Building Engines is excited to welcome Daniel Cozza as Chief Product Officer. Read the full press release.

Daniel is a leader in his own right, having driven product innovation at Vela Systems (where he worked alongside our CEO, Tim Curran) and led the real estate technology division at Autodesk.

[Related: 5 Questions for Building Engines’ New CEO, Tim Curran]


1. Can you tell us about bridging the gap between your experience at Vela and Autodesk (focused on the construction and development of buildings) to Building Engines, where you’ll be focused on the lifecycle a tenant has with a building and its operations?

We were very interested in owners and building operations post-handover at Vela and Autodesk. We cared to give owners an effective, efficient asset, but we approached this through the quality of the construction process. It’s not a huge gap – in fact, it’s satisfying to be in a spot now where we can directly affect both the efficiency of operations AND the revenue of a building through tenant satisfaction, attraction, and retention.

Both industries have been underserved by technology. We were fortunate to make a positive impact on construction, and it’s a rare, enjoyable opportunity for us to do so again in Commercial Real Estate!


2. How have commercial tenant expectations changed, and what does it mean for CRE asset owners and managers?

Across industries we have a common, massive change: the recent generation has grown up with rich, highly-connected apps and experiences. At a micro-level, any “app” is expected to be great: aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, functional, and connected in the ways we’ve all come to expect. At the macro-level, anything that could be done on a phone, should.

So the expectation is both to have the right apps and have them look/feel/behave in the right way – quite a high bar. Gone are the days where a company looks good simply because they have an app. Many of our friends in CRE leadership are aggressively looking to offer amenities, collect feedback and interact with their customers (tenants) in a technology-enabled way. This is the right way to stay ahead of their customers needs and meet their expectations.


3. Although a third of the CRE industry still runs off manual processes like Microsoft Excel, the adoption of technology in Commercial Real Estate is growing. With disruptive tech like “machine learning” and “artificial intelligence” coming onto the scene, what should CRE professionals know about these capabilities, and what are some practical applications for them?

It’s a very exciting time! We’ve got tech-savvy asset owners and maintenance managers looking to leverage technology in many ways. Anywhere you see a wealth of data is certainly an opportunity to consider ML. Areas commonly mentioned include the IoT – sensor data, predictive maintenance on costly equipment, dynamic heating/cooling based on occupancy, and more along those lines.

Those make a lot of sense, and we’ll also see some other areas emerging that are less obvious ML/AI applications. For example, could amenities adapt based on their patterns of usage? Lots of opportunities over this next decade!


4. Can you tell us about what you have planned for Building Engines?

I joined at a great time. Building Engines already has a lot in progress, and I’m inspired by our direction. We’ve begun investing more in the tenant experience – a polling/feedback system, access to core amenities and more. We’ll continue investing there.

We’ve also begun a comprehensive analytics project. This area covers not only enterprise reporting, but looks to inform decision makers on their entire portfolio: benchmarking properties against each other and even against industry averages. We’ll build out more in this area as well.

Finally, we’re exploring different means of interacting with our solutions. One end of that spectrum is continuously updating and upgrading our mobile experiences. At the other end, we’re considering interfaces that don’t need our app – integrations, voice or text – these are all areas we’re investigating.


5. What’s one thing not many people know about you?

I dabble in real estate! I currently rent a few properties and am looking to grow my small portfolio over the next decade.

More forthcoming product developments will be announced in the first half of 2018. Those interested in learning more are invited to request a conversation here.