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The future of real estate services: how Property Management is changing, and the new trends

12.11.2020

Scenari Immobiliari’s recent presentation of the 6th Real Estate Services Report offers food for thought on the current state and, above all, the future prospects of Real Estate, with a special focus on Property Management services.

The emergency situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has had a differentiated impact on various market segments, accentuating the trends that have characterized recent years.

The residential sector trends

The residential sector has begun to increasingly take on the characteristics of an asset class, attracting more and more investments from large operators, concentrated in large-scale operations marked by high quality construction, for which asset services of an appropriate level must be defined.

The office sector trends

In the office sector, interventions with high added value are envisaged to tackle the new demand deriving from new working methods and the related changes in business organization, with a substantial transformation of premises from classic headquarters to relational hubs characterized by innovatively designed work spaces with a mix of real and virtual spaces promoting relations between people in the office and people working remotely, through an increasingly widespread use of digital tools and applications.

Logistics and retail

The e-commerce boom has contributed to the positive results of the logistics sector, with particular attention on covering the so-called “last mile”, while the anti-Covid restrictions and the general decline in consumption have negatively affected the retail sector, with consequences on the review of spaces intended for commerce and the distribution network.

The Real Estate market requires integrated services

Today, the Real Estate market is characterized by the presence of significant liquidity and a scarcity of quality assets contributing to the gap with more mature European markets.

In this situation, what the Real Estate market needs are integrated services, based on the multidisciplinarity that creates the added value demanded by customers, with operators with high, inter-sectoral skills.

Property Management

These skills/functions fall particularly in the field of property management, which is the reference service for building owners and managers.

In Italian practice, this sector of real estate services has substantial differences with internationally recognized property activities, even though in recent years the Italian market has seen an increase in foreign investors, leading to an alignment with the services offered in all the other European countries.

This new sensitivity leads to an evolution and extension of the services offered, paying attention to new terms and issues, including eco-sustainability, urban regeneration or the application also to the Real Estate sector of the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) principles used in the economic/financial field to indicate all those activities linked to responsible investments that take into account the environmental, social and governance aspects.

All these aspects have to be examined within a framework that is increasingly driven by technological innovation and the digitalization of services that will enhance rather than replace conventional services.

The role of Big Data

Again with the function of integrated services, a key role is played by Research, for the collection and analysis of big data which will be fundamental for allowing real estate owners and managers to make the most effective operational decisions.

The quality of the services provided and the new essential components

Clients also pay increasing attention to the quality of the services provided rather than to the fees. In this respect, it should be noted that in Italy property fees are significantly lower than those in other European countries.

The consequence of lowest bid tenders is the provision of low-quality services, not aligned to the needs of the owners and managers, and many people are starting to agree on the idea of introducing a reward system to contracts, in order to achieve quality objectives in the provision of services.

In a system that, although split into many sectors, is becoming increasingly inter-dependent, issues like:

  • Prop-Tech,
  • eco-sustainability,
  • Big Data,
  • Training,

will become the foundations of integrated professional services that will be able to create added value and quality for both the owners and users of the assets.

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