Digitisation is now everywhere and is spreading like wildfire.
I am therefore writing a series of articles on the subject of digitalisation. My motivation is that digitalization means something different for every industry and type of company and I want to work out these differences. For an illustration of the differences in different industries, see the following figure.

In this section, I would like to go into the very essence of this article and illustrate the digitalisation in the real estate and construction sectors.

Characteristics of the industry

The real estate and construction industry clearly focuses on the economic asset. Such as, for example, the property or the land to be built on. The industry is known for its low flexibility and lack of dynamic processes. As a result, digitization and agile methods towards a more vibrant business have so far received little entry. This is mainly due to the fact that many executives in this industry are still members of the so-called baby boomers. They still trust their old value system instead of opening up to the opportunities and opportunities of digitalization. This is partly due to the low relevance of Work 4.0 in this area.

Furthermore, the business with the construction and management of buildings is usually based on many small areas. These also contribute to the rigidity of the industry. In the field of construction alone, many parties, such as architects or project developers, are often involved. However, they do not yet fully exploit an overarching technological change. At the same time, however, the real estate and construction industry thus offers a more than suitable basis for the introduction of digitalization towards Industry 4.0, which could significantly promote communication between the individual parties.

The current digitalization in the real estate and construction industry

While global online companies such as Airbnb and WeWork have already achieved great success thanks to digitalization, the use of technological aid in the traditional real estate and construction industry is slow. While most companies already have the ability to connect online, the majority of companies in the industry still do not employ a digital executive.

Only a few innovative companies have so far used digitalisation in the form of, for example, crowdfunding on the Internet. Some also rely on the digital collection of data on buildings and land. They use them to analyze their internal decisions or to provide the customer with important information in advance.
Despite the advantage of this approach, most project developers usually have to compile this data themselves due to the lack of agile methods.

Benefits of digitalization in the real estate and construction industry

The aim of digitalization in the real estate and construction industry will be, among other things, to consolidate one’s own market position and to assert between competitors. In addition, it is hoped that technological measures will improve company key figures, such as increased sales. In the area of agile corporate management, however, digital leaders are increasingly needed to drive flexibility and technological transformation.

In addition, the future of construction will be shaped by digital innovations such as 3D printing, virtual reality and blockchain. This should support the industry especially in the area of planning, construction, sales and rental.
In the real estate business, smart homes will continue to gain in importance and will also enable the customer to network his own four walls. All in all, building information modeling software will also be used to optimize tasks such as the planning, execution and operation of buildings and real estate.


If you are as enthusiastic about this topic as I am, then you can find the entire series of articles here!

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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