Welcome to the 12th issue of Property Week’s Perspectives supplement, the latest collection of thought leadership essays by experts from across the real estate spectrum.

Emma Shone

We’re living in a time where lack of information and clarity is starting to take its toll on the sector, as the country’s patience limps towards yet another Brexit deadline with an election to trip over on the way. But while investors may still be holding back until they know more, in other areas of real estate it is information that is leading the way: information and the people that information is about.

The power of people and data dominates the pages of this issue. Technology has given residents more power and they therefore expect increasingly high levels of service. Data, FirstPort chief executive Nigel Howell points out, is key to this. With information on the 3,900 assets it manages at its fingertips, FirstPort can highlight problems in a building before they have even happened, allowing it to either fix the issue before it becomes visible or warn residents well in advance. Happy customers all round.

Bellrock chief executive David Smith feels the same way and explains the importance of keeping the data you capture as relevant to the client as possible. For example, one of its customers is a pub, and Bellrock’s data management platform Concerto has the important job of flagging up any potential issues with the beer pumps, saving everyone from undesirably warm beer.

But data isn’t everything, warns Richard Gerritsen from Yardi. As it becomes more readily available to people, the human touch of understanding a customer will become ever more important.

It seems that data and people will remain intrinsically linked whatever the next few months send our way. In the meantime, enjoy the information compiled by our experts over the following pages.

Happy reading.

Emma Shone is deputy news editor at Property Week