A lot has happened in recent years with advances in technology and its role in smart buildings. Here’s how PropTech can help the commercial real estate industry in more ways than one.
The field of PropTech, the application of smart technologies to the real estate sector, has seen a rising number of innovations and disruptions over the years and decades – in everything from data collection to construction machinery to property management. And as a highly diversified field, PropTech has a lot to offer the real estate industry, including energy management, space management, automation and digital connectivity.
However, while all these areas may provide positive outlooks for the real estate industry in general, by reducing risks and increasing value, have we considered how PropTech can help the commercial real estate industry and the individuals involved – namely building owners, operators and occupants?
As concepts like hybrid work environments become more popular and more of a ‘norm’, let’s take a closer look at four key areas that impact these stakeholders – Health, Security, Experience and the Environment.
PropTech’s Positive Impact on Health
As we move out of the worldwide pandemic stages and into a consciousness of prioritising health and wellness, PropTech has introduced several new practices that can keep real estate owners, operators and occupants healthier, both physically and mentally. Areas such as air quality and hygiene take centre stage, with smart technologies that can regulate the operations and maintenance of equipment such as HVAC systems. Maintaining efficient internal air quality that doesn’t allow for high concentrations of CO2 particles, is also vital in avoiding stress and fatigue for occupants, which can impact their immune systems and lead to the spread of illnesses.
When we consider how PropTech can help the commercial real estate industry, providing a healthy environment also isn’t just about placing these systems in a building. A three-prong approach is necessary for prevention, detection and management of issues, to ensure that a healthy environment is consistently maintained.
While this may seem like a daunting task, with the rapid advancements of smart technology, solutions are already available where existing systems can be integrated with software and hardware, to automate workflows that manage systems such as HVAC equipment. This not only provides a healthier environment for occupants where they feel safe to spend their time away from home and share common spaces with others, but also provides owners long term ROI for their real estate.
Some of the growing areas worldwide include
- automated sanitation
- indoor air quality monitoring and analysis
- infra-red sensors to measure temperature
- sensors for humidity, mould and pathogens, and
- apps for buildings and occupants to track and share critical updates and risks
With the changing use of commercial buildings and occupants demands for healthier environments, PropTech is already providing solutions to keep all stakeholders safe with smart technology. While the initial costs may seem high, prioritising health and wellness will not only draw more occupants back to workplaces and buildings, but will provide more sustainable solutions for the future, as well.
How Does PropTech Improve Security?
Another vital area in real estate is security. It has become a must that commercial buildings must provide security for visitors, storage, data, and the increasing demands of occupants. While security has always been an integral part of real estate, with the shift in working patterns and the evolving usage of buildings, PropTech has seen many key similarities when it comes to keeping occupants and their data secure in this age of digital transformation.
When we ask how PropTech can help the commercial real estate industry, we must address areas that include more unscheduled and irregular movement of people in and out of buildings. As such, PropTech has seen the introduction of smart solutions that include
- visitor management and analytics
- hot desking and room reservations
- access controls, and
- vehicle access automation
- together with existing technologies of video surveillance, CCTV and remote video patrols
In addition, security solutions in real estate now include data that is collected and analsysed, to help owners and managers better understand who is where, for what purpose and for how long.
All of this is made even simpler with the use of apps and mobile solutions, enabling management and monitoring from anywhere at any time, to ensure that issues can be prevented, and emergencies can be tackled without wasting time or resources.
With the increased sharing of information digitally, security is even more important as occupants exchange critical details every second, pertaining to sensitive personal and corporate information. By providing solutions that track these interactions, occupants also feel more secure in knowing that their details and data are not shared among unathorised persons or systems, and that they have control over what is shared when they’re in a certain space or workplace. For owners and operators, improved security through smart technology also means reduced operational costs, streamlined workloads for staff and increased ROI, as well as improved sustainability scores and ratings.
In short, security is a must in real estate. But smart PropTech security enhances the experience and effectiveness of how your building operates and who it attracts as good tenants.
PropTech and the Occupant and Owner Experience
As tenants return to work in offices, they are demanding more from landlords to make their experience more comfortable, convenient and enjoyable. From improved communication and collaboration requirements within their workplaces to enhanced security, health standards and real time access to information related to safety, the occupant experience is one of the key factors that PropTech has had to address.
Occupants are also looking for digitised means of getting in and out of office, ensuring their safety and knowing that being away from home in a smaller space will not impact their health or productivity.
Taking all these factors into consideration, PropTech has already integrated several solutions for building owners to provide these enhanced facilities to their occupants. From security screenings with temperate monitoring and visitor management, to occupancy sensors and keyless car park entry and wayfinding, several key improvements have been made within the past few years.
Smart solutions have not only made it easier for occupants to come into offices and enjoy their experience, but has made it much more convenient to communicate, collaborate and get things done with minimal effort, by providing results that don’t infringe on their productivity.
For building owners too, PropTech provides more effective monitoring and management, with less resources being used and more information available to make more informed business decisions. Again, while initial costs may seem high, with the introduction of several solutions from numerous solution providers around the world, even that is not an issue when considering the long-term ROI. With digitised workflows that provide automated and real-time alerts, managing real estate is actually much easier and more efficient with PropTech. Much of the stresses that ailed owners have been eliminated with smart technology that keeps you informed and up to date in real time.
Reducing the Impact of Real Estate on the Environment with PropTech
One of the key areas that is constantly highlighted in real estate is the impact it has on the environment. It’s no longer an option to include smart solutions in buildings and workplaces. But what exactly do these solutions do? And how is the impact reduced on the environment, when we consider how PropTech can help the commercial real estate industry?
Statistics from a recent study done by Forbes, show that nearly 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions are created in the real estate sector. From these, about 70% come from building operations, and the other 30% from construction. Due to these staggering numbers, more and more policies have been introduced to hold real estate owners accountable for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.
As such, reducing carbon emissions, optimising energy consumption, and meeting sustainability requirements and net-zero carbon targets are now a must in the real estate industry. And PropTech’s answers address these issues through smart solutions that do just that – reduce emissions and energy usage.
Some examples include sensors that detect when rooms are not occupied, and automatically turn off lighting and air conditioning. Or automated workflows for meeting rooms that inform managers when large meeting rooms are underutilised, so that they can move to a smaller room and consume less energy. Another example is preventative maintenance of equipment, which helps the system function better and use less energy, while producing less emissions.
Smart PropTech is a good investment for owners and beneficial to occupants
Yes, Smart PropTech positively impacts these areas for owners, operators and occupants in the real estate industry, and has been proven to be a good investment for real estate owners too. While there have been significant improvements in digitising these areas, more is on the way, with positive impacts for all stakeholders. It’s up to owners to own up and implement these solutions to reap the benefits that will positively impact all areas of their businesses.
The Spaceworx Composable Marketplace offers a variety of solutions that can help real estate owners and operators transform their buildings, and gain the positive results mentioned above. To learn more about the easy-to-use and cost effective solutions on offer, visit www.spaceworx.com or email email@example.com to request more details.