Decarbonization of Real Estate: The Digital Mindset Is Growing

12.08.2021 by Kerstin Fischer

What trends are emerging in the real estate industry? We are happy to welcome Hoang Anh Nguyen from ZIA for an interview on our blog. He is the Digitalization and Innovation Consultant at the leading association of the real estate industry. We talked about how the openness to digital approaches has developed among companies and how the industry is tackling the current challenges.

  • Is there anything in the real estate market that has surprised you since you became a consultant at ZIA?

When I entered this industry in 2019, I was quite surprised by the drive and innovation among the companies. The real estate industry in general is not exactly known as an innovation-driving industry. Nevertheless, there is a high willingness to transform among many companies. Many established companies have joined forces with PropTechs to make their own work processes more digital and thus more efficient and ecological. Others have already internalized the digital mindset and made it part of their corporate culture. There is still a way to go, but the developments of the last few years are definitely encouraging.


  • You are working as a communicator, with a focus on transformation. What are your challenges as a "bridge builder" between politics and business?

In my day-to-day work, it is a matter of translating the solutions proposed in practice, the issues and positions of the member companies into the political arena and into concrete action. But it is also about making it clear to the political players how important the real estate industry is. We are the providers of places to live and work, places to meet and get together. Without us, there would be no smart and sustainable buildings and thus no connected and digital city and region.


  • How has the interest in and openness to new and digital technologies among companies in the real estate industry changed in recent years? Can we identify a development, are there any trends?

A great deal has happened in recent years. The first digitalization study by ZIA and EY was presented at EXPO REAL in 2016. At that time, we were still trying to define the term "PropTechs". Today - in 2021 - we are significantly further ahead. Spending on digitization measures is rising steadily, according to our study, and every second company is already in the establishment phase of digital transformation. In this respect, the Corona crisis has also played its part in awakening greater openness and an increased desire for change.


  • With the new CO2 targets of the EU and Germany, the time pressure increases further and the real estate sector has to act quickly. The challenges facing the industry are huge. In your view, what role will digitization play in the decarbonization of real estate in the future?

The decarbonization of our industry and buildings is the challenge of our time - digitalization is an essential building block here. We must act quickly and decisively here and, for example, change how we plan and build. With the introduction of BIM, we can drive digitization forward here and also unleash ecological potential. At the same time, however, we all know that we have to tackle the existing building stock. As a first step, this includes, for example, transparency about energy consumption, the acquisition of data and, based on this, the optimization of consumption. We need more digital and thus climate-friendly solutions in buildings.


  • Thanks for the insightful exchange, Hoang!


Kerstin Fischer is the driving force behind Recogizer’s marketing strategy. She has more than 15 years of experience in communication for digital technology. With her authentic and motivating communication approach, she inspires the real estate industry to leverage the great potential of digital solutions for a better climate.

Kerstin Fischer | Marketing & PR

Kerstin Fischer, Mitarbeiterin bei Recogizer

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