of how workstation is being exploited also enables automated and predictive facilities management – for instance, sensors can track when a space has been vacated, triggering an automated cleaning order, while predictive systems can order new supplies before they run low based on previous usage history.”