CHANGE is a fact of life. Furthermore, it is the only permanent and constant thing in this world, according to the philosopher Heraclitus. It is the same in the property sector.
Enrique Soriano III, a professor of the graduate school of business at the Ateneo Professional Schools, recently stressed this vital point in his recent presentation on “Compelling Innovations in the Property Sector” during the Subdivision Housing and Developers Association in Makati City.
“The local property sector is in the 12 O’clock stage, especially the verticals. If we don’t calibrate, it will be a problem, and we will be heading into the eye of the storm,” Soriano pointed out in his talk.
Nevertheless, he stressed the euphoria of Dutertenomics emphasizing on the “Build, Build, Build” agenda might ease the pressure.
In this era of global warming and climate change, Soriano said developers must continue to plan and develop smart cities to give people a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. He said urban planners and developers must continue to put up parks and open areas in cities because it offers opportunities for physical activity, stress management and social interactions.
Meanwhile, urban planner and architect Felino Palafox Jr. bewailed the dearth of Philippine cities that advocate a healthy lifestyle. He underscored the development of people-oriented streets that are both walkable and bikeable. He added that sidewalks are for pedestrians and should be people-friendly.
Soriano urged developers and manufacturers to build more eco-friendly homes and energy-saving devices, respectively, in response to calls for energy efficiency in the midst of overpopulation and consumerism.
“Our energy department needs to develop the Home Energy Score, a national rating system that reflects the energy efficiency of a home, which is needed as part of the innovation in the local market. Some of these suggestions include the use of advanced house framing, cool roofs and passive solar home-design,” Soriano explained.
He cited DMCI Homes’s pioneering in the use of Lumiventt Technology, an architectural innovation that allows the natural flow of air and sunlight. He said minimalist homes is gaining popularity in the country as more and more people realize the value of “less is more.’’
“‘Simplicity is beauty’ and this movement take that saying’s meaning to a whole new level.”
Soriano pointed out that technology is also transforming the property market that results in the formation of new habits, mainly from the middle class as they embrace new technologies that transform the way people live, work and play. He added home-sharing platforms, such as Airbnb, will eventually contribute to the drop in the number of hotel rooms in the region and increase the number of people who own second homes.
Although Southeast Asia showed a growth in the demand for office space, Soriano also mentioned the rise of coworking spaces as entrepreneurs from the start-ups look for flexible work practices in the region.
Soriano urged developers to embrace digital innovation because it will play an important role in strengthening the global real-estate industry. “Technology for property developers is not just an enabler for homebuyers but also for sellers. Developers must be ‘relentless’ in getting customer feedback and sharing what they have learned,” he said.
He cited the role of unmanned aerial vehicles, popularly known as drones, in helping developers on market listings by providing potential buyers a comprehensive overview of properties. “The aerial images and video footage of homes, nearby amenities and surrounding areas is especially helpful for buyers based abroad.”
He said augmented reality is another technology that local developers must use. This technology projects a digital image, such as the interior of a house, on the physical world. Beacon transmitters are installed in unmanned project sites to help agents detect a prospective buyer. The buyer can get all the information he’d need on a particular listing via an app.
“The advantage you have yesterday will be replaced by the trends of tomorrow. You don’t have to do anything wrong. But if your competitors catch the wave and manage to do it right, you can lose out and fail!”