Digital transformation heightens competitiveness in the real-estate sector

Tony M. Maghirang • February 24, 2019

The Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program is expected to boost the local real-estate sector as the massive infrastructure expansion program opens up new areas for property development. Add the continuing infusion of overseas Filipino worker investments in housing units plus the rising demand for office spaces especially by the business process outsourcing industry and real-estate companies can look forward to a boom starting this year.

Prime Philippines, a technology-powered property advisory firm, seeks to sustain the real-estate sector’s growth by addressing perceived gaps through technological advancements. Jet Yu, Prime Philippines founder and chief executive, expressed the view that the future lay in his company’s transformation to become a technology-powered consultancy firm. He has argued early on that while most developers and investors still rely on conventional strategies and practices, his firm was taking advantage of newer perspectives and better insights that had proven to be most effective in addressing the needs of the millennial generation.

Prime Philippines recently launched its Philippine Real-estate Outlook 2019, a comprehensive report on the situation and prospects for the real-estate sector this year. In the press briefing, Jet Yu, also described as a real-estate thought leader, expanded on his vision for a new tech-driven real-estate company.

“As a tech-powered consultancy firm, PrimePhilippines has started investing in technology,” Yu explained. “Last year, we invested in property tech start-ups in Singapore, Hong Kong and south of Manila because we should be at the forefront of innovation. We believe we’re taking the first step in bringing customers online for a more convenient, simplified experience in their search for the ideal property.

“Our PrimeCore application developed in-house will enable us to take advantage of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, Blockchain and machine learning,” Yu added. “By our own estimate, the new system will help improve the productivity of our people by 400 percent. It will have features accessible on mobile devices as it delivers the right information to the right customer.”

This innovation will also exploit promising opportunities explored in the Philippine Real-estate Outlook 2019. The report states that with the continuous expansion of businesses in the fintech industry in the Philippines, office space from as small as serviced office to whole office floors are seen to feed the remaining available supply in business districts.

From 2017 to 2018, shared office spaces have catered to the growing start-up businesses particularly in the millennial markets within central business districts (CBD), As demand for smaller office space requirements increase, co-working and serviced office spaces are expected even more in 2019. Large multinational players have already expanded their footprint within CBDs, but local players are also performing well in secondary business centers such as Quezon City and Alabang. Overall, these twin developments create a generally robust demand base for the office sector for 2019.

Sustained demand for industrial warehouses will also be seen within Metro Manila due to proximity to the Manila port. In addition, the metro hosts most warehouses for logistics and distribution allowing ease of access to businesses operating in Quezon City, Manila and Makati City.

The apparent growth of the e-commerce industry in the Philippines is driving the demand for storage and logistics, which is projected to pick up some more in 2019. Most of the demand is still targeted within Greater Metro Manila, which is the country’s largest e-commerce market.

Digital transformation appears to be a daunting journey. Prime Philippines is showing that, with the right tools, even traditional industry sectors like real-estate can survive and prosper in the digital age.


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Pia Aguirre
Manager - Corporate Communications, Commercial Property Investments
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