In the final article of our “Inspiring Women in Real Estate” series, we explore the transformative impact of technology on the industry landscape. We asked nine female leaders how they envision technology shaping real estate processes and the opportunities and challenges it presents for industry professionals. If you missed the first two articles of the series, dive into the evolving dynamics of hybrid work, remote work, and flexible workspaces, alongside the emerging trends of sustainability and eco-friendly properties, and the growing expectations of consumers.

“In the digital era we live in, the real estate industry in Romania is one of those that adapts quickly to technological changes,” remarks Raluca Cretul, Leasing Manager at One United Properties. She emphasises the industry’s rapid adaptation to digitalisation, revolutionising the way customers make decisions. “Thus, the way of searching for real estate has been transformed, we can see the increase in accessibility of information. ONE office tenants can view properties on our platforms, as well as foresee how they could customize and decorate that space. This eliminates the need to make multiple physical visits and provides a high degree of convenience for customers. We offer a personalized experience, they can configure their space taking into account the colors of the brand, the shape of the furniture to the last detail,” Raluca adds. 

Otilia Bordei, Head of Office Agency at Avison Young Romania, agrees, noting how virtual tours and digital platforms are transforming property viewings and transaction processes. “Technology has become the cornerstone of any industry, including the real estate sector. We are currently witnessing numerous automation processes within our industry, benefiting all market players, including occupiers. For instance, virtual tours and digital platforms are revolutionizing property viewings and transaction processes. Embracing technology ultimately enables professionals to deliver innovative solutions and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving industry. While the digital transformation of the real estate industry is a gradual process, the only direction to move now is forward.”

Elena Oancea, Managing Partner at Lemon Interior Design, sees technology as a transformative force setting new benchmarks in real estate. “The integration of technology into real estate processes is fundamentally reshaping the industry, indicating a new era of efficiency, accessibility, and personalization. We, at Lemon, view this technological evolution not just as a trend but as a transformative force that is setting new benchmarks in how we design, construct, and interact with spaces. Technology, from virtual reality tours to AI-driven design optimizations, is granting access to high-quality design and real estate. It enables a level of personalization previously unattainable, allowing clients to visualize and customize their spaces in intricate detail before any construction work begins. This shift towards digitalization is streamlining processes, reducing errors, and significantly cutting down project timelines.” 

Cristina Manea, Senior Project Director at COS, adds that technology brings a competitive advantage to the market, facilitating more efficient processes and enhancing customer experiences. “Technology always brings both opportunities and challenges in any industry and the Real Estate market is no exception. As we see a rise in virtual office viewing and creation, the time-line for Real estate companies to close deals with clients potentially becomes shorter but, with that comes the challenge of it becoming a more transactional market rather than the deeply consultative one that has been the USP for many prominent Real estate companies in the past.”

Oana Partenie-Dorhan, Director of Portfolio Management at Revetas Capital, acknowledges the potential of technology but also points out challenges. “Virtual tours, automation solutions and AI-powered real estate technology tools are real estate innovations that improve the efficiency and accessibility of real estate transactions, streamline operations, and automate manual and repetitive work.” She notes that while technological advancements can bring many benefits, the lack of transparency and data volume in real estate limits machine learning capacities. “However, in my view, companies that correctly assess their needs and incorporate the appropriate new tech, will maintain their competitive edge and mitigate risk. But in order for that to happen education and a multi-disciplinary approach are key, meaning that real estate professionals need to have a better understanding of technology and on the other hand the prop tech developers would benefit from in-depth knowledge of real estate,” Oana adds. 

Additionally, Andreea Druga, Managing Director at Paval Holding, highlights the challenge of continuously adapting the industry to new technologies while ensuring data security. “Technology has also been more and more integrated into real estate, with the aim of streamlining processes, enhancing data analytics for better decision-making and improving customer experiences through more proficient tools for presenting spaces. While this technological integration benefits us, it also brings the challenge of continuously adapting this brick-and-mortar industry, while also ensuring data security in an increasingly digital environment.”

Ashton Topolinski, Partner and Head of Marketing at InteRo Property Development, emphasises how technology helps real estate companies grow their business and meet new clients. “Whether it be the construction team tags works that need to be completed and manage them on Procore or us, InteRo Property Development, using InteRoVerse platform to showcase our pre-construction projects from a 3D view in the walkthrough tour and digital twin view to our clients, consumers are evolving in Romania and they are adapting to using technology throughout the sales process. With this, technology is advancing real estate companies within the country to become more competitive in Europe and, the real estate market in Bucharest is becoming more known to foreigners which is attracting foreign investment and contributing to the country’s GDP.”

Irina Herascu, Interior Architect at PickTwo, discusses how technology presents opportunities for interior designers to enhance creativity, efficiency, and client engagement. “Virtual design tools allow for more accurate visualizations and easier experimentation with different design concepts, enabling us to better convey our ideas to clients. Furthermore, leveraging digital platforms for project management and collaboration facilitates seamless communication and improves productivity.” 

To stay competitive, real estate professionals must adapt to the rapid pace of technological advancements. This requires ongoing learning and upskilling to effectively utilise emerging tools. “Another challenge is maintaining the human touch among technological advancements. While technology enhances efficiency, it cannot replace the personal connection and expertise that professionals bring to the table,” underscores Oana Stupinean, Leasing & Marketing Manager at ELI Parks.

Technology presents both opportunities and challenges for the real estate industry. By embracing innovation, staying updated with technological advancements, and maintaining a client-centric approach, professionals can navigate this evolving landscape successfully.

As we conclude our series, we celebrate the visionary women driving innovation and transformation in the regional real estate industry. Their insights and contributions pave the way for a more dynamic, efficient, and customer-centric future.