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Featured Article: Top 10 trends disrupting the Asset Management Industry

By now, most of us have made peace with the fact that we are in a time of increased uncertainty. Instead of resisting change, being open to it and adopting a creative and innovative mindset to evolve with it might be the best thing to do right now. Following the establishment of new standards and requirements for the management of various assets within the construction industry, technology has now taken centre stage. It is now redefining efficiency with the help of AI, IoT, B2C and B2B apps working alongside updated processes and practises that are now becoming the norm.

Here are some trends that are disrupting asset management as we speak:

1. Customer Facing Technology: Technology advancements in the field of asset management, just like in any other field, can make our lives much easier. Thanks to the rise of Customer Facing Technology following the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are now more comfortable using technologies that initiate paperless processes, online payments, AI chatbots, etc. In light of movement and travel restrictions during the pandemic times, apps that eliminate increased physical mobility have also seen a rise. PropTech solutions are the sole way to drive further efficiencies in the industry. It’s time to stop paying less, stop trying to move accommodations to the lowest level just to get your technicians and cleaners at the lowest cost base. Fewer employees, however better compensated in both salary and benefits utilizing technology is the way to drive efficiencies, companies and asset owners that resist this approach will find themselves irrelevant in the next 3-5 years.

2. Customer Experience: With the management of buildings becoming more complex, the demand for improved services and better engagement is constantly rising. Not surprisingly, technology has made it possible to engage customers more often and as a result, customer feedback, which used to be once a year survey, are monitored more frequently now. The experience with your customer is the single most important concern of any service company.

3. Energy Management: As the environmental awareness levels rises, there is a growing need for energy- and cost-efficient solutions. This is prompting building owners to look for ways to cut down power and water wastage and bring down utility costs. In addition, sustainability efforts are part of most companies’ strategies in order to reflect their commitment to the environment. Again technology and utilising sustainable energy solutions are taking the lead in this area, as such companies need to be more aware of the future trends and innovations to enable a much faster response to manage building costs.

4. Trade-offs between unit space and community facilities: As observed in recent times, Generation Z has very different views on unit space and community facilities and is even willing to trade apartment space in exchange for better community services like better specked gyms, yoga and communal living spaces. COVID-19 has actually encouraged this approach not reversed it, more people feel comfortable to work and play in their community rather than outside. The extension of this is therefore looking at co-living communities into the immediate and medium term.

5. New transport requirements: Asset management industry is currently increasing its focus on the management of parking spaces, keeping pace with the rise of ‘micro mobility’ solutions. As a result, it is witnessing the incorporation of electric car charging stations and their management, and liaising with scooter rental companies for space. To keep pace with the developments in this regard and to accommodate the demands of future generations that value travel, shared transport and on demand rides, landlords are now required to transform underutilized spaces such as car parks into. This can turn concrete parking structures into commercial spaces to help reduce building costs or indeed to enhance communities with further living experiences.

6. Smart Buildings (IoT): With smart buildings now equipped with sensors, meters and other devices to regulate, monitor and manage building assets and services, the transmission of data is witnessing unprecedented developments. This degree of interconnectivity contributes to less physical maintenance and less power consumption. Besides, Asset Management companies have also started to adopt AI algorithms to make Building Management System controls more user-friendly and energy efficient. We are rapidly moving from preventative and reactive maintenance plans to predicative maintenance technology that in time will become the standard platform for building management.

7. Remote property management: It is no news that property managers have switched to working from an office that is centrally located within a territory or managing properties remotely. With many management activities being done online or through PropTech, the need for property managers to be on-site has reduced. The constant drive to PropTech based solutions is only moving this faster over the last 2-3 years, as an immediate consequence property leasing with brokers is going to be the first role that the industry loses. Generations are changing the way businesses do business, as older generations move from working to retirement practices that seemed absurd to achieve even 5 years ago are now a distant memory.

8. International standards: The adherence to international standards have become more of a norm and is expected by all clients these days. Therefore, along with a strong emphasis on quality management, your approach has to be firmly aligned in line with global standards. Technology is again making it easier for the globe to unite in common best practice, especially when you are looking at e-learning, you can be in a room with 20 people learning about best practise from 20 different countries at the same time.

9. Security of Assets: What has been very clear over the last 8 months is the need to control environments and as much a possible reduce the need to have constant random visitors, drivers or workmen from entering the building. Solutions are already been implemented to utilize bio-technology and cameras to recognize and test delivery drivers, maintenance teams etc. not only does this provide a greater level of security in your building but also helps to ensure another level of security in regards to the pandemic.

10. Short-term rentals/Co-Living: This will soon be another rising trend, even more so when the travel restrictions lift. Gen Z and indeed the future generations of A & B who will work remotely are always on the lookout for short term accommodations as they tend to travel and explore places and cultures more. Because of the highly flexible nature of their work environments, future generations are more transient and flexible and make the most of their freedom to travel and switch places as often as they like. Building owners and service companies who are willing to adapt to the future and invest in the future will be much more part of the future revenue streams being developed now.