We kick off our latest PRODA blog series ‘Leaders in Property and Technology’ by chatting with Naqash Tahir, Director and Head of Systems in Europe at PGIM Real Estate.
As one of the largest real estate managers in the world with US$201 billion in gross assets under management and administration, PGIM Real Estate strives to deliver exceptional outcomes for investors and borrowers through a range of real estate equity and debt solutions across the risk-return spectrum.
Naqash discusses changing attitudes towards technology within the real estate industry, as well as how PGIM Real Estate assess adoption and implementation of technologies and solutions.
PRODA: Hi Naqash, how do you think attitudes within the real estate industry towards technology and innovation have shifted over the past five years?
NT: There has been a clear shift in attitudes – initially the industry was unsure of what to expect when it came to technology and innovation adoption, as it was often perceived as a risky endeavour. The industry is now moving away from this risk-ridden outlook and towards seeing the adoption of innovative technologies as a real opportunity. This is reflected in my discussions with senior professionals across real estate as the adoption of innovative technology affords them the opportunity to become even better at what they do.
PRODA: What do you look for when assessing new technologies or systems as a potential fit for PGIM?
NT: At PGIM Real Estate, we tend to use three main criteria when looking at new technologies and systems.
Firstly, we look at a companies’ leadership and background to assess our confidence in their track record and potential market benefits if adoption were considered.
We then look at the overall quality of the product and assess our need for it. The product may be top-tier in terms of functionality, but if we don’t have a place for it, then it is at this point that consideration for adoption is halted.
Finally, we look at how the provider operates in practice and their customer success levels. It is important that we understand how they deal with their current clients. This could mean discovering how their customer service operates and whether assistance is given in the integration process.
PRODA: How has the tech-driven application of data changed the way that PGIM operates? How has it proven vital over the past 18 months in particular?
NT: PGIM Real Estate has been at the forefront of Real Estate technology evolution and in the last 2 years alone we have piloted over 20 new solutions for various functions including enriching our decision making by leveraging alternative data sets, using machine learning to aggregate and standardise data, and capturing detailed data from our buildings.
These platforms gave us the insights on our portfolio exposures to certain sectors and regions, along with the ability to gather and analyse large sets of data and understand ESG risks in a timely manner.
The adoption of technology is and will continue to be key to what PGIM Real Estate does. Not everyone needs to be a data expert, but they do need to be open to its adoption to keep up in a rapidly changing market.
A huge thank you to Naqash for taking the time to speak to us. We will be back soon with another post as we continue to speak to leaders across the industry.
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