Real estate industry in general and its business models in particular are standing at the beginning of a transformation process, caused by fundamental and multidimensional change in technology, economy and society. The drivers of this change can be classified into three dimensions: social development, change of economic structure and digitalization. Although these transformation processes' effects are already visible, immediate consequences for market participants of the real estate industry remain largely uncertain. They are without a doubt going to affect the value system of the real estate industry, because the market environment and therefore business models of relevant participants are changing and will continue to do so. As a result, the demarcation line of the value system is going to become blurred, and a reform of the internal structure will take place. Many organizations struggle to grasp the full extent of this process, which can be seen by a predominant, exclusive focus on digitalization.

The goal of this research is to determine and systemize the drivers of change affecting the real estate industry. Thereby, the author delineates variations of business models and points out which drivers of change have an impact on which business model.

Based on a systematic literature review, a theoretical framework will be developed, in order to determine and systemize drivers of change in the real estate industry. This framework will be tested empirically by a quantitative survey of German real estate market participants. The appraisals are enquired using multivariate analyses and multidimensional scaling (MDS).

An exhaustive systematization of all essential drivers of change cannot be found in the existing body of literature. Only if the effects of the drivers and the consequential impacts on business models in the real estate industry are anticipated correctly, management approaches dealing with future challenges and actively shaping the transformation processes can be developed properly. The research results will help to characterize the need for adjustment in real estate industry. Furthermore, it could reveal approaches for developing new and innovative business models.