Can PropTech Bring CRE Into The Future?

Bisnow article previews key session at CRE.Converge 2019, October 14-16 in Los Angeles

Bisnow interviewed JLL Spark Head of Growth Andrea Jang on how the visionary world of PropTech is quickly adapting to the vast number of priorities in the commercial real estate industry. Read an excerpt of the article below and register today for CRE.Converge 2019, October 14-16 in Los Angeles.

The article, in part, reads:

“It can be hard to justify a huge hardware investment or structural change if the landlord has a short-term hold strategy,” JLL Spark Head of Growth Andrea Jang said. “An owner may only intend to hold onto an asset for two years, so offering short payback periods and strong ROI can be a huge advantage for PropTech.”

Many PropTech companies are pursuing what Jang calls a hardware-light model, focusing on analytical software and specialized services rather than physical improvements. This breed of solution is betting it can bring commercial real estate into the future step-by-step with digital changes, rather than by structural leaps and bounds.

JLL Spark has been assiduously following exactly these types of companies. Spark functions as an independent venture capital arm of JLL, investing in PropTech startups with a wide range of functions.


But the scope of PropTech extends far beyond real estate professionals. Creating a more engaging occupant experience is especially important as remote work becomes more widespread.

“The office has to be a compelling and interesting place to work, or else people are just going to work from home,” Jang said.

Jang said Spark has also made investments in apps that promise to give office and apartment tenants a more seamless, connected experience. She pointed to HqO and Livly, which are tenant experience platforms that bring together tenant services and allow landlords to offer deals and discounts on goods and services within or nearby their buildings, from dining to dry cleaning.

Some of these PropTech tools can boost a building’s operational efficiency by changing the way tenants use their space. VergeSense is an AI-powered platform that monitors room and desk utilization, allowing companies to optimize their office layouts. The sensors are battery-operated and can be installed in minutes, without any structural changes to a building.

Read the full article on Bisnow.