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In conversation with Ibrahim Imam: Exploring the impact of IoT on Saudi Arabia’s smart city vision

Article-In conversation with Ibrahim Imam: Exploring the impact of IoT on Saudi Arabia’s smart city vision

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In this insightful interview, Ibrahim Imam, Co-Founder and Co-Group CEO of PlanRadar, discusses the evolving landscape of Saudi Arabia's real estate sector under Vision 2030. He sheds light on the challenges professionals face, the increasing importance of technology adoption, and the emerging trends that are defining the future of the industry in the Kingdom.

Can you shed light on the impact of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 on the real estate industry and the opportunities it presents?

Vision 2030 is reshaping the industry and attracting investors and developers.  It is creating a demand for diverse real estate projects, supporting sectors such as technology, healthcare, and entertainment.

Saudi Arabia is also positioning itself as a global tourism destination – so this creates a need for world-class hotels, resorts, and entertainment facilities. The development of infrastructure projects is crucial to support the growth envisioned by Vision 2030. Investments in transportation, logistics, and energy infrastructure create opportunities for the development of industrial parks, logistics canters, and transportation hubs.

What are the major challenges faced by real estate professionals in Saudi Arabia, and how can they be overcome?

There are a range of factors that require careful navigation, including regulatory intricacies, financing considerations, cultural influences, and the importance of environmental sustainability.

Staying up to date with regulations is crucial. Building strong relationships with data providers who can provide accurate and up-to-date information on market trends, property valuations, and investment opportunities can mitigate the need for increased market transparency.

Financing considerations are vital in our industry, and we tackle this challenge by exploring various options and keeping ourselves informed about available resources.

How do you recommend real estate professionals differentiate themselves from competitors in the market?

Embrace technology. Invest in comprehensive real estate software solutions that enhance collaboration and provide transparency to clients. There are a range of tools for project management, documentation, and communication to improve efficiency and deliver exceptional service.

Focus on customer experience and consider offering value-added solutions such as market research reports, property investment analysis and advisory services.

Develop expertise in a specific real estate niche or market segment so you can position yourself as an authority in that area.

What are the emerging trends or innovations in real estate that B2B professionals should be aware of in Saudi Arabia?

The real estate industry is quickly embracing PropTech solutions, leading to significant advancements in efficiency, transparency, and collaboration across the entire real estate process. These benefits can include streamlined operations, improved project management, and improved client satisfaction, while simultaneously increasing profitability.

Adopting environment-friendly building practices is growing due to government initiatives that promote energy efficiency, green certification programs, and the use of eco-friendly materials and systems.

We are increasingly seeing data-driven decision-making and AI-powered technologies gaining traction in the Saudi Arabian real estate industry. Advanced analytics and the use of machine learning algorithms can provide valuable insights for real estate professionals, helping to automate processes, improve operational efficiency, and enhance customer interactions.

Saudi Arabia's smart city vision is facilitating the integration of IoT  (Internet of Things) in real estate projects, with an emphasis on smart infrastructure, building connectivity, and resource management. Adopting IoT solutions, such as intelligent security systems, smart energy management systems and predictive maintenance can help to optimize building operations for facility operators and building managers.

How does staying ahead in terms of technology adoption and innovation contribute to success in the Saudi Arabian real estate market?

We’ve found that technology-driven solutions like property management software, CRM systems, and automated workflows are game-changers. These tools enable teams to effectively manage their properties, automate repetitive tasks, and boost productivity across the board. It's all about streamlining operations and developing more intelligent ways of working together.

Leveraging technology allows companies to provide personalized experiences that attract more customers and foster long-lasting loyalty at all stages of real estate management. With virtual reality (VR) tours, 3D floors plans, and online property listings, potential buyers and tenants can save time and effort. Mobile apps and online platforms provide convenient ways for customers to search for properties, schedule viewings, make payments, and communicate with real estate agents.

Proptech can help optimise costs and promote sustainability. By implementing smart building automation, Internet of Things devices and energy management systems can monitor and control energy consumption, which not only reduces operational costs but also helps to improve environmental sustainability. Digital documentation and online transactions can help to minimise manual paperwork, saving time and resources.




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