The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a surge in adoption of information systems by real estate companies in Asia, according to a proptech study released today by Mingtiandi.com, the region’s leading property news source.
Nearly three-quarters of the real estate professionals surveyed for the study said their firms were either reviewing or considering launching a formal review of their use of information systems in response to the public health crisis. And that rethinking is already being translated into action, with 60 percent of respondents saying their companies are implementing new technology or enhancing the use of existing systems.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not only highlighted vulnerabilities in existing business processes, but has also given real estate developers and investors in Asia fresh incentives to adopt online systems which are central to the proptech evolution,” said Mingtiandi founder Michael Cole, who authored the study.
The results of the study, which marks one of the few independent quantified surveys of proptech in the region, have been summarised in “Tech Adoption in Asian Real Estate: The Pandemic Drives Innovation”, a report launched today in an online event hosted on Mingtiandi’s MTD TV online video channel.
Asia Catches Up in Proptech
By following up on a 2017 proptech survey by Mingtiandi, the report was able to track changes both in adoption of systems and of attitudes among real estate professionals in the region, with a major shift taking place in perceptions of how Asia’s technology adoption compares with that of Western nations.
Across the region, 30 percent of respondents to the survey saw Asia leading the way in adopting real estate technology, compared with just 12 percent three years ago. Professionals residing in mainland China, where local tech giants have been rapidly growing in scale, were the least likely to see Asia as lagging behind other regions, with only 6 percent of respondents based in the country saying the region is trailing the West.
“The rapid growth in the scale of the real estate market, combined with ongoing improvements in tech systems, has been leading decision-makers in Asia to move more of their business processes online,” Cole said. “The advantages in managing data, and increasing competition among real estate developers and investors in the region, have pushed aside much of the traditional resistance to adopting new systems.”
Tracking a Growing Asset Class
During the launch event, Mingtiandi’s founder was joined by Bernie Devine, regional director for Yardi, which sponsored the survey and the report. Devine sees the increase in proptech adoption as driven in part by the growing importance of real estate as an asset class in the portfolios of institutional investors.
“Institutions that are investing with the indexes are used to real-time data from equities and other markets, and they want the same in real estate,” he said.
Also helping to introduce the report were Claire Cormier-Thielke, managing director for Asia Pacific with US developer Hines, and her colleague, innovation officer Charlie Kuntz. Cormier-Thielke saw the extensive use of WeChat and other apps in Asia as changing the ways that office workers interact with their workplaces, and with each other.
“What we’ve seen here in Asia, with a building entry experience that includes both a human experience and interaction and a technological interaction, it’s moved over to the West for sure and has been accelerated by COVID but is very much part of the DNA here in Asia,” Cormier-Thielke said. “Tenants expect it, and so it certainly continues to push us.”
“Tech Adoption in Asian Real Estate: The Pandemic Drives Innovation” is available for download at Mingtiandi.com and is based on survey responses from 180 professionals from among Mingtiandi’s online audience.
The survey was conducted in August 2020 and was supported by in-depth interviews with industry leaders from Beike, ESR, GLP, Hines, JLL, KPMG, Savills, Taronga Ventures and more.
Mingtiandi is the independent source for Asia real estate intelligence. The company’s daily updated coverage of the region’s major property investors, publicly listed real estate developers and market transactions now helps more than 6,000 unique visitors every day to make better-informed decisions and gain an edge over the competition.
Since beginning daily distribution in 2012, Mingtiandi’s list of newsletter subscribers has grown to more than 10,000 leading decision-makers from companies such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and more.