Building Engines recently sponsored part-one of the Realcomm webinar series, “Mid-Year Trends and Course Corrections: Information Technology Takeaways.”
Kyle Maikath, VP of New Business Sales at Building Engines, along with experts from NiceNets Consulting, Carrier Corporation, Related Companies, Realcomm, and Boxer Property, shared how tech partners are evolving their product offerings and how companies plan to leverage the proptech landscape to recalibrate business priorities.
In this blog, you’ll learn from the experts some of the most important commercial real estate (CRE) technology takeaways.
Navigating the uncertainty of the market
After polling the audience, 84% said they agreed with the statement, “The optimized use of today’s technology solutions is a valid strategic response to CRE market uncertainty.”
While the majority of attendees are on the page of utilizing tech in buildings, not all share the same optimism for the current state of the market.
Lisa Woods, Managing Partner, VP of Strategy & Business Development, Realcomm, said, “A lot of people are very uncertain about, and hesitant about, what this year looks like, what might be coming down the pipe, what kinds of hardships, will there be a recession, will there not be a recession, if we do have a recession how deeply is it going to be felt?”
With these sentiments in mind, it’s time for CRE owners and operators to look deeply at their buildings and fully understand what they are doing right, what can be improved, and how tech can be utilized. Because knowing where your property falls short, or better yet, exceeds expectations, is how CRE teams will know where to implement tech strategies in order to stay ahead of the market’s uncertainties.
How to generate revenue at buildings
It’s important to stay competitive in this market. And that means focusing your attention on generating revenue and increasing your net operating income (NOI).
“There are opportunities to generate revenue. You can increase revenue, reduce operational costs, and then at the end of the day, keep your tenants happy. Those three things together are a great equation for improving NOI,” Maikath said.
Joe Rich, Executive VP, CIO, Related Companies, agreed. Rich said, “Anything that can reduce expense and improve an NOI of the building is going to improve the valuation of that building.”
To put those thoughts into action, Maikath suggested CRE companies focus on these five core things to bring revenue to buildings:
- Find a good, core building operations tool
- Utilize tech tools to improve tenant engagement strategy
- Aim to reduce energy consumption
- Increase vendor diversity
- Improve the experience of mobile tools – for tenants and vendors
Understanding the proptech landscape
CRE teams must tap into the best solutions to stay relevant. In fact, it was something all experts on this webinar couldn’t agree more on.
But it’s a saturated market and it can be quite difficult knowing who to work with and how to implement the best tech solution for your specific property. In terms of the proptech landscape, Maikath said he sees two types of companies today:
- Companies that have been around for a long time, have experience, and really understand real estate
- Startups with flashy tech, but don’t necessarily have experience with real estate
So, what does Maikath suggest when deciding who to work with as a tech partner? “I tell people to find a company that has both. You have to work with companies that are open and can exchange data between the three silos, [accounting, leasing, operations],” he said.
And Justin Segal, President, Boxer Property, agreed. Sega remarked, “Where the action really is right now is in less siloed, more comprehensive systems that draw on a common set of data and can help across the organization. Rather than having a collection of hundreds of siloed proptech solutions.”
As suggested by the experts on this panel, CRE companies should be looking for tech partners that support them across multiple channels, know the real estate market, and provide them with real, comprehensive data.
Why CRE teams are turning to tech
Last week’s Realcomm webinar addressed many important topics for CRE teams, including:
- Industry trends
- Market conditions
- The proptech landscape
- Innovative breakthroughs
- Potential opportunities
Most important, however, was the expert’s discussion surrounding tech.
“Real estate technology is even more important today,” said Maikath. “There are mobile workforces trying to cover multiple assets, you have tenants working in these different hybrid environments, and you need tools to communicate with them and connect with them. At the end of the day, there is so much money and energy invested in these buildings. They’re not going to just go away; they need to be run.”
Maikath is right, the market will continue to ebb and flow, and tenants will continue to demand more from buildings. However, it’s how CRE teams choose to respond to these challenges that will ultimately determine their long-term success. One proven way of helping with these obstacles is tech.
For more ways technology is helping properties to streamline building operations, centralize data, and increase NOI, read our free eBook, “The CRE tech guide to boosting NOI.”
You’ll find the information you need to stay on top of this competitive market.