Mathis Grimstad is the CEO of Stor-Oslo Eiendom, a large property developer operating in the Greater Oslo area, in Norway. He is well known in the Scandinavian PropTech community for being an outspoken business leader, a passionate spokesperson for sustainable real estate development and a forward-thinking CEO.
Stor-Oslo Eiendom has chosen Defigo to manage access control for their portfolio of buildings, and has invested in the company. Last month, I sat down with Mathis to discuss why they chose Defigo and how Defigo fits into their ambitious strategy of building the city of the future.
Developing the buildings of the future, in a sustainable way
“What does Stor-Oslo Eiendom do?”, I asked him first.
“We work with urban development projects and real estate projects. We buy land and work with regulatory plans set up by municipalities. And then we develop, implement and build these projects. Many of our larger projects are both residential and commercial.”
According to a well known report by the UN Environment Programme, the real estate industry is responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions in the world, so the quest for a more sustainable world is forcing the industry to change. This is a point Mathis makes at the very beginning of our conversation, and this challenge seems to be one of the things that drive Stor-Oslo Eiendom as an organization:
“Our objective is to develop great places to live in with a focus on sustainable urban development. The cities of the future are going to look completely different than today. We at Stor-Oslo Eiendom want to be a part of the journey towards a «green shift»”.
For Stor-Oslo Eiendom technology plays a major role in achieving their goal. According to Mathis, developers should focus on digitizing buildings to make them more efficient. “We believe that digitization and technology are a big part of being able to achieve the goal of a more sustainable property development. So we focus on technology. We want to challenge new companies and startups to come to us with fresh ideas and new solutions. There is no doubt that technology plays a major role in making this industry much more efficient and streamlined”.
How Defigo fits into Stor-Oslo Eiendom's vision
“We had our first meeting with the Defigo team three years ago, and we immediately liked the idea of a solution that gives you seamless access to a building. A wireless, digital, and cloud-based solution. The more we learned about the solution, the more clear it became that it suits our needs very well.”
“Defigo is a very good platform. It is not only about having access to the building and its doors, but it is also a platform where the manager has an overview over everything that happens in the building. This is a technology we truly believe in. It can become an imperative part of the solution for making smart buildings and smart homes.”
Innovating in a traditional and regulated market
In a highly traditional industry, Stor-Oslo Eiendom wants to offer a new and better access control solution to their customers:
“We want to stand out from the crowd. [...] Our industry is very traditional and conservative. When we talk to architects and consultants about what to adopt in a new building, we see way too many old solutions, like door buzzers and phone-shaped receivers on the inside. These solutions are completely outdated compared to mobile phones and apps, which are what most people use today for pretty much anything. It is clear that this type of technology should also be in residential buildings. And Defigo has come up with a solution for this”.
“It is a new way of thinking, compared to the traditional, physical door buzzer and handheld receiver… Defigo is just a new way to do access control.
Helping developers streamline their buildings
I challenged him a bit: after all, there are other players in the market. So why Defigo specifically? Mathis reflects on how the future involves data, insights and seamless integrations, and how Defigo helps them make a building more efficient.
“Today, a lot of processes [for developing a new project] are done in a traditional way, but many of them can be digitized and automated. I am a big believer in machine learning and artificial intelligence because they can streamline the old processes that until now have been done manually over and over and over again. A lot of new companies focusing on using data and insights have emerged in recent years. And if you find a way to connect this data to provide insights, you will create more efficient buildings, at a lower cost for the customer. Defigo is one of these companies, as it can leverage data to make a building more efficient and secure. So the reason we chose Defigo and not other access control solutions is that it has an open platform that you can connect to other solutions in a building. Thereby it introduces significant benefits and new opportunities for both commercial and residential buildings”.
Defigo is built on an open platform and can connect (via API) to other technologies with the objective to deliver more value to the customer and the people using the building everyday.
“What we are seeing with Defigo is that it offers a complete digital solution. When we sell an apartment, it is important to us that our customers are buying a home that is smart and future-proof”.
Mathis Grimstad is the CEO of Stor-Oslo Eiendom. You can follow him on LinkedIn.