Not just another January newsletter

A Message From Our New Head of Content

Hello and Happy New Year! Now that we have bid adieu to 2023, my new year wishes - while heart-felt - leave me with something of a conundrum as I pull together the first CREtech, Curated newsletter of 2024. 

How do I deliver the fresh, unique content I so boldly promised to you all just last month when we are universally programmed to say and do exactly the same thing at the start of each year? Let me put it this way. How many 2024 predictions have already sailed into your inboxes since January 2nd? Exactly. 

Whether you have had enough of the widespread forecasting or are still chomping at the bit for more, one thing is for sure. Sending out a January newsletter that isn’t destined to instantaneously disappear into a sea of other, similarly titled January newsletters is quite the New Year’s challenge. 

That is why you won’t find any broad brush, generalised conjectures here. Instead, let’s really hone in on where the opportunities look set to lie over the next 12 months. Because, when times are tough, knowing where to find the pockets of relief is the apex of market intel. 

And, speaking of intel, everything you are about to read has come from the people who know, first-hand, what sort of landscape the innovation and built world sectors are currently dealing with. We went to the real estate and technology bosses at the heart of the industry to ask them exactly where they will be focussing their time, investment and attention this year. 

So, if it’s another round of sweeping predictions you are after then I am sorry to disappoint. But strategic insights from people much better placed than me to comment on the year ahead? That I can help with. 

Read on to learn about some of the sector’s top tips for getting more out of ’24. 

Deep clean your data

Almost everyone I spoke to about their focus points for 2024 mentioned AI. Nothing new or unexpected there given it is at the top of the agenda for most industry bosses. I promised an avoidance of broad predictions though so let’s dig a little deeper. I asked what one thing every major real estate company is already, or soon should be, looking at practically right now. The answer, for the most part, came back as building a comprehensive data strategy. Sounds fun, right? On the face of it this may not be the most sparkling of subject matters but that does not make it any less business critical. For those companies who get a hold on their data in 2024, starting with an audit, embracing AI will become infinitely easier. Not to mention less risky. In a world where information based on trillions of data points is being hurled at us 24/7, what can be trusted? The advice from those in the know is to launch a three-pronged attack; develop an organisational or building data strategy, embed a company culture that embraces change and identify and manage the digital risks in the buildings you own, use or manage.  

Keep your cool

Not just figuratively, although it won’t do any harm. But let’s talk practically here as one of the industry’s fastest-growing sectors is increasingly relying on a particular service as temperatures rise. Data centres have long been hailed one of the most dynamic, fast-growing markets in the industry. While investment pours in - $16bn in the first nine months of 2023 according to Linklaters as data centre deals have seen compound growth of 32% since 2017 – the right systems to cool the assets class’s infrastructure have never been in higher demand. Energy use is not just one of the highest financial costs associated with running a data centre portfolio, it comes at a huge, wider price for the climate. Anyone operating in the world of HVAC or relevant climate tech innovation could be in for a bumper year if they know where to look. 

Think small

As high mortgage and interest rates collide with low housing stock, residential markets the world over have slowed and stagnated. Nothing new here, we all know the score on this front. But there will be opportunities, even in such challenging markets. Smaller, more regional architects and contractors look set to be busy this year as global housing market trends shift from big ticket schemes and development to smaller, improvement or extension works. Those operating in the tech or innovation space looking for opportunities in the residential sector could benefit from adding some smaller company targets to their hit list of potential buyers. And it is always worth keep tabs on the what the major developers, contractors and architects are investing their time in and attention on. Many may also decide to focus on smaller projects in the short-medium term. 

Be natural 

From the Biodiversity Net Gain legislation due to come into force in the UK this year (meaning developers will now need to leave sites more biodiverse than they were before development) to the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) being phased in throughout 2024, the protection of biodiversity is becoming increasingly legislated across the globe. Calls for the US to have a National Biodiversity Strategy to build on the 50-year-old Endangered Species Act are becoming ever louder and The Guardian kicked off the year with a piece on January 1st asking the question “could 2024 be the year nature rights enter the political mainstream?” In countries like the UK, embracing biodiversity is a requirement rather an opportunity to be one of the first out of the gate. In regions where that chance to be a natural trailblazer still remains, the widespread advice is to jump on it. The world is changing, requirements for developing the built world are changing. And no one is going to see a decision to get ahead on regenerating the natural world before it is a legal requirement as anything other than an excellent one. 

And finally…

Check out CREtech. OK, so this one is from me. But when you look at the calibre of speakers lined up for the plethora of CREtech webinars, podcasts and events throughout 2024 you can see why it’s worth a mention. Whether you are operating in real estate or technology, we are gearing up for a year packed full of content from interviews to webinars and from keynotes to fireside chats with some of the biggest, boldest and most innovative names across the sectors to help you through the next 12 months. Our two events, London in May and New York in November, will bring much of that content to life on stage along with the opportunity to make crucial connections and close those all-important deals thanks to some of the best networking opportunities in the built world innovation calendar. 

In anticipation of Blue Monday, officially the most depressing day of the year set to be Monday January 15th, how about something to lighten the mood? Our 50% sale for CREtech London has officially finished but for you, our dedicated CREtech, Curated readers, we can offer an extension. 

Thank you for sticking with me! As promised, take 50% off your CREtech London pass with code BLUEMONDAY which is valid for one week. 

Enjoy and here’s to getting back into the swing of a New Year! 

- Emily

Emily Wright

Head of Content

CREtech

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