Ascend APAC 2021: Key takeaways for commercial property management

It’s been an unprecedented year. You have faced down new challenges, adapted to new working practices and tried to plan for the unplannable – all under the constant pressure of finding ways to control or even drastically cut expenditure.

In the recently concluded MRI Ascend APAC 2021, we discussed the emerging trends that will drive new challenges for organisations as we now enter a new era in commercial real estate, and together with industry leaders, discussed what owners and occupiers can do to adapt to the changing market with the help of proptech solutions. Here are the highlights from the 2-day virtual event.

Build to rent market is growing

In the MRI @Work keynote, Jason Stevens, Project Management Consultant at MRI Software, discussed how the booming rent to build market creates a more dynamic space for institutional investors – adding into their long-term lease portfolio a new asset class that relies on a fast-moving market. While the traditional build-to-sell market was about attracting owners into an investment, the focus is now on attracting and maintaining tenants as efficiently as possible by providing exceptional experiences. This also opens new opportunities for commercial property managers to establish their value in this emerging sector.

Digitisation of the workplace

In the same session, Jason also highlighted how the tenant experience figures heavily in the return to office, as more people shift into flexible ways of working that’s conducive for balancing work and life, whilst still maintaining that collaborative component that’s important in any work environment. “The challenge now is how we manage the elastic demand for this workspace, and to cater for the evolution in the way that we work and live.”

Solutions such as space management and visitor management software support a safer and smooth transition from home to office and vice versa, but that’s just the beginning. Chuck Mc Dowell, Global Leader for MRI @Work recognises the importance of managing flexible spaces in the new hybrid office “We’re going to see a lot of volatility within the market and managing a tenant or an occupants experience might just be the difference between successfully renting that space or staying on the market for a longer period of time.”

How smart data changed commercial property management

As the industry undergoes a digital transformation, we begin to see data-powered technologies such as AI and IoT take centre stage in driving improvements in the real estate customer experience. Greg Clancy, Head of Product – APAC, talked about this transformation: “The way that people interact with technologies and tools and software has radically changed. They are looking for a much simpler experience, they’re looking for a much more enabling and encompassing experience.”

This streamlined approach to workflow is not a new benefit of technology, but what we’re seeing more of is how technology is used more intelligently to fit a business’ evolving needs. In the Growth through Innovation session, David Watson of Savills Australia shared how they’re leveraging data-powered technology to improve their processes – from processing client requests more efficiently with auto-filled forms to making more accurate and dynamic budget forecasts. Key to this is a robust commercial management platform that allows for smooth integrations with other solutions, whilst maintaining data integrity across these different systems.

Latest updates in MRI Commercial Management suite

Driving home the importance of intuitive customer experiences, the session ‘What’s new and upcoming for commercial property management and financials’ featured upcoming enhancements to MRI Software’s solutions that will make your work a whole lot easier and smarter. Design and usability enhancements, new email capabilities, automated payment rules and more are coming soon for commercial property management. On the financials side, you can expect enhancements on segmentation, recurring entries and more, as well as improvements on AP scheduled transaction sync, and a new Interntity Balancing Matrix for you to quickly see balances between inter-entity transactions.

More on MRI Ascend APAC 2021

To learn more about the topics discussed in MRI Ascend APAC 2021, you can watch the following sessions on-demand or check out our MRI Ascend 2021 Playlist on the MRI Youtube channel.

@Work keynote: Digital transformation in post-COVID commercial real estate

What’s new and coming for commercial property management and accounting?

Growth through Innovation: How commercial management has changed at Savills


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