The first visit to a client on the 40th floor of a Warsaw skyscraper was like the first flight by plane, I was even afraid of the receptionist. 10 years later, I head the Polish leader in commercial real estate data with over two thousand buildings in its database. REDD turns "paper business" into full digital, but it also has a different, larger goal – to change the way of thinking about building in general.
It is a building that doesn’t exist yet or exists, but not yet the way it should.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
If one had to pick the closest association of a popular game with building, it would definitely be stone. Stone - as it's a really hard business. The truth is that the real estate market is still "paper", outdated, it stopped in the '90s and it doesn't want to move any further. The modern database is still science fiction. But in REDD, the rule is as follows:
If an idea is thought to be impossible, then it means it's a good idea.
And now they already have 13 billion pieces of data to support customers with… and talking about the impossible has quieted down a bit in the industry. They’ve won because they didn't play Rock, Paper, Scissors at all, they started playing big data right away.
This market consists of many small islands, each of which so far has had its own small database. Most often in Excel or in a binder. So we’ve entered this area immediately wearing war paint, because we knew that we were breaking a certain old order, but we were also sure that we were right. In this reality, there is no longer any room for the old system based on the lack of access to data. It’s time for transparency. We are this transparency.
In Central and Eastern Europe alone, the office space is over 30 million square meters. This cannot be closed in the binder, and it certainly cannot be analyzed the way algorithms will analyze it. And it's not just a matter of those who build and buy offices...
Office building on old diesel
When we pass an old car on the street that emits as much smoke as a small factory, we immediately get outraged. Meanwhile, three-quarters of buildings in the EU are non-energy efficient and most of them will still be there in 2050. Only 1% of them undergo renovation with a view to reducing their carbon footprint. And in Western Europe, companies already prefer to buy real estate with green certificates, because the carbon tax is being talked about more and more often throughout the EU.
Will you be able to sell old diesel for profit in 10 years? Good luck. It is similar in the case of real estate - this is not the time when we can spend money on anything and anywhere without any reflection. We must build objects the function of which we will be able to modify easily and cheaply in a few years. Today, a few years are an epoch, it is difficult to predict what the next one will look like. For all this, you need data, up-to-date data. And we update ours every 28 days or more often.
This is the next step REDD is already thinking about – building with the planet in mind, taking into account people using commercial real estate, and even those who pass these buildings every day. And of course, with the wallet in mind, but already within sustainable development. Building in a wise way, supported by data, and not just pure profit. Big data will enable us to ask the right questions before a construction project is created.
The headquarters of the REDD Group is located in Prosta Street and, all in all, the symbolism is very accurate here. It has to be simple, but for the client – on the outside. Because the inside includes: analyzing a million data per month, weekly reports, and never-ending advanced research.
I like to change the status quo, and this company is there to change it. And it is not, I repeat, only about the status quo in commercial real estate. Oil will run out, real estate will not. Real estate has to be re-invented so that it does not become the Trojan Horse of the planet. I believe that in the next 10 years, the algorithm will not let us build a skyscraper just because there is money for it, and later we will wonder what to do with this giant. Big data will provide us with, among others, a cleaner environment.
Data is knowledge, knowledge is effectiveness.