Innovations that challenge construction and real estate businesses

Changes in construction and real estate sector grow fast. Day by day, innovative startups challenge real estate game with new technologies and advanced services. According to EARLY BRANDS investigations and results from market researchers CB Insights, in 2017 more than € 3 bn. innovation capital was invested in startups relevant to real estate sector – five times higher than in 2013. Also, key players from Silicon Valley and China have awoken. Google already has two own real estate market places. And connects our homes by acquisition of Nest – who currently work out how to make hospitals and care facilities smarter. Also, Alibaba und massively apply pressure to the property sector in Asia with their real estate platforms. By now, construction and real estate business face hyper competition: diffuse + cross-market + cross-industry. Due to the fast pace of changes, it is not enough to confine oneself to internal ideas and resources.

How to keep one finger on the pulse of time? How to identify and utilize innovation and technology opportunities on early stages? Our innovation and technology experts find answers for these questions day by day. With our CONSTRUCTION spotlight, we would like to give some insights and impulses. Open minds for different innovation fields. Every competition implies new opportunities. Catch them as a pioneer and create great innovations for your business in the digital age.



Currently, we see lots of digital services that improve classic paper processes of property management concerning convenience, speed and costs. For example, startups like moovin which slip into the role of real estate agents to make real estate marketing cheaper, more comfortable and faster. There are many PropTechs and startups willing to fully digitalize and revolutionize real estate management processes. To connect tenants and landlords. To automate reports on damages, dunning processes or rent payments. CasaviAppfolioor AskPorter are only a few of many impressive implementation examples.

Frau und Mann in einer Immobilie digitale Immobilienverwaltung und -management

Thus, knowing the right innovation and technology developments is not enough. New chances and opportunities must precisely be combined with company’s own strengths. Only then new playing fields for real estate businesses will arise. For example: PriceHubble. Thanks to artificial intelligence, precise real estate analysis, assessments and forecasts are done within a minimum of time. For faster decision making in property management and marketing. For high competitive edge and revenues. By better arguments in price negotiations + early detection of attractive locations + early utilization of new opportunities for your business.

Another technology that drives innovation in property management: Virtual Reality. Berlin PropTech InReal and its competitors VuFrame und MATTERPORT impressively show how VR is challenging the sector. With precise services for digital house tours, configuration and furnishing. Advantages are as clear as water: configurate properties in an easy, comfortable fast and cost saving way – from an investor, project planner as well as from a tenants or buyer point of view.

Virtuelle Realität in der Bauwirtschaft Frau richtet Immobilie virtuell ein mit VR Brille



Simplify processes. Plan and realize projects precisely and flawlessly. Minimize risks. Protect the environment. These are core topics that influence competition of construction industry essentially. Current examples for innovative construction startups and proptechs are varied and impressive. PlanRadar for example simplifies documentation and communication of construction and real estate projects by connecting involved participants reliably and in real time. That saves time and money.

Innovations like this will quickly become hygiene factor and performance standard for the whole industry. As it has been with Amazon and their comfortable way of shopping from the sofa. For you as a project developer: Are you willing to have each consultation meeting onsite? For you as building constructor: Would you like to miss out the opportunity to reach potential investors for your projects globally – no matter wherever you are?

Digital services for document management grow. For example: Silicon Valley unicorn DocuSign enables digital contract signatures – quick an easy. An other example: digital construction files and documents.

Drohne vermisst Grundstück für Immobilie

Thanks to new technologies like 3D-Printing we do not need month to build a house. We only need 24 hours. Drones support us in doing so. In different construction stages from planning and monitoring through to inspection phases. Thus, planning is specified, progresses are recorded, and damages are uncovered on early stages – and cost are reduced from day 1.

From recycled concrete to roads made out of plastic waste new building materials, recycling concepts and sustainable resources apply in construction industry. In this context and due to resource scarcity of construction materials like sand, wood as sustainable, economic and cost-effective building material is booming.

Construction and real estate companies need to identify different innovation fields and their overlaps with own services, technologies and customers. To become able to proactively rock forward. But: future innovation need a stronger focus on partnerships and technology cooperation. The fast pace of changes in construction, call for an open innovation approach. So that ideas are combined with the best opportunities worldwide – for new market-relevant and sustainable solutions.



When we think on innovation in construction and real estate sector, we surely come to smart home opportunities. Thereby, not only our private homes but also retail and offices become smarter and smarter. Possibilities by which things and even buildings communicate with each other and with us increase day by day. Artificial Intelligence, innovative sensor technologies and the Internet of Things are key factors for that. Sustainability. Efficiency. Earliness. Cost reduction. Are only a few of many advantages for us as well as for our environment.

Some examples: tech companies like SmartFrog offer connected IP camera services to make our homes safer. By this technology, we get able to control our homes by our smartphones – worldwide and in real-time. Currently, more than € 25 m. are invested to improve connected camera services. Thanks to Kiwi’s Smart Door Services, we do not need to worry about lost or missed keys. And not only that: we use innovative electric locking by a comfortable monthly subscription. Just as easy as with our smartphone contract.

Digital solutions from Sensorberg make buildings digital and interactive. To reach higher efficiency, productivity and satisfaction. Already today, Locatee offers a smart building plattform by which office buildings and processes are optimized. For better overviews and productivity in the office. Due to € 300 m. IoT company Relayr innovative solutions for predictive maintenance are developed. As a result of this, we can identify changes, wears and defects on early stages. To take appropriate measures opportunely. It becomes clear: smart building is more than just Alexa. Already today there are many opportunities generating added values. From time, costs and resource savings through to higher productivity and efficiency.

smart building



Also, in asset management and property financing we see a strong acceleration of technology-driven developments. Thus, already today traditional management and financing mechanisms are replaced by new innovative services. Keywords: Crowdinvesting, Robo-Advisory resp. Managed Investments. And yes, also Blockchain.

Due to blockchain, real estate projects are traded as digital shares. Without a broker or fund company. Directly and decentralized between project developer and investor – documented as a blockchain-based service. Keyword: Tokenization of Real Estate Assets. Some more impulses and ideas how blockchain enter real estate markets:

ChromaWay is willing to revolutionize land registries by using advantages of blockchain and smart contracts. RealBlocks is using blockchain to create a decentralized investment platform. Thus, users are enabled to invest capital in real estate projects worldwide. ShelterZoom innovation is based on a real-time real estate platform using blockchain technology – to make property management and processes more transparent, efficient and safer.

blockchain im real estate

Another increasing development: Crowdinvestments. An example for this: Exporo – an online platform for digital real estate investments. It enables investments with small amounts from € 500. Thus, everyone gets able to invest in real estate projects – without much money and without high risks. Without the need of a classic fund company. Without the need of traditional banks. A win-win situation: companies easily and quickly earn money for real estate projects. Investors profit from an uncomplicated and digital access.

Our EARLY BRANDS Innovation & Technology consultants see many exciting developments and perspectives for construction and real estate businesses. Firstly: construction and real estate sector is highly dynamic. Findings and examples from our worldwide innovation and technology scouting make clear: innovation pace in 2018 gains momentum. Both, quantitative as well as qualitative, based on an increasing diffuse innovation and technology competition. Secondly: every construction and real estate company is focusing a worldwide hyper-competition already today. With local garage startups. Digitalized big players. Tech companies. And giants like Google. New players like blockchain-service-providers, AI startups and Robo Services explore the market and lead to higher dynamics. Thirdly: Capital is available. But: innovation and investment habits must be rethought. Invest in innovation + cooperation. Not only in steel and concrete. Anticipate open innovation and collaboration. The starting point for that: knowledge about the most relevant innovation and technology developments for your business + knowhow to generate valuable business opportunities. Keep one finger on the pulse of time… For your business success in the digital age…


Catch the Future..!