In the ever-evolving landscape of real estate, innovation continues to reshape the way businesses operate and thrive. David Rajakovich, a seasoned executive leader with a rich background in corporate training, has been at the forefront of leveraging technology to drive transformative change. As the Co-Founder of ReKreate, a pioneering proptech company, David has been instrumental in reimagining how office spaces are designed and matched to tenant needs.
With a track record of success in executive leadership roles and corporate training, David possesses a deep understanding of the challenges that organisations face when it comes to workforce development and training. He recognizes that delivering timely and relevant training to individuals is paramount, and he envisions proptech as a catalyst for revolutionising the way real estate approaches workforce education. His insights on tailoring learning experiences to specific roles and skill levels highlight the potential of digital learning to achieve optimal outcomes.
In this Q&A session, David Rajakovich shares his perspectives on how proptech is reshaping the real estate industry, the transformative potential of digital learning, the unique benefits of ReKreate's virtual design platform, and the role of industry events in driving innovation and networking. His insights shed light on the exciting future of real estate.
#PTS: Given your extensive experience in executive leadership and corporate training, how do you see Proptech transforming the real estate industry's approach to workforce development and training, and what are the key opportunities you envision in this space?
Mr David: Corporate training’s main challenge revolves around delivering exactly the answers that an individual needs at the time she needs it. During my time as CEO of a digital training company, we constantly strove to deliver the most relevant training in the most efficient way possible to learners in a variety of roles within procurement and supply chain. We assessed them, developed personalised learning plans and measured ROI in a tailored way for each of our corporate clients. Corporate learners don’t want to sit in a classroom with a wide variety of roles and levels of seniority – that type of training will be too slow for some and go over the heads of others. Digital learning, when done right, can target individuals with the right training for their role and skill level. The next step will be to deliver Just-in-time learning – i.e. answers that are just as fast as ChatGPT but with greater levels of trust in their accuracy. There’s no reason why PropTech can’t do the same in the real estate sector. The first step is mapping what discrete roles look like at your organisation and then determining what skills, if developed, would have the greatest impact on results.
#PTS: Can you elaborate on how virtual design platforms enhance the tenant experience and increase their interest in available office spaces? What specific features or technologies make the platform stand out in this regard?
Mr David: As it stands now, it is a nightmare for small and medium-sized companies to find their ideal space, provide their requirements to architects, builders and others and otherwise deal with acquiring an office that suits them when instead, they want to invest their time growing their business. I experienced this myself as CEO of my last company. Moving into a bigger office meant a great deal of work for the senior team while the pressure was on to deliver business growth. One other company that I’m familiar with simply gave up moving into a new office because it was too time consuming. With ReKreate, we take that hassle away. We’ll take tenant requirements, spend a couple hours on a video call designing their ideal space, match them with a landlord that can meet their needs and deliver that landlord a fully functional design with a Bill of Materials needed to make the design a reality. The new tenant will be in their new office in weeks.
#PTS: Speed and efficiency is what everyone looks for. Could you share some insights into the technology and methodologies that allow you to significantly reduce the time it takes to modify and finalise office space designs? How does this benefit both landlords and tenants?
Mr David: On the tenant side, imagine that you are a CEO of a 10 million per year business, and you’re looking for an office. Now imagine spending your days travelling to a particular city, and taking tours of spaces that in no way match your needs. Let’s say you see four spaces in one day and don’t like any of them. You’ve just wasted an entire day of your time, expenses and the carbon emissions from travelling there, just for the privilege of not being available for your team or your customers that day. On the other hand, if you are a tenant that uses ReKreate, you can take virtual tours in elegant 3D so you know exactly what it will look like from the comfort of your own office. Even if that ideal office does not yet exist, you can design it directly with us. Within our network of landlords, we will find you one that will be more than happy to accommodate what you want, especially in today’s environment in which office owners are having to hand the keys back over to their banks because of high vacancy rates.
For landlords, not only do you get a tenant prepared to rent your space, but you also get functional designs – not just pretty 3D videos – accompanied by a list of materials you need to purchase. Now that’s speed. Going back in time even further, imagine that you used ReKreate before a particular space became vacant. Once you have a virtual tour designed for that space, and the current tenant serves notice to exit, you can immediately start marketing that property over the web. On top of that, there is no longer any need to invest Capex in a speculative refit because you’ll already have a virtual tour of how multiple versions of the space could look rather than in the potentially dilapidated state it’s in today. You’ll also demonstrate your commitment to the environment by avoiding unnecessary Cat A fitouts. So, by marketing the space the same day a tenant serves notice to exit, already having a new tenant lined up with a functional design of the new requirements including a Bill of Materials by the time they move out and we are talking about reducing voids by upwards of 75%.
#PTS: The ability to tailor office spaces to specific tenant requirements is a key aspect. How do you ensure that the modifications made to the initial design align with the needs and preferences of the tenants while maintaining the practicality of the space?
Mr David: For one, because we use trained architects to design the space with tenants – that’s why we say that we are not simply a tech provider, but rather that we deliver outcomes for clients. The chasm between us and ‘normal’ architects is that we’ve developed an innovative workflow that allows us to make modifications in 3D in real time while we’re on a call with tenants. An automated output of that fully functional design is a Bill of Materials, which would otherwise need to be done through the slow, manual process of scheduling a time for an assessor to physically go to the property to determine what we’d need to buy.
We are certain our designs will delight tenants, because instead of asking them to look at diagrams, we show them what the space looks like in 3D video. If you show me a diagram or sketch of how a space will be designed, I, like most people, will struggle to determine if that’s exactly what I want. But if you show me an immersive 3D virtual tour, I’ll know what modifications we need to make.
#PTS: How do you believe events like the London Proptech Show play a role in fostering innovation and collaboration within the proptech industry, and how has your company benefited from participating in such events in terms of exposure, networking, and insights?
Mr David: We’re always on the look-out for the shows that will help us further build our brand and the London PropTech Show is certainly a good one. Meeting face to face with so many decision-makers concentrated in one small area is invaluable for a growing business.
Every time I attend an industry conference, one of my takeaways is an idea generated from having discussions with people in the same sector, listening to them describe the problems they’re experiencing combined with the new technology that’s constantly making developing new products faster. The way my mind works, I generate so many ideas that the challenge becomes prioritising those which I'll put into action first.