Proptech Summit Takeaways: Measuring ROI in property management technology

The Return on Investment (ROI) equation and the amount of money technology will save are often the questions that any proptech needs to answer in order to get the green light with a major client. But as technology continues to evolve, so do the ways we need to look at the returns that technology provides – and it’s not always about cold, hard cash.

In an online panel from the recent Proptech Summit, leading property and technology experts shared their insights on how they measure ROI in property management technology. Here are a few key takeaways from the session.

Data-powered technology enables actions that drive ROI

For David Bowie, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for MRI Software APAC, property technology is not a means unto itself but rather an enabler of business. “It’s an enabler of new technologies, new business models and new ways of thinking.” As the engine of the digital age, technology is fueled by data that businesses can analyse, gain insights from and most importantly, take action from those insights. A good example of this is Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in lease abstraction solutions that extracts data from leases, data which can then be used for actionable insights. “The real ROI from technology is when it’s driving a decision – it’s more than just efficiency and revenue, it’s also about the business model and the data that technology can enable,” says David.

Ewan Morton, Managing Director of Morton Real Estate shares the same sentiment when it comes to the importance of data in driving business success. “Previously, data has been too disjointed but newer technologies can help pull it together so businesses can utilize that data and leverage it in making more strategic decisions.”

ROI for real estate isn’t just about the money

Flexibility and sustainability are key factors to look at when it comes to defining ROI in technology. “Financial ROI is not always the gate opener,” says Julian Kezelman, Program Director at RealTechX. As a venture capitalist, Julian works with providers and startups in developing technologies and he says that ROI can have different definitions for different clients. “We don’t just look at property management systems or facilities management, we look at construction, infrastructure, energy – all sorts of areas. Data and understanding the insight is going to be the gate opener and that financial considerations are just part of that overall decision set.”

Ben Veale, Partner and Head of Asset Management Services (Victoria) at Knight Frank Australia has also experienced firsthand how ROI can vary widely in the commercial real estate space. “Everybody has a different definition of return and now some of our institutional owners aren’t interested necessarily on ROI in terms of monetizing that investment straight up,” said Ben. He cited that for some owners, non-monetary returns – such as gaining recognition for social corporate responsibility – can be just as important as cash in the long run.

Optimise tech adaption in your business by following a rollout framework

Daniel Lepore, Head of Asset Technology at AMP Capital, shares the innovation framework they follow to accelerate ROI in technology. “We’re piloting a lot of the technologies on a very small sample set of buildings. Once we got that small-scale deployment, we test and see how that can be applied more holistically across the portfolio.” Following the tech company model of starting small, experimenting and testing, then scaling allows larger businesses to ensure the value creation from technologies. “From a portfolio perspective, there’s a lot of value once you transcend from a silo building perspective because you get the value from a per building basis but then you can consider how can you benchmark buildings against one another, or can you clump a group of buildings for a particular fund or a particular asset class and you can do more strategic decision making.”

More on how to measure ROI in property management technology

To learn more about ROI in proptech and get all the insights from this 30-minute panel, you can watch the complete session on-demand now.

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