In our latest ‘Leaders in Property and Technology’ blog, we spoke with Wouter Truffino, founder and CEO of Holland ConTech & PropTech and Founder of Global PropTech.
Holland ConTech and PropTech is the innovation ecosystem for the construction and real estate sector in The Netherlands. It ensures that innovative startups and corporations are connected to each other, so that startups can find the best partner for their product/ service and corporates the best problem solver for their innovation issue. The goal: a better built environment.
Global Proptech is the first and leading global innovation platform for the real estate and construction sector. The platform focuses on developing insights, sharing knowledge between different countries, and matchmaking, in order to create a future-proof industry.
PRODA: Tell us about Global PropTech, how did you come up with the idea?
WT: Well, I began in May 2015 with Holland Contech & PropTech, a networking organisation which is now run by seven full time people with more than 200 members in The Netherlands.
As for Global Proptech, around October 2018, I was inspired by a question from Coen van Oostrom, owner of EDGE. Coen asked me if I could bring people together from the big cities like London, Berlin, Paris and Madrid to create a collaborative community in PropTech. This was my inspiration not just to start a European PropTech association, but to start a global one that brings leaders in real estate together. Before Covid-19 we organised in-person events in New York, Helsinki, Paris, Cannes and Munich and we are hoping to bring that back as soon as we can.
PRODA: Following on the momentum of COP26, how do you see PropTech and ConTech effectively working towards carbon neutral and net-zero goals?
WT: There hasn’t been that much happening in PropTech and ConTech since COP26, but there is definitely more happening now. The industry is looking towards alternative methods of construction, using different kinds of materials and levelling and reducing energy consumption. To name an example, building with wood is a very hot topic right now in the city of Amsterdam. Amsterdam wants one in every five new buildings to be built with wood in 2025; this will be a major change.
When I look at the real estate industry, I see many companies coming up with net zero building pledges. Though this is a good sign that indicates change is on the way, a pledge is one thing, but taking action is something totally different. Real Estate companies that have a clear action plan are the ones leading the way.
COP26 also helped create more government regulation, which is very much needed in order to drive change and create a better built environment for future generations.
PRODA: What are the top 3 commercial real estate trends you are beginning to see in 2022?
WT: The main trends I’m seeing right now are:
1. More and more interest will be paid to smart & healthy buildings which use their square meters to their maximum potential. This will increasingly be the case as people return to the office.
2. Energy saving is and will be a big trend. Energy saving is a no brainer, but still there is a lot of potential in existing buildings.
3. Performance as a service via smart contracts are on the rise. Stay tuned as I am working on this myself!
Many thanks to Wouter for taking the time to speak with us. We will be back soon with another post as we continue to speak to leaders across the industry.