Altus Analytics

Alex Edds | Director of Innovation at JLL

The Innovation Conversation is a series of Q&A sessions between the real estate technology industry's top leaders and MetaProp Co-Founder and Managing Director Aaron Block.  Topics include thoughts on the future of property and technology, corporate innovation activities and executive development in the real estate technology space.


Alex Edds Innovation Conversations MetaProp

WHAT ARE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY RESPONSIBILITIES IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

I advise senior members of JLL’s UK business on the risks and opportunities of digital disruption. This includes horizon scanning the best PropTech solutions in the market, as well as establishing the governance associated with digital transformation and innovation within the UK business. Also, I provide thought leadership and strategic advice to key clients, participate in industry networking events and public speaking.

 

DESCRIBE HOW YOU BECAME INTERESTED IN PROPTECH AND INNOVATION.

My background is sustainability in real estate. I became frustrated at the pace of change in the industry and seemingly high barriers to entry to scale good ideas and solutions (usually technical) to solve critical problems in our industry. From this starting point I began to learn more and more about the possibilities of digital technologies and how they could be used to solve all sorts of problems in the real estate sector, and open up new possibilities. I am still learning, every day.

 

IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS, WHAT AREA OF THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY DO YOU THINK WILL CHANGE THE MOST DRAMATICALLY?

I would say most of the professional services will be subject to significant change, as they all become far more data driven. But if I had to choose I would say valuation and transactions will be hit first.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN INITIATIVE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION TODAY?

Sounds boring and simple, but it is the creation of property and client information databases linked with APIs. Why was this not done 20 years ago?

 

WHAT ROLE HAVE MENTORS PLAYED IN YOUR SUCCESS? HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE OTHERS TO DEVELOP STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH MENTORS?

I would say yes very much, but not in the sense of actual mentors. Most of my mentors I’ve never met. I watch TED talks or read books and listen and learn from others. The real estate industry is pretty behind the curve so there aren’t that many “innovative leaders’ in our industry. I tend to look outside our industry for inspiration. However, that makes it difficult to make personal connections. This is actually one thing I am trying to solve for myself and others: I will be facilitating small private sessions for like-minded people to meet and learn from out-of-sector leaders

 

WHAT IS ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T ALREADY KNOW?

Despite my role and the intellectual stimulation I get from doing it, I would much rather be living a simple life away from technology.


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Bradford H. Dockser | CEO & Co-Founder at Green Generation Solutions, LLC

The Innovation Conversation is a series of Q&A sessions between the real estate technology industry's top leaders and MetaProp Co-Founder and Managing Director Aaron Block.  Topics include thoughts on the future of property and technology, corporate innovation activities and executive development in the real estate technology space.


INNOVATION CONVERSATIONS Bradford H. Dockser  Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Green Generation Solutions, LLC

WHAT ARE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY RESPONSIBILITIES IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

As CEO of Green Generation Solutions (GreenGen), my responsibilities include setting strategic direction and then securing people and resources to achieve our goals. GreenGen is a global energy solutions provider that engineers and implements energy efficiency solutions to lower buildings’ operating costs while improving sustainability. As a fast-growing company, I like to think my job is to set the boat into the wind and then let the team sail.

 

DESCRIBE HOW YOU BECAME INTERESTED IN PROPTECH AND INNOVATION.

As a real estate professional for more than 25 years, PropTech and innovation have always been critical, even before the word “PropTech” existed. We always focused on expenses; but as technology became more powerful, we realized that most companies didn’t have strategic focus on how to use technology to lower energy related operating costs. This lack of strategic focus is what spurred me to start GreenGen, a firm that has PropTech and innovation at its core. We focus on identifying technologies and then implementing them into a solution that will drive a financial outcome that builds value for investors while improving sustainability. At GreenGen, technology is at the heart of how we innovate and bring value to our partners.

 

IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS, WHAT AREA OF THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY DO YOU THINK WILL CHANGE THE MOST DRAMATICALLY?

In the next ten years, the opportunities to use data will change the most. The real estate industry is still quite archaic in its approach to the collection and analysis of data. Data has the ability to inform decisions from operations to leasing to overall strategy and is a massively overlooked area of opportunity.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN INITIATIVE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION TODAY?

The most important innovation in our organization today is the interrelationship of data, energy generation and efficiency to optimize occupant outcomes and experience while using a lower amount of decarbonized power. This means that technology must enable a systems/solutions approach that integrates technology to achieve specific outcomes. The ability for facilities to better correlate physical occupancy to energy consumption is a perfect example of the systems approach we develop.

 

WHAT ROLE HAVE MENTORS PLAYED IN YOUR SUCCESS? HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE OTHERS TO DEVELOP STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH MENTORS?

Mentors are critical because they can impart their experiences to accelerate an entrepreneur’s path to growth. I often say that the first time is a lesson and the second time a mistake. Mentors have the benefit of lessons that can let entrepreneurs avoid the mistakes. I have had mentors at every point of my career and that would include today.

 

WHAT IS ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T ALREADY KNOW?

Most people don’t know that after high school I played soccer for Bristol Rovers in the English League Second Division before returning to the US to attend college. This experience included relegation to the English League Third Division. An unbelievable and humbling experience.


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Conan Lauterpacht | Vice President, Corporate Development at Altus Analytics

The Innovation Conversation is a series of Q&A sessions between the real estate technology industry's top leaders and MetaProp Co-Founder and Managing Director Aaron Block.  Topics include thoughts on the future of property and technology, corporate innovation activities and executive development in the real estate technology space.


INNOVATION CONVERSATIONS Conan Lauterpacht.png

WHAT ARE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY RESPONSIBILITIES IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

I am the Vice President of Corporate Development for Altus Analytics, which is the technology business of the Altus Group and owns ARGUS software and Voyanta amongst other real estate technology solutions. My role currently involves sourcing, evaluating and investing in emerging companies that have the potential to be or become a partner with ARGUS or other Altus solutions. In the last year or so we have invested in Waypoint Buildings, an operational expense performance management platform, REIX, a market data platform, and Honest Buildings, the procurement and project management solution. Day-to-day I spend time speaking to early stage (commercial) real estate technology companies as well as our internal product management and partner team in order to ensure that our product, partner and investment strategies are aligned.

 

DESCRIBE HOW YOU BECAME INTERESTED IN PROPTECH AND INNOVATION.

My journey has been somewhat unusual as I don’t come from a real estate background other than as a small residential buy-to-let investor. I joined Voyanta, a real estate data management platform for institutional real investors, as COO and raised a Series A round. We sold the solution to a number of the largest financial institutions in the world and were then acquired by Altus Group. I joined Voyanta in 2013 and have been with Altus Group since the acquisition, transitioning into my new Corporate Development role in 2016. As such I have had a front-line seat for this “third wave” of PropTech, of which Voyanta was one of the early participants. I have also had the benefit of seeing the development of PropTech from both start-up and incumbent (Altus/ARGUS) perspective and on both sides of the Atlantic, as I am based in London. However, our investment focus thus far has been in the US.

 

IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS, WHAT AREA OF THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY DO YOU THINK WILL CHANGE THE MOST DRAMATICALLY?

Looking at the commercial side of the industry, I expect to see changing working habits driving further reductions in lease or occupancy terms and consequently an increase in both transaction volume and velocity in the leasing and investment markets. These changes will drive further technology investment as increased transaction velocity and volume will necessitate greater operational efficiency and quicker decision-making, which in turn will be dependent on access to better data sets and analytics. This increased transaction volume will also likely drive increased liquidity in the market whether on private platforms or through the emergence of public exchanges for real estate assets.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN INITIATIVE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION TODAY?

The development of further cloud functionality for our flagship solution, ARGUS Enterprise, and the creation of cloud APIs to enable the supported integration of AE with other best-in-class solutions.

 

WHAT ROLE HAVE MENTORS PLAYED IN YOUR SUCCESS? HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE OTHERS TO DEVELOP STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH MENTORS?

I have worked with some very talented people, but have never taken the time to develop a strong relationship with a mentor. This is something I regret as building long-term relationships with mentors can be very valuable for personal and professional development. And particularly so for entrepreneurs, who will have fewer opportunities for the structured development available in corporate environments.

 

WHAT IS ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T ALREADY KNOW?

If I’m not spending time with my wife and two young sons, I’m happiest skiing powder anywhere I can find it.


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