The fourth event in the series ACROSS RETAIL TALKS online took place on October 7, 2020 at 5pm CET, and was dedicated to the booming PropTech sector. It turned out to be a great discussion between providers and critical users. The topics that were discussed included in which areas PropTech makes sense, what are its successful concepts, what does not make sense, and in which areas is still more potential to unlock. Ultimately, the talk intended to determine the direction of the PropTech sector in (retail) real estate, in the present as well as the future.
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From Vienna, ACROSS publisher Reinhard Winiwarter welcomed an impressive number of industry experts who joined the event via their screens and gave the floor to the host Klaus Striebich, the Managing Director of RaRE Advise and member of the ACROSS Advisory Board. He then introduced the panelists in alphabetical order: Marc Mangold (Director Digital at VIA Outlets), Markus Porvari (CEO of HyperIn and member of the ACROSS Advisory Board), Philipp Sepehr (Chief Digital Officer at ECE) as well as Peter Tonstad (CEO of the Placewise Group and member of the ACROSS Advisory Board). As Ben Chesser (CEO of Coniq and member of the ACROSS Advisory Board) was unable to attend, Justin Cagwin (EVP Strategic Growth at Coniq) took his place. The virtual audience–who attended the event for free–could ask questions by using the chat function, which was used quite frequently.
The discussion focused on three main topics: the crisis and its effects, the trinity of operators, dealers and users, and a look into the future. The goal was to find out what “new” advantages PropTech can create for stationary retailers and shopping centers in order to take a leading role in competition.
The panelists’ key messages
Philipp Sepehr, Chief Digital Officer ECE: “Finding innovative ideas or ProTech players is not a challenge for large real estate companies. What is tough is the evaluation of literally thousands of companies that want to collaborate with you. The solution can only be: select a couple of topics in which you want to be a first mover. For the rest: monitor the market and be a happy second mover.”
Peter Tonstad, CEO Placewise Group: “PropTech has typically been delivering cost efficiency or some element of wow effect. I believe PropTech and the shopping center industry now need to focus on revenue generation. PropTech needs to support the evolution of the shopping center business model and deliver increased leasing revenue through value added offerings for tenants. Solutions that drive tenants’ sales”.
Markus Porvari, CEO HyperIn: “We are the leading mall management platform connecting physical and digital retail real estate. We’re here to help shopping centers to prevail, even in these challenging times.”
Marc Mangold, Director Digital, VIA Outlets: “PropTech is key for retailers to become customer-centric organizations. This will be the main driver for successful multi-channel strategies.”
Justin Cagwin, EVP Strategic Growth at Coniq (who also works with Mangold and VIA Outlets): “PropTech is key for retailers to become customer-“We believe retail destinations need a simpler, faster way to design and deliver unique and personalized 360° digital experiences that create valuable loyal customers. We are as good as our clients are.”
The next ACROSS RETAIL TALKS tackling exciting, European topics are being planned right now.