My name is Michael Oluwole and I am from Nigeria. I am a member of the International Cultural Service Program at Portland State University. I will like to share in this article how I started on my career pathway and why.
My passion for real estate started when I was a little kid while growing up in Nigeria, Africa. I would mold small houses from all kinds of materials like clay, paper among others and muddle them in different designs. Fortunately for me, my mom could see my passion and was very helpful in directing me to the right path.
After my high school days, I decided to pursue a bachelor degree at The Federal University of Technology Akure in Nigeria and my five years’ experience at FUTA change my perspective about real estate. FUTA’s motto is “technology for self-reliance” and walking with this motto in mind for 5 years through the Real Estate Management program gave me an insight about the future. I was able to imagine the various integration of technology into the real estate industry. At this time, there were already a lot of industries that were already utilizing technology to create core competence and to disrupt the traditional ways of doing business within their industries.
Amazon’s story was one of the stories that inspired me and how the company was able to use technology to change the retail industry. The foregoing confirmed my belief that technology could be used by any industry to create competitive advantage within their industries. The foregoing is also true for other industries like the transportation industry where Uber has continued to use technology innovation to change the traditional way of thinking about public transport and the business model in transportation industry using technology innovations.
In 2017, I decided to start a dual Masters in Real Estate Development and Engineering and Technology Management at Portland State University. I know that’s a weird mix; lots of people always ask me why I have decided to combine those two degrees but will be like wow when I start explaining my why.
Today, it seems like a lot of real estate and real estate finance organizations are beginning to see things from my perspective. The emergence of technology innovations such as cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) among others has shown many real estate companies how much more profit and value they could create adopting technology innovations. There are currently different real estate financial modelling software that could increase efficiency in investment financial modelling or simplify complex real estate financial model for huge real estate investment. Companies like Wework have shown creativity by using technology to increase floor space flexibility and many list companies are able to reach more potential clients through the online listing system. Facilities and Property Managers can now manage building and infrastructures effectively through integrated Management System like TRIRIGA. Furthermore, IoT Technology has shown that we could have smarter and more functional homes. All these, I believe will change the traditional approach in the real estate industry. There has been over $155 Billion investment on Startup Property Technology companies since 2015 through capital ventures and this is a sign that a lot of investors are paying attention to this change.
I will be completing both masters degrees this fall 2019 and hoping to be a part and pioneer of this great new movement in the real estate industry. I agree there has been a lot of arguments about this change, a lot of arguments that this change not is happening and many others argue that this change is still far into the future. In conclusion, This perspective is my belief and I think the rate of increase of Prop-Tech is faster and closer than we think.