The real estate business is in a constant state of change. For years the industry has been pursuing digitalisation and tackling the various associated hurdles, such as highly manual, non-integrated business processes, a lack of process and data standards, and limited data transparency and availability.
Standardisation and harmonisation efforts are often complicated by local practices and regulations as well as a heterogenous real estate ecosystem. And finally, a successful change requires buy-in and adoption from stakeholders rightfully concerned about data privacy and cyber security.
A holistic digital platform centred around data and users
To be able to master the diverse challenges, a consistent and holistic approach is required that tackles the problems at the root. We at Swiss Life Asset Managers are building a unique pan-European real estate IT platform across all our European entities – one that covers our end-to-end value chain and has asset, portfolio, fund and transaction management operations at its core. This digital setup is complemented by a customer relationship management tool, ESG, risk and reporting features as well as a data integration platform to manage and monitor the various internal and external data sources while adhering to the latest data security standards. Implementing the harmonised platform across countries and business areas is key for a pan-European growth strategy and requires commitment and willingness to change from the organisation.
The technological foundation is a modern application architecture with best-in-class tools that ensures scalability of standard functionalities and a seamless user experience. This IT platform enables us to harmonise business processes towards a global standard while considering local best practices to
facilitate collaboration and process efficiency across Europe. The standardisation of the data model as well as automated and integrated data quality checks deliver quality-assured data and ensure well-founded decision-making for the benefit of the clients, even in a difficult and fast-paced investment environment.
Client focus is embedded in our DNA, and so are ESG considerations: sustainability is at the core of our operations throughout the entire real estate lifecycle. We have committed to a 20% CO2 reduction for our directly held real estate portfolio by 2030. The platform supports this ambitious target by providing industry-leading steering, monitoring and controlling features.
Advancing digital maturity
This initiative will boost operational efficiencies and strengthen our leading position in a highly competitive and dynamic European real estate market.
After three years on the digital transformation journey, all our major transaction activities run on the new platform, and a large proportion of external data providers, employees and real estate products across Europe have already been onboarded. The finalisation of the platform rollout will enhance our capacities
to successfully launch and manage diverse real estate products in single- or multi-country setups and rapidly onboard new assets onto our portfolio. With that, we will strengthen our offering and grant distinctive investment access to innovative real estate products across Europe.
This initiative is just the start: based on a harmonised process and data model and a solid technological foundation, we strive for further process automation, seamless reporting and business intelligence
integration, value-adding data analytics capabilities and therefore the end-to-end digitalisation of our real estate business.
Swiss Life Asset Managers is one of Europe's leading real estate investors.