When Real Estate Meets Innovation – 3 Key Takeaways from Expo Real 2019

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We returned to Europe’s largest Real Estate trade fair, EXPO REAL, this year and took our place amongst the industry’s finest.

The event turned out to be a huge success. The 2019 show was “bigger and more international than ever” as reported by Klaus Dittrich, Chairman, and CEO of Messe München. To be even more specific, the event welcomed 2,190 exhibitors from 45 countries, more than 46,000 participants from 76 countries in total with an additional exhibition hall being put in place as a result of the high interest in the real estate and property market.

From thought-provoking panels and controversial topics to networking and innovative forums, many were wondering what the challenges for the real estate and property market in the next year are and what the future holds. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of 3 takeaways from the event in case you didn’t get the chance to attend this year.

1. Digitalisation is in the picture

Same as for other industries, data was a hot talking point. Data capture, standardisation, collaboration, storage, security, and analysis were all discussed. The core message throughout was that digitalisation should no longer be perceived as taboo but rather a necessity. In addition to that, Christian Schulz-Wulkow, Sector Leader Real Estate, Hospitality & Construction Sector in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria at EY confirms that “digitalisation strategies are no longer something for the future; they are now a clear component in company budgets”, but it needs a bit of a push. Therefore, priorities should be around standardisation and streamlining of data in a way that can be analysed and used consistently.

So you’re awarewe’ll soon be publishing our findings from conversations we had with people at EXPO REAL and these touch on digitalisation heavily.

2. Economic situation and affordable housing

There was a vast debate at exhibitors’ stands, forum presentations, and panel discussions regarding the economic situation surrounding the real estate industry.

With uncertainty a trend now, Professor Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr, President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, sees it as an advantage for the industry. He feels the real estate sector is “one of the few sectors that benefit from uncertainty because in a phase like that, people buy property. Uncertainty…is actually helpful to this sector”.

The topic of affordable housing was also brought up at EXPO REAL. There was debate around the cooperation between government authorities and the real estate sector; specifically measures ranging from rent caps to increasing the density of development in urban areas. Jürgen Michael Schick, president of the real estate association, IVD said, “The real estate sector is not expecting to see any further changes by government to tenancy law. The investors need planning certainty and not further tightening of regulations every four weeks”.

3. Let’s not forget sustainability

Instrumental to the real estate sector is change and innovation. Sustainability is a key component to this, from reducing the carbon footprint to applying innovative mobility concepts. Carsten Kreutze, CEO and co-founder of Recogizer, states that “through the use of data learning on building behavior, external factors and forecasts, there’s an aim to get buildings on a new level of sustainability without constructional changes or new equipment”. In the same manner, Homes England aims to change the fact that housing technology in the UK has not advanced in the last 50 years compared to other technologies, through the use of modular homes.

Wrapping up – these are both exciting and challenging times for the real estate and property industry. However, the future is bright for the sector with new ideas to change and innovate down the line waiting to be implemented. Hopefully, you’ve found these 3 key takeaways from EXPO REAL useful.

See you next year!

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