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Aareon Smart World Innovation sky clouds sun



As a digital driver, Aareon cooperates with customers and partners to develop new solutions based on state-of-the-art technologies. We also use new methods for the generation and formulation of ideas so that the result meets the requirements of users rather than those of technology.

Digital transformation

Digitalisation has permanently changed both our private lives and the business world – and is continuing to do so. For example, you only need to take a look around the underground in the morning to see how normal mobile Internet use on the smartphone has become in just a few years’ time. Checking your e-mails or making an online transfer on the way to work, quickly ordering a taxi via an app, renting a car-sharing vehicle or looking up the way to an apartment viewing on a navigation app – services like these have long since become a cherished part of our everyday life. And they are based on diverse digital business processes that provide the economy with new stimuli.

Mobile communication
Just a quick look at the inbox.

These changes also open up new development opportunities for the property industry. A key driver for this is an increased sense of entitlement: More and more tenants and owners not only appreciate digital offers in their everyday life; they simply expect them to be available. If you can interact with your bank or telephone provider online and at any time, you naturally want to be able to do the same when it comes to sorting out housing-related matters. Housing companies can now use digital services to launch innovative business models and impress their customers.

Dr. Manfred Alflen, CEO Aareon, in an interview at the Expo Real 2019 on digital transformation

Smart buildings ensure sustainability

Digital technologies perceptibly influence the way we will live in future. Buildings are becoming ever more “intelligent”: Connected information and sensor technologies in our smart buildings help optimise energy costs and increase the service life of electrical systems. Another effect is the noticeable contribution to environmental protection, since energy efficiency has a direct impact on emissions and consumption. Smart buildings are something everyone benefits from: Intelligent electricity and gas meters and their integration not only enable resources to be used more responsibly from the landlord’s point of view – they also help consumers save energy.

But it doesn’t end with our own homes: Sooner or later, experts agree, we will be living in smart cities where everything is interconnected. Based on an enormous flow of information, city life in all its facets – for instance with a view to mobility, power supply and healthcare – will be made as pleasant as possible while also offering safety, efficiency and environmental friendliness. And smart building solutions will make a significant contribution to this.

A smart city
A smart city

The basis for success

Many companies in the housing industry have already recognised the signs of change and are making their way into a new digital age. On the one hand, this means saying goodbye to old habits and analogue processes. For example, housing companies have to enable their employees to be more mobile and networked than ever before. On the other hand, enormous potential awaits them: namely the opportunity to develop completely new solutions and services that are only possible thanks to digitalisation. Convincing offers enable companies to win and retain customers – because the customers benefit from added value. At the same time, the companies’ own business can be efficiently and sustainably expanded.

Aareon Cloud
Efficient and knowledgeable · Viewing and processing data on mobile devices

Using innovations for the industry

There are already promising new technological developments on the horizon, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) or artificial intelligence. Ever since the first prototype of Google Glass was introduced, the idea of additional information being superimposed over our natural surroundings in order to give us a better overview is no longer so far-fetched. The game Pokémon GO shows how widespread the technologies required for this already are.

Google Glass
Google Glass with a miniature computer and optical display

As far as the property industry is concerned, the concept is capable of covering several key services in practice: Service employees, for example, no longer have to carry a tablet with them as a look through the Glass is all it takes to know how to replace which part. If they need further instructions, they can simply talk to the artificial assistant in their ear, which will seek out the required information from the available data sources. And apartment viewings can also take place using VR goggles in future, allowing potential tenants to place their own furniture into the three-dimensional all-round view to check out what it would look like.

Assessing the sustainability of such developments is one thing, meeting the increasing demands of customers another. Property companies should therefore not follow every trend, but rather proceed consciously and purposefully.

Aareon DesignLab and design thinking

It is important to consider why the company wants to focus on one issue or another. For this purpose, we opened our Aareon DesignLab in the summer of 2016.

Here we work together with property companies in line with the design thinking approach. This user-centric problem-solving method, which is already quite common in other industries, is the methodical basis of the DesignLab.

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Cooperative development as a guiding principle

At Aareon, solutions are not developed behind closed doors. On the contrary: It is part of our innovation culture to bring in selected property companies as early as possible so that we can get to know their practical viewpoint and incorporate it in our developments.

The Aareon Group invests a lot in research and development of convincing solutions. Our transnational development team always takes social, political, economic and technical influence factors into consideration and integrates them in existing and new digital solutions.

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Dialogue with customers
Cooperation at Aareon · How can the app be made more user-friendly?

To be able to carry out intensive testing early on and go from idea to prototype as quickly as possible, Aareon relies on an agile development approach. Taken over from the field of software development, this procedure has participants work in iterative optimisation cycles, drawing closer step by step to a mature final state. The aim of this streamlined process is to achieve maximum quality within a predefined time frame and budget.

No matter whether the topic of the day is building information modelling (BIM) or the Internet of Things (IoT) – for all the opportunities offered by digitalisation, Aareon is able to provide the property industry with forward-looking solutions for a networked world.

Suggested reading

Geared to the future – How innovative are housing companies?
Big Data, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Building Information Modelling (BIM) – how innovative are housing companies when it comes to technology like this? What are the trends and challenges facing Europe, and how good are companies at positioning themselves with new products and services for tenants? In a pan-European study, Aareon obtained some interesting answers to just such questions.

--> Read the article in the Aareon Annual Report.

Innovation! – How PropTechs are setting trends in Europe
Proptechs are driving digitalisation of the property industry throughout Europe. These start-ups represent both a challenge and an opportunity for the established players in the sector and have long since been identified as potential cooperation partners by Aareon.

--> Read the article in the Aareon Annual Report.

PropTechs: The best of two worlds?
Young, digital companies are giving impetus to established industry sectors – with new technological concepts, but above all with new business models. In the real estate industry, these start-ups call themselves PropTechs. What significance do they have for the future of the real estate industry?

--> Read the feature in AareonMAG. (in German)

Everything keeps changing: How to shape change management
The world is changing – whether through digitalisation, demographic change or new methods of cooperation. How can the necessary changes be shaped to meet the needs of a company? What should the related change management look like?

--> Read the expert discussion in AareonMAG. (in German)

The city is on the move
Cities have a strong appeal, whether as an urban place of residence or a place of work for commuters. If the number of inhabitants and daily visitors continues to increase, the traffic flows swell and can become a burden. What solutions are there to master this situation?

--> Read in the article in AareonMAG. (in German)

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