The firm's Vice President of Business Technology Ilene Goldfine and Innovation Officer Charlie Kuntz were front and center at the Catalyst 2019 real estate innovation and strategy conference in New York City. Catalyst is a joint effort by New York-based Honest Buildings Inc., a supplier of project management and capital funding technology, and Convene, a network of premium working, meeting and hosting spaces. The event connects senior strategic thinkers from both within and outside the real estate industry to explore big-picture strategies that anyone in commercial real estate can apply to move their field, their discipline and their careers forward.
Goldfine helped lead a roundtable discussion on change management and advised that progress requires both embracing new tools and methods and adapting old ones: “Hines recognizes there is a parallel today between the incredible rate of change in technology and the need to change business processes to keep pace. We have focused a great deal of attention in recent years on making sure our processes don’t become a barrier to progress. Before you build something new, you have to start questioning, adapting and breaking down old barriers.” She noted that new measures of effectiveness are often required, too: “ROI is not the only component on which to evaluate change. Business adoption, increased communication and other intangibles also need to be considered.”
Kuntz served as a panelist on the next era of commercial real estate and who will lead it. “The way we work has changed,” he told attendees, “and the consumers of commercial real estate have changed. This impacts everything from how deals are structured to how technology is employed.” He also noted a few major disruptors that are certain to impact CRE within the next five years: “The relationship with the tenant is fundamentally changing. People are going to begin to think about their real estate assets as a way to solve problems for their corporate customers and the manner in which people think about individual assets versus portfolios is going to adjust.”