Building Engines had the incredible opportunity of attending Realcomm 2024, a premier event where industry leaders converged to discuss the latest trends and innovations in commercial real estate (CRE). Throughout the conference, speakers shared invaluable insights and strategies that promise to shape the future of our industry.  

Here are the three most important takeaways from the Realcomm 2024. 

1. Tech strategies for a shifting CRE market 

For the session, “Beyond the hype: Business-driven technology strategies for a shifting CRE market,” the discussion centered around the idea that traditional approaches are no longer sufficient to meet modern demands.  

Ilene Goldfine from Hines kicked off the conversation by saying, “What we’ve done doesn’t work. Clients demand things that are different.” Bayron Lopez Pineda from Kilroy Realty agreed. Pineda emphasized the need for continuous updates to properties. He said, “Buildings are not the same as they were 100 years ago; they must keep up with meeting tenant requirements. You get an iPhone every year; building tech is and should be the same.”  

Both panelists underscored the importance of staying ahead by embracing new technologies and being agile enough to adapt to evolving tenant requirements. The consensus was clear: older systems that fail to offer value and transparency will fall behind in a competitive market. 

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2. The ROI of operational technologies 

The session, “Cutting through the hype: A critical look at the ROI of OT in connected buildings,” provided a deep dive into the return on investment (ROI) of operational technologies (OT) in today’s market.  

Andy Schonberger from Intelligent Buildings focused on the need to evaluate ROI at every stage of a building’s lifecycle, asking, “How do I reduce costs?” He highlighted the importance of rigorous and dynamic ROI analysis, designed to convince stakeholders in a climate where every investment is scrutinized. 

Jeff Thompson from JLL PM Technologies reinforced this point by advising, “Build ROI models as specifically and in-depth as you can. People need to be convinced to invest in this climate.” The session emphasized the importance of creating precise ROI models that can withstand scrutiny. 

Ryan Knudson from Macerich added an essential element by advocating for continuous feedback loops to refine these models. Knudson said, “Financial models are available and simple to use, but did we get the savings we thought we should from the last project? You need to modify and update from feedback loops.” Establishing performance benchmarks and continually updating them based on real-world feedback ensures sustained improvement and investment readiness. 

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3. Transforming smart building operations with AI 

And in the session, “Real world transformation of smart building operations with Artificial Intelligence,” experts discussed the transformative potential of AI in smart building operations, offering a forward-looking perspective on technological integration.  

Greg Walker from ASHB posed a foundational question, “What are measurable benefits of using AI?” Darryl DeAngelis from EBTRON highlighted the necessity for acquiring quality data, stating, “To save energy and make buildings run better, we need to acquire more quality data than we’re doing today.” This reflected a shared sentiment that data reliability is crucial for effectively leveraging AI technologies. 

Charles Pelletier from Distech Controls emphasized the customer-centric approach necessary for successful AI implementation. He insisted, “We must understand customer’s problems before using AI,” advocating for a problem-first approach to AI deployment.

Pelletier outlined the technological advancement timeline, indicating that AI is the natural next step to follow cloud and IoT solutions. He even remarked that AI has the potential to revolutionize every stage of building operations, from construction to daily management. By ensuring data harmonization and aligning solutions with customer needs, AI can drive significant efficiency gains and cost reductions. 

Realcomm 2024 

Realcomm 2024 provided profound insights into how the commercial real estate industry must evolve with technology. The sessions highlighted the need for transparent and value-driven systems, robust data governance, precise ROI models, and the transformative power of AI.  

The recurring theme was clear: adaptability and innovation are paramount for staying competitive.  

If you’re looking to delve deeper into how these insights can transform your operations, we encourage you to reach out to a Building Engines expert today.