On 13 February, the International Union of Property Owners, one of the partners of the TripleA-Reno project organised a Roadshow workshop to collect the input of key national representatives of property owners and the real estate sector. The objective of the workshop was to improve the relevance of the TripleA-Reno platform for European homeowners and landlords, better tailor some of the features of the platform to the market needs and expectations, as well as to assess a relevant business case for the digital tools developed in the project.
Property owners are key decision-makers when it comes to energy efficiency home renovations. A key challenge is to raise awareness on benefits (energy saving, increase of comfort, health, financial benefits, etc). How to provide useful information to convince them to carry out the work is another burdensome aspect. Information, planification tools, easy access to professionals can appear highly relevant to foster renovation decision, attractiveness and acceptance.
A key characteristic of the TripleA-Reno project, is to use gamification feature to make individual renovation journey fun and attractive for homeowners and landlords. Gamification builds upon the natural human appetite for games to generate more acceptability and engagement from a user’s perspective. Schemes including playful activities or reward mechanisms can reach this objective, just as the gamified features of the AirBnB platform (badges, “superhosts”, rating system) manage to create engagement and trust for both sides of the market.
The objective of the workshop was to present the “community platform” developed within the TripleA-Reno project and collect sectoral feedback to improve the tool. With a design resembling a real estate website and the rating system the aim of the TripleA-reno platform is to boost the market uptake of renovation solutions. The platform was received with positive feedbacksand deemed to be a potential innovative way to tackle existing market and financial barriers for homeowners.
Discussing the relevant features to be displayed, the idea that cost-related information would probably be the most relevant for owners willing to renovate their dwelling(s) stood out. This solution would allow them to assess what type of solutions is available in their area within a specific budget, while give them indication on what has been done by active professionals in similar properties. Discussions also focussed on the business model to foster the development of such platform on the market and identifying potential synergies with existing tools and services offered by property owners’ associations. This also helped to identify potential obstacles, such as reliability issues.
Validating results with key actors of the renovation market is a way to increase the chance of market uptake of the proposed renovation digital tools at the end of the project. The theory can be very far from the practice. Considering the market perspectives – from the demand and supply side – during the development process is key. Collecting feedbacks and identifying potential challenges early enough during the tools development phase can end up to a be crucial for the success of the instrument developed. The rich diversity of the TripleA-Reno project partners and the direct implication of key actors, such as private and social property owners, architects and engineers’ representatives is certainly a strong added-value in this sense.