There is no doubt that wellbeing and satisfaction of tenants, visitors and employees are one of the most important factors if speaking about real estate business. All the people would just escape from buildings without feeling good there. And this way the buildings would not bring you any joy for investors, owners, architects etc.
Technical teams and -managers have the most important role in securing wellbeing of all the people in commercial buildings. There are several strong challenges to win for achieving all the goals inside buildings and whether we like it or not, the variety of challenges is growing all the time.
For example ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) takes more and more role in our personal and business lives. Already the Greece philosopher Heraclitus has said: ”change is the only constant in life”. He was right, specially if we think about new challenges, mostly appearing the most unconvinient moment.
At the same time the amount of resources is limited still. How to succeed in this framework? I believe technology development is one of the main opportunities for success in real estate business.
During the last years the importance of a global PropTech industry has grown remarkably. This trend has 4 main reasons connected to each other very tightly:
- The major new technologies of Industry 4.0. like cloud computing, IoT, Artificial Intellgence and Machine Learning, sensors etc.
- New ambitious and skilled teams able to understand bottlenecks and find solutions for RE industry
- Pressure from both regulative institutions (governments) and bill-payers (visitors, tenants) for higher efficiency
- Investors growing trust and motivation to cooperate with PropTech
It is not easy to start using new technologies, specially if these are extremely hard to understand and changing the sector totally. Artificial Intelligence for example. But in general there are just 2 options in a longer run: to adapt or… disappear. Yes, new technologies can be postponed (whatever the reason for that is) but not avoided!
Also, it is hard to compare different buildings’ bottlenecks. For example modern premium class buildings with high indoor climate comfort requirements and low tolerance for system failures vs some old industrial hangars. But the main trend in deploying new technologies is much the same – these need to be launched as ”painless” as possible and those everyday operations would not need too long&hard learning curves. Is it realistic?
In general – yes! For example an AI based R8 Digital Operator for HVAC-operations does not require any hardware, is connected remotely according to the highest IT-security standards, is a dashboard-free and an autonomous control solution.
And the most important – it is a tool for technical managers to detect ”invisible” faults and turn these into tasks and also enable them to focus on their main goals instead of wasting their time for thousands (impossible!) of system setpoints calculations and changes if needed to achieve the highest energy efficiency, best indoor climate and long-lasting technical condition in the building. And this is just one single example!
Finally the most important question: what is the best technological solution, by considering all the needs, risks, budget etc to support technical teams to be heroes of the reale estate? There is no easy answer. Just a minor recommendation: one should just start from somewhere to gain from the benefits offered by PropTech.
The writer Imre-Gustav Vellamaa is a Member of the Management Board of the PropTech company R8 Technologies.