New technologies can be intimidating, and it’s not always easy to figure out the best ways to use them effectively and profitably in commercial real estate. But there’s no doubt that tech innovations will keep advancing, so the sooner you embrace them, the better equipped you’ll be to remain a strong competitor in the market. These are some of the main tech trends you should be following if you’re in CRE.
Data, Analytics and IT Infrastructure
Many CRE companies are not fully tapping into the power of their data to make sound investment and operations decisions. Investing in advanced business intelligence software enables better management of business functions, reduces manual work and equips property managers to make fast, informed decisions. A key step in effectively deploying and integrating technology internally at a property management company is developing an enterprise-wide technology strategy. You can upgrade your technology infrastructure while still accommodating legacy systems, but a well-thought out plan for integration across the enterprise is still essential.
And, upgrading internal technology to newer, more efficient and user-friendly options doesn’t necessarily mean it has to happen in-house. Companies now have the option to contract with external cloud-based service providers for certain business areas or even outsource entire functions to specialized firms that handle payroll, HR, accounting and more.
AI and Smart Technology
Smart building management systems can carry out automated procedures and track building operations, and smart devices and AI-augmented technology can be used to identify patterns and anomalies in the data. Data can include anything from tenant satisfaction to business functions to building temperature. These innovations allow property managers and building engineers to more effectively apply predictive analytics, perform preventative maintenance, optimize energy usage and save costs.
Tech-Savvy Building Design
Today’s tenants rely on connected devices in their workspaces, and to meet their expectations, property owners and managers need to consider upgrading the digital infrastructure in their buildings. CRE companies must recognize that IoT technology is a priority when designing or retrofitting their buildings. Also, modern tenants increasingly value tech-based sustainability initiatives such as solar-powered outdoor lighting and installing green technologies will not only boost tenant satisfaction, it can also reduce energy bills and improve property value.
Small unmanned aerial vehicles now have many commercial applications. Drone technology is being used in real estate to photograph properties from appealing bird’s-eye vantage points and other normally inaccessible angles. Using high-quality visual imagery from drones when advertising your properties can increase perceived value, which can translate into a higher asking price and a faster rental cycle. Some security departments are using them for surveillance to be able to monitor larger properties with less required manpower. Drones are also being deployed for surveying, architecture and construction—something to keep in mind if you’re building a new property.
The Sharing Economy and PropTech
Innovative business models inspired by the new sharing economy are now arising in commercial real estate. The most notable, WeWork, provides shared workspace and particularly appeals to tech startups and freelancers looking for flexibility, convenience, special amenities and technologies that enable their mobile workstyle. At the same time, CRE is moving online, with internet-based PropTech startups transforming the traditional business model. Zillow, Trulia and Redfin have been disruptors in the residential sector, and emerging companies are now aiming to shake up the CRE industry in a similar manner – are you prepared for what this might mean for your building?
Technology is advancing every day, and if you’re not making efforts to stay current, you’re likely falling behind. By embracing new innovations like these, your property, your tenants and ultimately your profitability will benefit.
Portions of this article originally appeared on the NREI website.
About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.