“Transformation takes time”

Thomas Röhrs and Jan von Mallinckrodt discuss sustainable portfolio management and the necessary transformation of property holdings.

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The social dimension

To date, sustainability has mostly been discussed in the real estate sector in terms of the environment and energy efficiency. Now attention is increasingly turning to the S in ESG. Many market players are taking the initiative themselves rather than waiting for rules from Brussels. By Christine Mattauch

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Transformation as a 360-degree task

A real estate investment needs to be sustainable, resilient and perform well. If no returns are generated, money would cease to flow into the asset class; without resilience and environmental sustainability, there is no long-term economic viability and thus no return on investment. Meeting these demands is no easy task because real estate markets are currently being buffeted by change. The Covid-19 pandemic has turbocharged existing trends such as the growth of online shopping and working from home, which in turn means that real estate assets need modernising and recalibrating.

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Strategies for the stress test

The coronavirus pandemic is testing the stability of open-ended real estate funds again. But while most asset classes have experienced a severe slump and then a strong recovery over recent months, open-ended real estate funds have delivered relatively stable performance. Average volatility has been under one percent. So on the one hand they passed the stress test, but open-ended real estate funds have not completely escaped the impact of the pandemic.

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Collaboration is key to success

Only a few months after it was founded, the ESG Circle of Real Estate (ECORE) industry initiative already has around 40 members. Their shared objective is to establish a reliable, widely acceptable industry standard for measuring the sustainability performance of properties and portfolios.

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