WATCH: Marc Ganzi on Colony Capital’s digital transformation

How CRE can embrace the “Internet of Things”

National /
Jun.June 04, 2021 08:00 AM

A fridge that knows you’re low on oat milk before you do may sound like the stuff of science fiction. For Colony Capital, it’s only the beginning of a hard pivot from traditional real estate to a focus on digital infrastructure.

On this episode of the REInterview, TRD’s Hiten Samtani spoke with Colony CEO Marc Ganzi about the “tectonic shift” towards digitalization in commercial real estate.

Geology metaphors aside, Colony’s own digitalization journey has been unusually fast. The company acquired about $30 billion in digital real estate over the past two years, and sold billions of dollars worth of traditional assets such as office buildings and hotels during that period, in what Ganzi described as a “heroic” effort.

Ganzi noted that the movement towards digital infrastructure may have ramped up during the pandemic but has been going on for a decade. The next big push would be in D2D – device-to-device communication – and Ganzi painted a picture of what that would look inside office and residential assets and what role Colony hopes to play in the shift. Data from mobile devices on movement and foot traffic can be used to calibrate heating and air conditioning, optimizing energy use and potentially reducing a building’s carbon emissions.

Watch the video above to find out more, and read the latest REInterview for more on how Colony is capitalizing on the disintermediation of real estate.


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