9 in 10 APAC firms OK to pay extra for tech-enabled spaces

Commercial real estate occupiers are willing to put their money where the tech is, with 93% of occupiers in the Asia-Pacific region saying they would pay a premium for technology-enabled spaces, and believe that technology will drive competitive advantages.

New research from global real estate consulting firm JLL found that as organisations worldwide look to technology for strategic value and increased revenue, 85% of occupiers and investors plan to increase their investment in technology despite the current challenging operating environment. 

The JLL 2023 Global Real Estate Technology Survey was conducted by Meridian West during May and June 2023, covering 1,006 decision-makers at major occupiers, real estate investors, landlords and developers. 

Respondents are based in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

JLL also finds that sustainability tools – such as energy/emissions management tech and smart energy infrastructure – will account for the largest share of increases in technology budgets, underscoring the business and regulatory pressures driving the race to net zero. 

Additionally, JLL found occupier tech priorities are expanding beyond cost reduction and facilitating remote work to include technologies that drive value to their overarching business goals through collaboration, optimising and enhanced decision-making.

“While the immediate focus remains on technology to support hybrid work and attract and retain talent, occupiers will prioritise solutions to increase revenue, improve sustainability metrics and improve business decision-making in the next three years,” said Susheel Koul, CEO of Work Dynamics at JLL in APAC. 

After sustainability technology, respondents identified artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI as the technologies expected to have the greatest impact on real estate over the next three years. 

Yet, understanding of these technologies remains significantly low compared to others, such as cloud and edge computing, as well as AR/VR. 

There is also a sizeable gap between ambition and current technology adoption levels, with many companies lagging far behind their objectives. 

In APAC, occupiers in India are relatively more advanced in adopting core technologies — similar to occupiers in the U.S and investors from the UK and Canada. In comparison, current adoption rates for core technologies are moderate, with none exceeding a 50% uptake.

Vivek Satpathi, head of client growth at JLL APAC, said that most organisations do not have an actionable tech strategy in place, and less than half have seen success in their tech programmes. 

Satpathi said that even though the majority of organisations recognise the benefits that technology can offer, many are still struggling to make tech a true value driver, which will create opportunity.

“To harness the opportunity, we recommend that organisations start by shaping an actionable technology strategy, which can translate into a strong operating model with the right resources, people and organisational structure in place,” said Satpathi.