Publications

- February 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 2

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Get in the driver’s seat: Proptech offers opportunities for real estate investors to take control of the future

by Jake Fingert

Futurist Stewart Brand famously warned, “Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” When it comes to emerging real estate technology, institutional investors can and should step into the driver’s seat.

In the past decade, technology became central to the real estate industry across all asset classes, moving from the “nice to have” category into “must have” territory. The growing field of proptech covers all real estate asset classes and includes the use of novel forms of data collection and analytics, artificial intelligence, workflow software, and internet of things–enabled hardware, among other technologies. Institutional investors that closely track and leverage proptech are creating outsized risk-adjusted returns across their portfolios by (1) more quickly identifying thematic investment opportunities, such as critical shifts in tenant preferences and geographic trends across asset classes; (2

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