Post-COVID adaptation: Nordic real estate investing in technologies like IoT

In a February 2021 report commissioned by Telia and produced by Boston-headquartered international management consulting firm Arthur D Little, Nordic real estate industry chiefs were warned about the negative competitive effects of failing to invest in smart building technologies.

Nordics and Baltics – digitalization of buildings: IoT and data insights are transforming buildings, which caught the attention of several real estate owners. The challenges posed by Covid-19 could bring cut-throat competition in the industry.

The generation of greater efficiencies through digitization has been urged in the report.

“Although Covid-19 has put the real estate industry in the spotlight, the challenges existed before the pandemic began. Increasing urbanisation, environmental awareness, and the ever-growing digital demands of tenants mean that facility owners need to embrace digital tools to stay competitive. The time to start is now – if someone’s going to disrupt this industry, it should be the industry itself,” said Björn Hansen, head of IoT at Telia.

Telia’s report revealed that 87% of real estate facility managers in the Nordic and Baltic countries see digitalization as an efficient tool. Whereas, 70% are yet to devise a long-term strategy.

The change in working patterns caused by the pandemic establishes that facility owners have an aggravate need to evolve their services for competing with the digital-native businesses entering the market.

“A new generation of digital-first companies have made their way into the real-estate market over the last decade, disrupting the century-old business models with digital services for renting, leasing, and managing facility-related activities,” said Agron Lasku, the head of telecom, IT, media and electronics at Arthur D Little.

The report identifies IoT and data insights like crowd-movement data as core technologies to welcome digitalization in the real estate industry.

Real estate owners see digital solutions as the tool of elevating cost efficiencies and improving revenue streams via providing real-time data for building operations in addition to information on how people move in and around buildings. The report also affirmed this value-added data aids analytics and insights.

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