MIPIM 2017: The year of tech

proptech, technology, real estate | Marie Escaich on March 20, 2017

More than 20,000 influential players from across every aspect of the real estate sector gathered in the South of France mid-March for MIPIM, the annual international property event.

This year, many of the panels, speakers and exhibitors focused on the latest technological innovations and advances. This is hardly surprising when you consider that the industry is undergoing a digital transformation.

Both William Newton, Director of EMEA, and Tamara Brisk, Director of WiredScore France, spoke on panels.

For Tamara Brisk, Director of WiredScore France, who has had a very busy two weeks indeed with the launch of WiredScore in France earlier this month, the highlight of this event was the industry wide recognition of the value of proptech. The recent uptake of tech in the property industry and the exciting new innovations that tech is enabling is a positive trend which we hope to see more of.

Given that technology lies at the heart of an increasing number of business operations, whether that is managing e-commerce platforms or just sending emails, businesses across a range of industries are becoming increasingly dependent upon connectivity. This does mean, however, that when the internet goes down, essential business go down. It’s not surprising therefore that staying online is the top priority for tenants as far as connectivity is concerned. Investment in a property’s infrastructure which minimises the risk of disruption and provides backup connections is therefore a critical requirement for tenants.

Given the success of WiredScore in the UK, WiredScore France expects similar success. As Tamara explains: “landlords recognise that digital connectivity is a universal need”. Tending to the needs of occupiers by investing in providing the connectivity infrastructure that their businesses require, will go a long way to support the future of the industry.

For William, who spoke on Tech x The City panel, there are three main ways to support the growing tech presence in the Square Mile:

“The first thing to note is that the City of London is very well connected and that is something the City should seek to capitalise on as it bids to attract top companies from across the globe. 10M square foot of office space in the City of London is now certified or in the process of being Wired Certified, highlighting the City’s position as a global tech leader.

“Secondly, the City is doing a great job at providing for start ups with its strong presence of flexible office providers. At WiredScore, we moved five times in our first year alone - just one anecdote which highlights how cash flow management is essential to early stage companies and flexible office spaces are a key part of that growth process.

“Thirdly, leading companies - just as much as your SMEs - are dependent on well-connected and resilient infrastructure. If London wishes to continue attracting top companies and enabling tech innovation, it needs to continue to invest in tech infrastructure.”

As Leona Ahmed, partner and head of real estate at international law firm Addleshaw Goddard’s pointed out in a recent article, the property industry should continue to embrace and learn from other sectors if it is to keep up.

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