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Digital, Trends

Actions speak louder than words

Joachim baldegger 15.04.2020

The Digital Real Estate Survey has been conducted in Switzerland since 2016 and in Germany for the second time. It shows which technologies are already in use and how their benefits are assessed. Based on the survey of 250 real estate experts and managers, the Digital Real Estate Index (DRE Index) was also determined to measure the degree of digitization in the industry. And this index has slumped by a total of 17% in 2020: On a scale of one to ten, the index for Switzerland and Germany totals 3.87. At 3.81 (-24%), Germany has a lower index than Switzerland with 3.88 (-14%) for the first time. These figures show that the sector still has a long way to go, many questions remain unanswered and opportunities are only being seized hesitantly. 

Discrepancies in self-assessment 

The lower index is at least partly since many actors now have a better understanding of the challenges posed by the digital transformation as a result of individual measures already implemented and initial best practices. The index is relatively balanced across the different roles of the industry, with owners and investors on average being more critical than planners and contractors. If the DRE Index is compared with the average self-assessment of the level of digitization of one's own company, it becomes apparent that some players believe that they are more advanced than they actually are. 

The consequences of digitization for companies are interpreted differently by the respondents; there is no uniform understanding. The consensus is that it is time for action. Where in recent years the focus has been on developing strategies for dealing with digitization, the focus is now on implementing partial steps. 

Data management has priority 

Most companies today focus their digitization activities primarily on process automation and data capture. As a result, end-to-end data management across all players enjoys top priority, as demonstrated by the continued high use of platforms and portals or the steady growth in the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM). An additional boost can be expected soon for sensor technology, data science, BIM, block chain and artificial intelligence. Block chain, additive manufacturing technologies and smart materials are still rarely used 

What is striking in assessing the current maturity level of technologies is the continuous disillusionment after the big hype - after the first use, both the maturity level and the benefit of technologies are usually assessed more critically. Only in the areas of sensor technology, BIM and data science do the respondents expect higher benefits than in the previous year. 

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