Real estate execs divided on disruptive technologies

Around half of property executives polled remain skeptical of the benefits of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented or virtual reality, according to the Altus Group.

Real estate professionals are divided on the benefits of emerging technologies, a survey from real estate technology company Altus Group has revealed.

The Altus Group CRE Innovation Report surveyed 400 global commercial real estate executives at firms with assets under management of at least $250 million representing a total of over $2 trillion. The report found that while over 50 percent of the executives indicated that major processes and workflows could be significantly or completely automated, only a few respondents recognize the specific emerging disruptive technologies that could transform the industry.

According to the survey, only 35 percent of the respondents (the highest percentage) recognized smart building technology as having potential for a major disruptive impact, followed by artificial or machine intelligence (28 percent) and big data and predictive analytics (24 percent).

“CRE firms are facing the challenge of finding a balance between operational benefits delivered by existing technology and the potential disruptive impact to business models by what’s coming next,” said Robert Courteau, chief executive officer, Altus Group. “Organizations that will lead the way as the next wave of technology arrives are those that seek to change the rules of the game by disrupting traditional business processes and models, adding greater value and gaining competitive advantage.”

One of the major reasons is the shortage of technology staff in many of these firms. According to the survey, 50 percent of the respondents said they are in shortage of skilled IT professionals.