“Data analytics offers a tremendous productivity driver for real estate professionals”

Data analytics in the construction sector often remains suboptimal. Christian Doumit (CEO and co-founder of fostr) and Martin Noël (CEO and co-founder of Lokimo) meet to discuss the digital decision support solutions that are developing in this field.

fostr is a collaborative productivity platform for the building industry (clients, architects, engineers and construction companies) that allows them to automate repetitive and time-consuming administrative and financial processes during the construction phase.

Lokimo is a startup that uses artificial intelligence to analyze data (real estate markets, socio-economic dynamics, regulations, geotechnics, biodiversity, etc.) to instantly identify the risks associated with a property and help design the best possible development strategy.

portraits de deux hommes dans des cercles. fond avec filtre bleu, photo d'immeubles

What led you to embark on an innovation project in the construction and real estate sectors?

Martin Noël: Binta Gamassa, with whom I co-founded Lokimo, and I trained as engineers in data science and artificial intelligence during our studies. With this sensitivity, the real estate sector seemed to us to be crossed by a real paradox. The amount of data available is enormous, and it plays a key role in decision-making, yet almost the entire profession uses Excel, wasting a lot of time aggregating and updating data without even taking advantage of its full potential.

Christian Doumit: I agree with Martin. In construction, we still use mainly paper, pen and the Office suite. In addition, there are a large number of processes concentrating a series of tasks that must be carried out. Without adapted tools, exchanges are scattered in different communication channels, we spend our time to reiterate and especially to edit continuously many Excel files, with all the errors that this generates. The scattered data, which is not necessarily up to date, is difficult to process. It therefore takes a lot of time to aggregate the information at our disposal to make the right decisions. And this has an impact not only on our mental load but also on the execution schedule of the work and therefore ultimately on the budget of the construction project.

How do your solutions seek to address these challenges?

Christian Doumit: We estimate that project managers spend nearly 35% of their weekly work time performing repetitive and time-consuming administrative and financial tasks. With fostr, we offer them a modern, cloud-based platform that will allow them to digitize and, above all, automate their processes. Thanks to the centralization of administrative and financial data, documents are automatically generated and updated, with the possibility to sign them electronically. A dashboard displays continuously, and in real time, the right indicators to make the required decisions. With fostr, a series of tasks is just a click away, minus the errors. The time saved with fostr is reinvested in the project manager’s core business.”

This productivity gain brought by fostr to the project manager, by relieving him of tasks that do not make the most of his skills, by giving him back control over his workflow and by reducing his mental load, is in our opinion necessary to meet the challenges faced by the industry: more projects to be led and piloted which must be delivered in a reduced time with a high level of quality and always more added value.

Martin Noël: Lokimo enables in-depth analysis of the French territory on any scale. In just a few clicks, all the information needed to design a real estate project is analyzed and formatted to help design the program. Artificial intelligence allows us to produce unprecedented information, such as price evolution predictions or tension indices. In addition, the various reports for internal committees and town hall meetings are exported very easily in white label.

What do your solutions concretely change in the users’ work?

Martin Noël: Upstream of the value chain are the land developers. Whether or not they are business introducers, their role is to find usable land. To do this, they often have hundreds of files to study. Lokimo allows them to prioritize their land in one click, assessing immediately those that match their criteria or not. In a second step, they can instantly export a complete report on the same property, for example in view of meetings at the town hall. Downstream of the value chain, the sales manager, who is responsible for setting the price of programs, can consult unprecedented data on the competition, the population, its needs and its purchasing power. He can also better anticipate the future of the territory concerned, taking into account current construction and its proximity to transportation.

Christian Doumit: fostr is mainly intended for project managers in the project management field, whether they are property developers, real estate companies, real estate investors or general contractors. However, as the administrative and financial processes we automate with fostr are collaborative, the project manager, design offices and construction companies also benefit from the platform to interact seamlessly with the client.

For example, with our first feature (Automated Change Work Sheets), we’ve cut the time it takes to approve and commit additional or change work by a factor of six, ensuring smoother collaboration between all stakeholders, providing relevant decision-making indicators that enable faster choices, and most importantly, automatically generating all documents including Service Orders that are submitted for electronic signature.

What do you see as the next step in data analysis in your industry?

Martin Noël: We invest a lot of time and ambition in the development of our predictive algorithms. We see artificial intelligence as a formidable vector of productivity for real estate professionals. In the future, it could enable us to highlight new areas of real estate interest and make even more refined recommendations.

Christian Doumit: Overall, data is a crucial issue in 21st century life, and this is even more true in the construction sector. At fostr, we believe that the mass of data that makes up a real estate operation should be optimally exploited. This data begins to accumulate from the project opportunity, the genesis of the construction operation, its programming, the feasibility studies, the architectural and engineering project, through the work on the site, the delivery of the operation, its operation and maintenance for many years, until the end of the building’s life. It is strategic, financial, administrative, economic, analytical, geographic, historical, scientific data that make up the construction project. Today these data are not exploited, or only very partially. Data analysis can only improve the productivity of the actors of the sector and especially the global performance of the industry.

What is your outlook for the coming year?

Christian Doumit: We want to deploy fostr on as many construction projects as possible, by automating the process of committing additional and modifying work during the construction phase. We want to demonstrate to clients and the players with whom they collaborate that there is now a simpler and more efficient way – because it is digital, intuitive and collaborative – to carry out the tasks in a process. We are already working on the development of new functionalities, always in this spirit of automation and optimization of a process during the construction phase, which we hope to offer during 2023.

Martin Noël: We want more developers and landlords to discover Lokimo! We are already very proud to count many major players in the sector among our customers. We feel during the demonstrations that the value proposition is very quickly understood and this motivates us greatly for the future.

Contacts :

Christian Doumit : christian@fostr.ai

Martin Noël : martin@lokimo.ai

What do we do?

The VINCI Group created Leonard to tackle the challenges posed by the transformation of regions and lifestyles. Our goal is to unite a community of key stakeholders in order to build the city of the future together.