Digitisation is changing what people need from where they live – and we want to help shape that change.
The digitisation of work and everyday life is bringing about a great deal of change. There’s a reason why people are calling it ‘digital revolution’, as an increasing number of processes are becoming automated and digitised. With these new opportunities come a change in what the current and future occupants of our homes need.
For us, digitisation is an opportunity – since we don’t see our tenants as tenants, but as customers, whose loyalty we have to win and maintain. That’s why we want to offer services that make our customers’ lives easier – whether through a modern ‘smart homes’, a newer, faster mode of customer communication, or improved property management processes. More information about these new capabilities you may find on our site ‘Digital expertise’.
‘Being braver in working with start-ups would benefit our industry’
Simon Stöckicht, Director of Communications and Digitisation, on the challenges and trends in the proptech sector and Deutsche Wohnen’s digital strategy.To the interview
People are flocking to cities and conurbations – in Germany, in Europe and almost everywhere in the world.
The United Nations estimate that in 2050, two-thirds of people will be living in cities. It is quickly becoming apparent here in Germany that urbanisation is increasing: in 2000, 73.1% of the German population was living in cities; by 2016, this had risen to 75.5%.
There are many reasons why this is happening: first of all, fewer and fewer people are working in agriculture. Education and training are concentrated in the cities – as are good jobs. Last but not least, the cities offer a wide range of leisure and entertainment options. This turns major cities into magnets for young people. Yet a consequence of this development is a massive demand for living space. We are helping to ease the severe lack of housing in Germany’s metropolitan regions. We want to do more than just build homes: we want to create suitable, sustainable living space for people in all kinds of different living situations – such as students, families or seniors. And we also want to promote a sense of community between people in our neighbourhoods.
Megatrend Climate change
Climate change and its negative consequences on life on our planet are inarguable. We need and want to face this major challenge. As one of Europe’s leading property companies, we want to drive progress and set standards in this field.
With the energy transition, the German government is making tough requirements of the German property sector: the aim is for the majority of Germany’s energy supply to come from renewables by 2050 and for its housing stock to be climate neutral. With around 20 million rented units, the housing sector therefore plays a key role in the energy transition. The heart of this is energy-related renovation and modernisation.
At Deutsche Wohnen, we are investing over a billion euros in optimising living standards and energy efficiency in our housing stock. Signs of success are already evident: the energy footprint for 62,4% of our residential units is better than the comparable average consumption of residential buildings in Germany.
Megatrend Demographic change
Germany’s society is changing. We are getting older, and new people coming in are making us more diverse. However, population trend forecasts should currently be handled with care. The consequences of migration, for example, are hard to predict reliably. The fact that German society is getting older, however, is pretty certain.
It’s a paradox: although the German population is shrinking, the country needs more homes. This is particularly true of cities and conurbations. When planning living space, the number of people is barely relevant. The important figure is the number of households – older people in particular often live alone or in couples. According to the estimates from the Federal Statistics Office, the number of private households is on the rise: from around 40 million today to over 43 million in 2035. Germany also needs around 2.5 million adapted homes for seniors. At Deutsche Wohnen, we are adjusting to the consequences of demographic change. Over 99% of our homes can already be found in metropolitan regions. We also plan and build neighbourhoods designed for people’s needs – no matter their age. Most of our homes are one- or two-bedroom homes suitable for small households. As the owner of 77 nursing properties, of which 38 are managed by our subsidiaries KATHARINENHOF Seniorenwohn- und Pflegeanlage Betriebs-GmbH an PFLEGEN & WOHNEN HAMBURG GmbH, we make an important contribution to tackling the challenges of demographic change.