AS part of the judges representing the real-estate industry, Hannah Yulo was impressed with the amount of programming that the participants were able to do in such a short amount of time, acknowledging the need to pursue integration to champion sustainable solutions.
”In our competitive environment, it is important to drive efficiencies by integrating tech into process flows of property companies. Even simple tech like censored light switches can move companies a great deal closer to our goal of building sustainable developments.”
Current practices relating to property management can be said to be unsustainable in the face of technological upheaval. “Solutions for buildings and communities can adopt new technology to improve efficiency and transparency,” said Jezreel Apelar, an urban planner by trade and a board member of the Young Leader’s Group. Sustainability, as the core of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) mission, plays a big role for the advocacy of technology, beyond the disruption it causes. “There are similar challenges other places are facing, we can look to them as models but it’s a matter of localizing what has been developed elsewhere for the Philippine context.”
Apelar is quite optimistic about the future of tech to further sustainable development. “I see it very much as a top-down approach,” he said. “When key players, such as the large real-estate developers or government, requiring or adopting new technologies, I think everyone else will follow. It will be a domino effect. But someone needs to take the lead and, for now, it will continue to be private sector since they have the clout, the scale and resources to do so.”
The winning team, Real Team presented an initial app called Landlordy that can assist property managers with tracking a tenant’s lease status. The three teammates, all who were young professionals working in technology companies, professed the goal to expand further as a stand-alone property application that can provide end-to-end services for both business owners and tenants.
Yulo felt their concept was truly deserving to win. “Their idea could make lives of landlords so much easier with regards to automating utility supply which would result to seamless collection from tenants without manual interference.”
Samson, another representative of the ULI Philippines, while praising the winning team’s idea, also highlighted another team’s concept, which provided an airbnb/hotel.com/hotels.com type of platform for bedspacers. “With the terrible traffic of Metro Manila, students and professionals have been looking into bed spacing as an alternative/cheaper accommodation. This is the reason why the is the current proliferation of bedspacing hotels like MyTown, Dormitel, Upad, etc. The app concept proposed by the Wakanda team if developed properly will surely address the current needs of the Filipinos, and has the probability of generating tremendous profits if implemented and scaled correctly,” she said.
Many of the ideas generated by the participants were of interest to the industry players in the audience. There are, of course, other solutions that developers would like to see realized in the future. Wenceslao’s idea of an app for a city is one that would integrate both hardware and software through an information kiosk and online portals. “This city app would serve a variety of users; for residents and visitors, the city app would provide information, such as directions, establishments and access to services. For third-party locators, such as restaurants or developers, it would provide an online portal to process permits and fee payments.” Overall, the concept would loop feedback to both consumers and proprietors, allowing the city to expand outward.
The hackathon is only the first step for the organization. By fostering collaboration within and beyond the real-estate sector, ULI is hopeful to put forward the issues that the industry experiences and share best practices that would champion sustainable development in the country.
Established in 1936, the Institute today has more than 40,000 members worldwide, representing the entire spectrum of the land use and development disciplines. ULI relies heavily on the experience of its members. It is through member involvement and information resources that ULI has been able to set standards of excellence in development practice. The Institute has long been recognized as one of the world’s most respected and widely quoted sources of objective information on urban planning, growth and development.
Fintech Philippines Association is the largest industry association in the country that brings together technologists, regulators and the leaders in all various industries. The real-estate hackathon is the first industry hackathon undertaken by the FPh this year.