Founder Profile: Dealpath’s Mike Sroka and the Next Generation of Real Estate Investment Performance

An industry long underserved by software and technology and one of the last to garner the full benefits of digitization, Dealpath, a JLL Spark portfolio company, is transforming how real estate investment managers maximize their investment pipelines and portfolio performance. As it turns out, it takes a specific skill set to develop a solution that transforms a traditionally stubborn industry, especially in the complex arena of financial technology (FinTech). 

CEO and Co-Founder of Dealpath, Mike Sroka began his career in real estate finance, and quickly learned how large-scale private equity firms manage their data. He later went on to join a hedge fund, where he was pulled into the world of software development and eventually spent nearly two decades developing venture backed software companies. Mike’s experience in finance, real estate, and software helped him identify gaps and opportunities for efficiency within commercial real estate (CRE), which led to the development of deal management software to address two fundamental challenges: 

  1. Decentralized data 
  2. Specialized and complex workflows and collaboration needs.  

In March 2014, Mike co-founded Dealpath alongside Andy Lee and Kenter Wu. Their goal was to build a differentiated software and data platform that would revolutionize how commercial real estate would transact digitally. The result: a single source of truth for the industry, supporting institutional investors throughout the entire lifecycle, from pipeline to portfolio management, and enabling workflows that operate with speed and precision through easy access to data and flexible configurability. 

Dealpath has continued to optimize their platform to better serve clients and address new challenges within the rapidly changing CRE landscape. As artificial intelligence continues to dominate headlines and disrupt new verticals, Mike and the Dealpath team are committed to leveraging the full potential of machine learning across its robust product roadmap to thoughtfully provide resources and enhanced capabilities. They are also exploring how the platform can be capitalized to further customer sustainability initiatives, providing an ideal space that services climate data and drives corporate social responsibility endeavors forward. 

“The future of real estate investment management and capital markets is more programmatic portfolio management and transaction execution, and it starts with organizing and structuring all of the data that these firms have access to, visualizing it so that they can be more data driven in their decision making, and automating steps along the way,” says Mike.  

JLL Spark’s early investment in Dealpath has proven synergistic over the years with JLL’s broader vision to drive technology across real estate finance. Today, Dealpath’s platform is deployed across LaSalle Investment Management’s Equity and Debt teams for pipeline management, acquisitions, and dispositions among other use cases. As a leading provider of real estate services, partnership with forward thinking entrepreneurs has continued to enable competitive advantages across our business. 

Written by Daniel Correa, Senior Associate at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.

Proda’s AI power: Increasing the value of data for real estate markets

Artificial Intelligence-powered tools have been under the spotlight since the launch of Chat GPT in November 2022. Real estate professionals across the value chain are trying to figure out which AI applications will have the biggest impact on their efficiency and performance.   

They certainly are well advised to do so. Data and the AI applications it will feed are the future of real estate decision making and management processes. Multiple AI applications already exist in the built world like the visualization of construction sites, HVAC management, floor plan optimization, and occupancy monitoring to name a few.   

One area where AI will be a game changer is the enablement of real estate data at massive scale which today is mostly unstructured and comes in endless different formats due to the heterogeneity of assets, asset classes, countries, strategies, and fragmentation of the industry.  

FinTech applications will particularly benefit from the increased access to qualitative and large data sets generated by AI models. In our last blog post, we highlighted FinTech solutions – a core investment theme for JLL Spark – that enable asset managers to operate more efficiently with reduced costs. For example, Proda is a perfect illustration of how this will play out in the specific case of rent roll data.  

The cornerstone of real estate financial models, rent roll data is managed and shared by all players in the industry. The lack of standardization forces each of them to mobilize expensive resources or to pay data management suppliers to capture and check the data before they can utilize it. This analog process limits both the accuracy and frequency of reporting and financial modeling, which, in turn, negatively impacts real estate actors’ decision-making capabilities. 

Proda has developed a machine learning-based software tool to import and quality check any rent roll data regardless of asset type, language, market, or data format. Their solution saves up to 90% of data processing time: five minutes instead of an average of one to two hours for a single asset, and one day instead of a couple of weeks for large portfolios. Imported information is transferred into an 800-point data model allowing users to enrich data, export it manually or through APIs, build reporting, and run queries or analyses leveraging AI models. 

At JLL Spark, we expect FinTech solutions like Proda to change the landscape of real estate transactions dramatically. The leading asset management firms using Proda not only gain accuracy, availability, and security of their most important data, thus allowing their team focus on valued added tasks, they are also creating an unfair competitive advantage by utilizing cutting-edge AI-enabled capabilities to obliterate the status quo.  

Technology is reshaping the commercial real estate industry, but lack of data availability and standardization has slowed down innovation. AI, and generative AI in particular, will exponentially lift this blocker and, by doing so, unlock new solutions and lead to more technology adoption.

Written by Tanguy Quero, Investment Principal at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.

FinTech: The pivotal role financial services and technology will play in the future of CRE

It’s all connected. Nothing could be truer when analyzing the symbiotic relationship of the financial and real estate markets. Commercial real estate (CRE), one of the most resilient asset classes in recent memory, is experiencing gale-force headwinds as steep increases in interest rates have caused widespread defaults, distributed work forces are emptying offices, and sustainability regulations are driving carbon emitting offenders’ asset values down. When compared to the maturation of the financial services industry overall, the real estate financial market has remained largely unchanged in the ways we assess, transact, optimize, and transfer the value of real estate assets. 

CRE broadly is a laggard industry compared to the rest of the economy which, at this stage in the market cycle, creates an opportunity in the form of implementation of products or strategies that are proven to increase productivity and reduce costs. The question that we at JLL Spark often ask ourselves is why it has been so difficult historically to drive Financial Technology (FinTech) or other technology adoption in CRE. The answer: lack of scarcity. Real estate investors have been profiting hand over fist in arguably the same way for the last one hundred years without the need for change. However, that was then, and this is now.  

When we think about what the future holds for CRE, technology is the lever that owners and investors can pull to deploy solutions that maximize utility and returns. At JLL Spark, FinTech is a core theme in our investment strategy. As we are already seeing in other industries with different levels of maturity, FinTech is everywhere: e-commerce offers a robust set of embedded FinTech solutions such as BNPL (buy now, pay later) to consumers, healthcare leverages FinOps (financial operations) for their complex payment flow, and even charities are creating alternative donation methods to increase fundraising conversion. With the abundance of FinTech solutions in the marketplace, we have identified what we feel are high impact, quick wins for CRE in these challenging times: 

Process Management: Technology to increase efficiency in teams by shifting their focus from day-to-day tasks to find and manage investment opportunities. An example would be our portfolio company Dealpath, a platform to manage deals throughout the lifecycle of a real estate asset, seamlessly extracting and ingesting data, saving teams hours in manual data entry. 

Transaction Automation: Solutions that automate underwriting and elements of due diligence for acquisitions, dispositions, and refinancing which create efficiencies and cost savings for all involved in each real estate transaction. For example, Roofstock (also a portfolio company) provides a single platform for high-volume and institutional investors to buy, manage, and sell properties. 

Asset Optimization: ESG/Climate impact and valuation solutions like Carbon Pathfinder and ClimaFi can help assess, procure, and finance carbon efficient retrofits or implementation of energy solutions for buildings. 

Data Collection: Tools that leverage machine learning to automatically capture and audit rent roll data provide standardization and enhancement of data collection for real estate financial models. Proda, a JLL Spark portfolio company, saves approximately 680 hours per year per employee with automatic machine learning error flagging. Another in our portfolio, Elise AI, automates laborious leasing tasks, saving agents over two hours per day. Elise’s AI-based platform helps structure data recollection throughout the sales lifecycle and increases appointment conversion by over 100%. 

As the credit markets tighten and inflation continues to run rampant, the CRE markets can weather this storm by embracing the above-mentioned FinTech solutions, allowing them to find operating efficiencies and cost savings. The real estate market may be going through a tough period, but technology will inevitably change the CRE landscape. At JLL Spark, we are actively seeking startups at the intersection of finance and CRE to steward the industry beyond the next frontier. 

Written by Javier Araujo O’Neill, Senior Investment Associate at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.

JLL Spark’s CVC series, part 1: The goal of corporate venture capital

Corporate venture vapital (CVC) has captured our attention for a couple of decades, having started off in high tech companies and steadily expanded more broadly into other industries such as FinTech as well as carbon and emissions tech in recent years. As the cousin of the Venture Capital scene, it counts more than 2,000 corporations in its ranks. And yet we would argue that it is still largely misunderstood.  

With that in mind, we’re kicking off a series of blog posts to help explain what CVC is and why JLL started JLL Spark Global Ventures in 2017.  

The problem for large successful companies is… how to stay being a large successful company. Being good at providing goods and services that customers like and are ready to pay for is a positive thing. But, over time, competitors arise, tastes alter, and new products are launched. Previously (perhaps dating back to before the advent of the personal computer and widespread adoption of the internet) the pace of innovation wasn’t quick, and limited to a well-defined set of providers, meaning that changes arrived slowly. In today’s world, these things happen quickly, and the competitive set is hard to define, or even keep track of.  

The goal of CVC is to help corporations stay ahead of these changes while capitalizing on the new knowledge and expertise being developed by startups. CVC doesn’t replace internal R&D efforts (although the money devoted to such efforts has diminished over time), but supplements it, providing optionality and choice for the future. Often internal R&D is aimed at incremental improvement, whereas startups are trying for disruptive change, having no installed base or material revenue streams they need to protect. 

That said, working with startups is in many ways an ‘unnatural act’ for corporations; i.e. not the usual way that they work, and so requires careful setup and execution. Large companies plan far in advance, build and control integrated product roadmaps, and hire internally and externally the people needed to execute. From the type of work required (early stage investing), to working with startups where control is not an option, to team composition and compensation, it’s sometimes a struggle for large companies to create a structure that works internally and externally and isn’t disadvantaged in the highly competitive VC market. 

Over the series of CVC posts, we’ll cover:

Why JLL Spark exists – how we bring innovation to JLL and the commercial real estate industry  

The trifecta of success – making it work for your clients, your portfolio or startups and your organization  

Crossing the internal chasm – working with the rest of your organization to maximize the chances of the external innovation taking root  

The future of corporations and startups working together – thinking about models of inside-out and outside-in innovation to stay ahead of the game

By the end of the series, we hope to illuminate why CVC is a valuable addition to the innovation toolkit that every corporation should have, and that you will have gained insight into how corporate venture capital works, how companies can maximize success from the model, and how JLL Spark in particular is solving the challenges to deliver lasting value to JLL, its clients, and the startups that we invest in. 

Written by Raj Singh, Managing Partner at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.

Founder Profile: Infogrid’s William Cowell de Gruchy on the Importance of Smart Buildings 

At JLL Spark, we are excited about the possibilities that the Internet of Things (IoT) brings to commercial real estate. Our portfolio company, Infogrid, is a trailblazer in harnessing the IoT to create smart, efficient buildings that prioritize sustainability, occupant health, and well-being. Its platform utilizes unobtrusive sensor technology to gather data, harnessing AI to analyze and act on the insights, allowing facilities managers to manage their buildings with greater insight and foresight.

JLL is actively exploring the deployment of Infogrid across our property portfolio to meet and exceed sustainability goals. Traditionally, facility management has been somewhat of a reactive task, mainly dealing with issues as they arise. Infogrid’s technology allows for proactive management, saving time and money, while providing a better environment for tenants and staff. Let’s take a deeper look at how the founder and CEO, William Cowell de Gruchy, identified a crucial need and developed Infogrid, the AI powered platform built to change the industry with building intelligence. 

From the beginning

Innovation and enterprise are deeply ingrained in Will. His journey began when he served as an officer in the British Army where he saw firsthand how inefficiency and lack of actionable data hindered effective decision making. The next phase of his career brought him to commercial due diligence where he saw time and time again the inefficiencies in operation, compliance issues, and sustainability concerns caused by a woeful lack of real time data. This sparked the idea that became Infogrid. 

Will founded Infogrid with the vision to make any building a “smart building,” whether it be a commercial skyscraper or a school. His belief was that better management of buildings through data could dramatically enhance efficiency, sustainability, and comfort for users, all while reducing costs for owners and managers. Little did he know that the rise of remote working and an increased focus on health and safety amid the pandemic would underscore the need for intelligent, data driven buildings. 

Fast forward to today

Infogrid’s smart-building platform is transforming the world of facilities management. By forging partnerships with industry leaders like JLL, Will and his team have brought their smart building vision to life. Their product’s impact, along with its continued market traction, has established Infogrid as a leader in the smart building space. The company’s platform powers everything from automated temperature controls to real time air quality monitoring in buildings all around the world. 

“Infogrid’s mission is to empower building owners and facility managers to make smarter, data driven decisions that enhance the wellbeing of occupants and the efficiency of their buildings. We envision a future where every building is a smart building, maximizing comfort, safety, sustainability, and cost efficiency,” says Will. 

As a leading advisor in the real estate market, we see immense potential in the adoption of smart building technology. Infogrid’s platform aligns perfectly with the growing trend towards healthier, more connected buildings that can be adapted and optimized in real time. In addition to a better building experience, Infogrid also provides a way to dramatically reduce costs and energy usage, which are prominent themes for property owners and occupiers alike. We are proud to back founders like Will who share our vision of changing CRE for a better world. 

Written by Andre Bothma, Growth Principal at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.

Building a Sustainable Future: Veev’s Pioneering Approach to PropTech

As sustainability becomes an increasingly important consideration for businesses and consumers alike, companies are exploring innovative ways to reduce their environmental impact. The PropTech sector is no exception, with startups leveraging technology to create more sustainable buildings and workspaces. One such company is Veev, a portfolio company of JLL Spark, which has made impressive strides in the realm of sustainable construction. 

Redefining construction with innovative materials 

Veev has disrupted traditional construction methods by using High Performance Surface (HPS) and light-gauge steel instead of conventional wood and drywall. HPS, a durable material composed primarily of natural minerals and some acrylic polymer, offers myriad benefits including heat and water resistance, easy cleaning, and repairability. Its versatility allows it to be formed into any shape and printed into any textured style. 

Light-gauge steel frames offer superior durability compared to traditional wood framing while significantly reducing waste. Steel is infinitely recyclable, aligning with Veev’s commitment to a zero-waste construction process. This approach has led to impressive results; Veev homes create near zero waste compared to traditionally built homes that generate an average of eight thousand pounds of waste. 

Smart technologies for building a smarter home 

Veev leverages technology at every step of the building process. Their homes are assembled on tech-powered assembly lines that can build a single wall in two hours – a drastic reduction from the 40 hours it takes using traditional building methods. This efficient manufacturing process not only speeds up construction but also minimizes waste and reduces carbon emissions by approximately 50% compared to traditional home builds. 

Furthermore, Veev’s homes come equipped with smart features such as integrated smart home control panels, EV chargers, and dynamic lighting systems that enhance modern lifestyles while promoting energy efficiency. 

Sustainable supply chain practices 

Veev’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its products; it permeates their entire supply chain. For instance, when cutting frames or electrical wiring boxes from HPS panels, the removed material is reused for doors or built-in light fixtures respectively. Any HPS that can’t be reused in a particular build can be melted down and re-formed for future projects without losing any structural integrity. This practice significantly reduces waste while maximizing resource efficiency. 

Why we’re excited about Veev’s future 

At JLL Spark, we believe that sustainability isn’t just good for the planet – it’s good for business, too. Companies like Veev that prioritize sustainable practices are well-positioned for long-term success as demand grows for eco-friendly products and services. 

Moreover, as we highlighted in our recent blog post on our sustainability investment approach, environmental responsibility is becoming an increasingly important factor in investment decisions. With its innovative materials, efficient manufacturing processes resulting in reduced CO2 emissions by 50%, near-zero waste production and sustainable supply chain practices, Veev represents an exciting investment opportunity in the rapidly evolving PropTech space. 

In conclusion, Veev’s pioneering approach to sustainable construction exemplifies how businesses can drive profitability while making a positive impact on the planet. We’re thrilled to support their mission of building higher quality homes faster while minimizing environmental impact. At JLL Spark, we remain committed to investing in companies like Veev that are transforming real estate through technology – creating not just better buildings, but a better world. 

Written by Eddie Carroll, Growth Principal at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.

JLL Spark’s Investment Approach to Sustainability

Every year, JLL Spark Global Ventures reviews and refreshes our investment focus areas. In the past, sustainability had been one of a handful of investment pillars, sitting alongside construction tech, smart buildings, future of work, and others. This year, as we reflected on our investment priorities at our annual offsite, we agreed that we could no longer consider sustainability a siloed PropTech theme; instead, it has become a foundational dimension that cuts across all our investment focus areas.   

Ramya Ravichandar, VP of Sustainability Products at JLL Technologies (JLLT), concurs: “Every sustainable building will have to be a smart building. To be sustainable, you have to know where you stand. That means you have to measure what matters – energy consumption, embodied carbon, operational emissions, etc. You can’t be sustainable if you’re not smart.” 

JLL Spark and JLLT’s focus on sustainability tech reflects the importance of sustainability to both JLL and its clients. JLL is now among a handful of global companies to have a net zero goal in alignment with the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) newly launched Net-Zero Standard, a science-based certification of companies’ net-zero targets. JLL’s sustainability goals focus on three key areas where JLL can make the greatest impact:  

Build: Climate action for sustainable real estate.  

JLL is committed to urgent climate action that accelerates the transition to net zero. To help support this goal, JLL Spark has invested in Ecoworks, a tech-enabled startup that retrofits older buildings with a ‘second skin’ of pre-assembled wooden panels containing insulation and, for rooftop sections, solar panels. They slash the amount of energy needed for heating and the solar panels generate more than enough energy for the occupants, both of which help cut CO2 emissions.  

Operate: Healthy spaces for all people 

JLL is also committed to creating safe and healthy spaces that promote productivity, wellbeing, and sustainability. In keeping with this objective, JLL Spark invested in Infogrid, a platform that utilizes cost effective and easy to deploy IoT devices, data automation, and machine learning to deliver rich data and insights. Infogrid’s solutions include Smart Cleaning, Energy Management, and ESG benchmarking and analytics, all of which help CRE stakeholders save time, money and carbon across their building operations.   

Occupy: Inclusive places for thriving communities 

Finally, JLL has committed to providing fair and inclusive places that create positive social impact and equal opportunities. To help support inclusive as well as sustainable environments, JLL Spark has invested in Aunt Flow, a provider of biodegradable free-vend menstrual solutions for workplaces and common areas. Aunt Flow’s offering helps clients make their restrooms greener and more accommodating to the health needs of its workforce.  

As investors, JLL Spark is excited to see what the coming year will bring in terms of sustainability innovation and we look forward to connecting with founders who are tackling the challenge of decarbonizing the built world. 

Read more on JLL’s commitment to sustainability and ESG and download the latest ESG performance report. 

Written by Kitty Sullivan, Investment Principal at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.

JLL Spark Investments Drive Innovation for JLL and Our Clients  

The rate of change in today’s business environment poses a huge challenge just to keep up. At JLL, we understand the importance of embracing innovation and harnessing emerging technologies to drive growth and deliver exceptional value to our clients. JLL Spark Global Ventures, the corporate venture arm of JLL, has an investment team that actively seeks out best of breed technologies, based on specific investment themes. These themes not only reflect PropTech market trends, such as sustainability or the future of work, but also represent areas where we believe transformative solutions can effectively address both JLL’s needs, as well as those of our clients, employing technologies such as AI and IoT. 

Investment team: Delivering innovation through strategic investments 

At the heart of our investment strategy lies a dedicated team of experts who are constantly on the lookout for investment opportunities that align with our Spark investment themes. These themes encompass various sectors of PropTech as outlined below. By actively tracking market trends and emerging technologies, our investment team aims to identify disruptive startups and innovative companies that have the potential to reshape the real estate industry. 

The investment team leverages their deep industry knowledge, extensive networks, and a rigorous due diligence process to evaluate potential investment targets. Their goal is to identify startups that not only demonstrate strong growth potential, but also align with JLL’s core values and strategic objectives. By investing in these ventures, we aim to foster mutually beneficial partnerships that can bring about transformative change and enhance our ability to deliver valuable solutions to our clients. 

Innovation team: Identifying pain points and solutions 

To ensure that our investment team is well-informed and equipped to seek out the most relevant investment opportunities, we have established an innovation team within Spark. This team is tasked with identifying pain points and challenges within our own organization and those of our clients, and seeking opportunities for continuous improvement, driving solutions that can boost revenue, improve efficiencies, productivity, and/or reduce costs. As an example, the innovation team has worked closely with the account managers for the large investment banks to help deliver innovation workshops to clients who subsequently tested Spark portfolio company technologies such as Saltmine, VergeSense, and Turntide to help solve their challenges. 

The innovation team acts as a bridge between the investment team and the various business units at JLL. We collaborate with employees across various departments to identify challenges that may relate to client experience, operational efficiency, sustainability, or any other area where innovative solutions can create value. The innovation team gains valuable insights into the pain points faced by our clients, the product roadmaps that are being developed to address those needs, and potential white spaces that are ripe for investments. This information is then shared with the investment team, enabling them to focus on sourcing startups and solutions that address these specific challenges holistically with the support of the business. For example, the innovation team partnered with the JLLT Data organization to identify a generative AI technology that can potentially be used to augment its Azara data platform that could provide enhanced action-based insight for clients to make business-driven decisions.  

Partnership is the key to success 

At JLL, we believe that innovation can arise both internally and externally. Whether a startup is sourced within JLL or found elsewhere, our Spark growth team plays a vital role in partnering with each startup to support their growth journey with JLL. 

JLL Spark is committed to fostering innovation and investing in transformative solutions that address the evolving needs of the real estate industry. With our investment team actively seeking out opportunities, our innovation team identifying pain points, and our growth team supporting startups, we are well-positioned to drive positive change and deliver value to our clients while contributing revenue traction to our portfolio companies.  

Written by Danny Klein, Innovation Lead at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.

How JLL Spark Adds Value as a Strategic Investor  

Since 2018, JLL Spark Global Ventures, the corporate venture capital of JLL and part of the JLL Technologies (JLLT) division, brings value to its portfolio companies by investing and providing capital, industry knowledge, and a powerful route to market through JLL channels.  

It all begins with Spark’s identification of industry trends and themes that will be critical to JLL and its clients’ success in the years ahead. Spark then invests in property technology, or PropTech, startups that are aligned with JLL’s strategy to drive innovation and efficiency for clients and the internal business.   

The relationship develops as the Spark team guides the portfolio company on go-to-market strategy, sales readiness, and marketing to engage with JLL’s internal stakeholders. As the company grows, the startup reaches the point where JLL teams are energized about introducing the startups’ innovations to their clients.  

The ideal scenario for Spark’s portfolio companies to engage with internal business lines and grow Spark’s portfolio companies is a reseller relationship. This relationship allows JLL/JLLT to sell Spark portfolio company products while also earning revenue for the portfolio company. Developing the right relationship takes time and effort on both sides, but can be pivotal when done correctly. 

The Spark team is crucial in helping Spark’s portfolio companies establish themselves within JLL. The growth team focuses on helping portfolio companies succeed within JLL – these team members are globally based and have expertise across the real estate industry. Spark also has an innovation team that drives efforts in educating internal business lines on Spark’s portfolio companies, scoping out potential alignment for Spark solutions that can solve challenges for JLL clients. 

After an investment, vendor risk assessments are performed to ensure the technology meets JLL’s security requirements to integrate with JLL systems. Once completed and approved, portfolio companies must be sales-ready before engaging with JLL business lines. The Spark team partners in the process by collecting the company’s marketing materials to create internal and external marketing and sales enablement assets that introduce and educate broader audiences about Spark’s portfolio companies. This practice ensures portfolio companies are set up for success – they are prepared for sales motions with a customer, clearly outlining the value proposition, target use case, and articulated pricing for company base/size.  

Through this partnership, introductions can lead to opportunities for Spark portfolio companies to gain potential customers and drive revenue earnings from JLL. This allows Spark’s growth team to gauge interest in integrating the tech into a JLL product and begin building a reseller relationship. For example, Infogrid’s integration into JLL’s Work Dynamics offerings. These opportunities help drive growth to portfolio companies and initiate conversations about commercial agreements, either reseller or referral. These scenarios provide a win for 1) JLL, providing a service to our clients, 2) JLL clients, solving a problem, and 3) portfolio companies, gaining customers and revenue while benefiting from the trusted relationships JLL has developed over more than 200 years.  

Over the last two decades, we’ve seen several sectors get consumed by technology – advertising, retail, and financial services to name a few. Three industries that yet to be completely changed by tech include manufacturing, agriculture, and of course, real estate. JLL looks to be a leader and trusted advisor for the wave of tech adoption and innovation enveloping our industry by continuing to invest, build, buy, and partner in PropTech, bringing value to our business and clients. JLL and our portfolio companies must partner together to go beyond a ‘nice to have’, to a ‘need to have’, bringing wins for JLL, JLL’s clients’, and portfolio companies to be better positioned in the market. 

Written by Kelly Wong, Innovation and Internal Partnerships Lead at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.

Impact on CRE: What to Expect from the Incredible Rise of AI 

The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) has everyone talking about the possibilities across many industries. The commercial real estate (CRE) industry is no exception. With the integration of AI and machine learning – as well as the recent surge in generative AI – the industry is poised for significant transformation.  

At JLL Spark, we expect AI to make the most immediate impact in five areas of CRE. Here are some examples of the technology in our portfolio that address these areas. 

  1. Construction design, management, and visualization 

Generative AI enables architects and developers to explore many more property design options, faster – resulting in more innovative and functional properties. By leveraging vast amounts of data, it can generate design variations, considering factors such as location, aesthetics, and functionality. Construction professionals can generate highly realistic and immersive imaging of buildings and infrastructure throughout the project, providing stakeholders with clear visualization and insights into progress, areas of concern, and safety. 

OpenSpace: Construction site video and documentation software that uses AI to provide 360-degree visual representation of a job site to capture and analyze data.   

  1. Future of work planning 

Maximizing the use of available space to meet specific needs is critical in CRE. By understanding how people move and interact within a building, AI algorithms can suggest layout modifications to optimize the space for productivity and efficiency. It analyzes occupancy patterns, employee behavior, and workflow data, and provides real-time actionable insights for making the most of the space.  

VergeSense: Occupancy sensors powered by computer vision and VergeSense AI drive effective space utilization, reduce operational costs, and improve overall workplace experiences. 

  1. Predictive analytics for market trends 

Generative AI can empower investors, developers, and brokers to make data-driven decisions, mitigate risks, and capitalize on market trends. The algorithms can analyze vast amounts of historical data, market trends, and economic indicators to predict future demand and identify emerging opportunities. This means you can anticipate changes in demand, rental rates, and property values to stay ahead of the competition. 

Skyline AI: JLL acquired this leading AI company in August 2021. Skyline AI is transforming CRE using proprietary machine learning models to gain a competitive advantage in the origination and analysis of real estate opportunities. In Q1 2023, one in five JLL capital markets opportunities were sourced with the help of this AI-powered platform.

  1. Personalized customer experiences 

Generative AI also has the potential to revolutionize customer experiences in CRE. By analyzing data from various sources, such as customer preferences, demographics, and behavior patterns, personalized property recommendations and tailored experiences can be created and offered whenever customers need them. 

EliseAI: Powered by machine learning, the Elise AI platform provides accurate, conversational assistance to customers and helps businesses manage, track and act on communications 24/7, using data-driven insights captured by their generative AI software. 

  1. Sustainable and energy-efficient buildings 

Focus on sustainability in CRE is no longer just a corporate social responsibility differentiator. It’s a business imperative. The world is inching closer to exceeding the Paris Agreement’s global warming limit of 1.5 °C, and companies are under pressure to commit and follow through on science-based targets and corporate pledges.  

Generative AI can play a significant role in optimizing building design and operations to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. By analyzing environmental data, energy usage patterns, and construction materials, AI can generate building designs that maximize energy efficiency. Additionally, it can help identify retrofit opportunities in existing buildings, facilitating the transition towards greener and more sustainable practices. 

Infogrid: The startup’s AI-powered platform gathers and analyzes data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to help property managers and owners optimize the performance of their various buildings. 

As the technology continues to advance, CRE industry professionals can leverage generative AI to unlock new opportunities, improve decision-making, and deliver exceptional value to clients. The challenge will be to maximize the usage of this relatively new technology while balancing the impact on current roles and responsibilities while also keeping an eye on accuracy.  

Embracing this transformative technology will be vital for staying competitive in the ever-evolving CRE landscape, but it is not without difficulties. We believe that the use of AI will become widespread, stretching the the available supply of AI expertise to help make the transition. Those organizations that are unable to create and execute on an AI-inclusive strategy will potentially lag in adoption and be at a cost and speed disadvantage to their peers. Therefore, partnering with startups already on the journey is a great way to ensure that you can capitalize on one of the most exciting technology trends in recent memory. 

Written by Sonia El-Sherif, Chief-of-Staff at JLL Spark

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.