Right now you may be asking yourself “Why am I here?”
So I’ll get straight to the point.
Real estate – its a critically important industry and one I happen to know something about. I was pretty much born into it – both my father and grandfather were involved in house building. I practically grew up playing on building sites (yes well health & safety wasn’t a big priority back then!). In 1997 I graduated as an architect and not long after I turned my attention to the real estate game.
Technology – for as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by tech. As a kid my favourite shows on TV were the BBC’s Horizon and Tomorrow’s World. I would take secret lunchtime excursions to the school computer lab where they had an Apple II. My enthusiasm for all things tech stood out, you might call me a ‘maven’ today but back then I was known as ‘Gadget Man Gallagher’.
Real estate technology or ‘PropTech’ is suddenly all the rage. It’s the hottest new tech vertical and venture capital is pouring into it like never before. In the last few years we have seen the emergence of dedicated PropTech accelerators like MetaProp and Pi Labs. Not long after that we saw the arrival of Fifth Wall, a venture capital firm focused on tech for the built environment.
The real estate industry has traditionally been a technology laggard. An important industry but one that is slow to adapt – you could liken it to a massive ocean-going oil tanker that need miles to slow down or change direction. I believe the main causes for this has been one of inertia, fear and mindset among senior industry players and professional bodies, but it seems that is finally starting to change.
I am not a journalist and I don’t write for a living. I am just a property guy (investor, developer, operator) who happens to be an avid technology enthusiast. There are already a ton of great journalists and bloggers out there covering PropTech in terrific detail so what could I possibly have to say that hasn’t been said already and far more eloquently?
If you’re looking for the latest industry news then this blog is probably not for you. But perhaps like me you would be interested to hear from other industry participants on how they are using PropTech in their daily lives. What if you could follow along in real time as they implemented various products and services across their portfolio? Would that make for compelling content?
I am part of an established family business that invests in, develops and operates real estate assets. We manage a commercial asset portfolio comprising a hotel and a number office buildings. We are also building residential schemes (both houses and apartments) in Ireland and the UK. But my principal focus is the running of our business park EastPoint in Dublin.
We started developing EastPoint back in 1994 after 5 years of work on its masterplan and various site development works. We added the last two buildings in 2009. Today the park is fully occupied with circa 8-9,000 people working across 50 companies in 34 buildings (totalling 1.5 million sq ft or 139,000 sqm). This year we begin a comprehensive 3-year upgrade program that will see EastPoint refurbished, modernised and optimised. I plan to install a lot of new technology.
It occurred to me that corporate real estate & FM teams along with other industry participants might find this process interesting and may wish to follow along as I document the journey. Taking you behind the curtain as I strive to improve EastPoint, to make it a better, more enjoyable location to work. Sharing with you the issues, the goals and the solutions in real time.
Are you in?
So a detailed, behind the scenes blog letting you in on the processes a commercial landlord has to go through, does that sounds of interest? If you would like to understand how real estate investors/developers/operators go about identifying, choosing and implementing technology solutions then please sign up HERE.
It is my hope that this content will entertain, educate and inspire. But you should consider it a two-way conversation – feel free to reach out with any suggestions you have on how I can improve the blog to keep you tuned in and engaged. If there are any particular areas you would like me to cover, or if you have any questions please leave a comment below.
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I look forward to hearing from you.
written by Gavin J. Gallagher