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Understanding Proptech Disruption with Csongor Csukás

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Is PropTech disrupting the real estate industry by sweeping old methods aside, or is it working side-by-side with traditional players? At the SIMI Real Estate event in Paris, Csongor Csukás, BNP Paribas Real Estate Head of Property Management, discussed the issues.

What is PropTech?

PropTech can be defined as the diffusion of new technology into the real estate market to enhance offerings to clients and tenants. From allowing clients to view buildings via virtual reality, to using a building’s data to improve user experience and wellbeing, PropTech is changing how property is marketed, sold and managed.

By extension, this also involves the entry of new players offering innovative solutions.

At BNP Paribas Real Estate, harnessing the benefits offered by PropTech is part of our Pan-European property management strategy. We adopt a data-driven, user-centric approach, with property managers collecting, extracting and analysing data to help with benchmarking and building management. 

Different perspectives on PropTech

At SIMI, different perspectives on the impact of PropTech were offered by the participants in the discussion – Étienne Dupuy, Head of Asset Management of Invesco, represented the investor; Xavier Perrin, Microsoft Real Estate Director, represented the user; Vincent Roux, General Manager of Kardham Connect, represented the office designer and Vincent Bryant, President of Deepki, represented the start-up.

Offering the perspective of the Property Manager was Csongor Csukás.

One of the key points debated was whether PropTech is really a phenomenon that makes a break with tradition. The consensus was it will disrupt some roles, such as that of the broker, and allow traditional players to become more efficient in their activities.

“Disruption implies the replacement of an old method with a new one,” said Csongor Csukás. ”That's not what I see in the real estate industry today.

Instead of being opposed to disruption, we are opening our doors to new start-ups who can offer us the chance to invigorate our methods with technological support and innovation. We are therefore actively ‘disrupting’ together, by allowing our business to take on this transformation.

“What’s happening is that the traditional actors are forming partnerships with PropTech entities – so we’re more in a process of transformation and not disruption, in my opinion.“

While agreeing that PropTech will help traditional players become more efficient, Vincent Bryant argued that it will make big changes to some aspects of the industry.

“Some technologies will be disruptive, like blockchain or artificial intelligence because they will make it possible to objectify decision making,” he said. “It is disruptive in a sector like real estate where the intuition of the actors is essential at the moment.”

Vincent Roux pointed to the many ways in which PropTech is impacting real estate.

“Today, we digitise a certain number of physical services or provide additional services by taking inspiration from other sectors. In these cases, we are in an evolution,” he said.

“But the disruption will happen when we are able to manage the full potential of a building that has become a positive energy building in terms of monetising the energy it produces and pooling space and services.”

However, he added that this will take a few more years to happen.

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What’s happening is that the traditional actors are forming partnerships with PropTech entities – so we’re more in a process of transformation and not disruption, in my opinion

Csongor Csukás
Head of Property Management, BNP Paribas Real Estate
France

Working in partnership with PropTech

PropTech partnerships are in evidence at BNP Paribas Real Estate, with analysis of portfolio data allowing us to offer innovative solutions and tailored access to the best services on the market.

These include hospitality management service Hostmaker, which helps landlords market residential assets to maximise visibility and returns.

We also work with property data collector Deepki to build a dynamic engine to compare asset performance.

We are convinced that real estate players spend too much time collecting information. Our solutions allow them to offload these tasks and thus focus on creating value,” Deepki founder Vincent Bryant told the SIMI discussion.

How PropTech is changing the future of real estate

PropTech is also changing the way in which asset managers make decisions, Csongor Csukás explained, and will have even more impact in the future.

“The relationship between the tenant and Asset Manager is handled by the Property Manager and it is thanks to PropTech and new methods of technology that the Property Manager is able to understand how the tenants are using a building and report this information back to the Asset Manager and therefore the landlord. What wasn’t previously possible has now become so, thanks to new ways of understanding and harnassing data.

“The Property Manager will ultimately help to realign the interests of landlords and tenants.”

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