PropTech is Making the Commercial Property Sector Faster, Better and Smarter

Mitesh Patel
Mitesh Patel

The real estate industry may have been slow on the uptake when it comes to technology solutions, but PropTech is now beginning to revolutionise the way things are done, and commercial property is at the forefront. Not only is PropTech leading to faster design and build processes, it is also making the entire sector ‘smarter’.

From visitor management and communication with customers, through to automation and greater personalisation, there are very few limits to where property technology can take the industry. In this blog post, we take a more in-depth look at the ways technology solutions are helping commercial property managers to optimise performance.

Improved Efficiency

One of the ways PropTech is helping to revolutionise the commercial real estate industry is by making properties easier to manage, through greater efficiency. In particular, many modern software solutions can lead to significant improvements when it comes to things like visitor management and energy efficiency.

In an article written for Savills, Steven Lang highlights the fact that this might include apps and sensors that can detect not only how many people are in a building, but also whereabouts they are. This can then be used to turn devices on and off automatically as they arrive or leave, saving on energy and making workspaces more desirable.

For commercial real estate investors, such increased desirability is extremely beneficial, as it can potentially lead to higher rental fees and improved revenue. This, in turn, makes the property itself more valuable.

There are other areas where PropTech improves efficiency too. The office portal from Engage, for instance, allows communication to be more efficient. Additionally, it doubles as a form of receptionist software, allowing visitor check-ins, parcel management, and meeting room bookings to be managed from one place.

The Customer Experience

Over recent years, an important trend within the wider real estate industry has been a subtle yet significant shift towards thinking of ‘tenants’ as ‘customers’. This is important, because once property managers start to think of tenants in this way, they must also consider the customer experience they are actually providing.

Within the commercial property sector, one of the most obvious groups that would warrant being viewed as ‘customers’ are those who make use of co-working spaces. Indeed, in many ways, co-working is the commercial property industry’s version of Airbnb, which exploded in popularity thanks to the wonders of digital technology.

As Christopher Kelly points out in an article written for Forbes, within commercial real estate, PropTech has given rise to the idea of the ‘smart’ co-working space. Through things like artificial intelligence and the ‘Internet of Things’, work areas can automatically adjust to accommodate individual users, on a personal level.

This could mean, for example, that the workspace responds to people using the facilities and adjusts the temperature automatically in response. It could also mean that technology syncs up with users’ personal accounts on platforms like Spotify, iTunes or Amazon, allowing them to access their own playlists.

In many instances, it may be possible to provide customers using commercial properties with access to a mobile app, where they can control various workstation settings, including lighting and heating, from a single touchpoint. This same touchpoint can also potentially function as receptionist software, and even as a digital key card.

Big Data & Analytics

Finally, property technology also has the power to assist the commercial property sector when it comes to actually managing the performance of a property. This is primarily made possible through the collection of large amounts of data related to building performance, devise usage, payments and customer feedback.

While the commercial property sector has been collecting data and analysing it for decades, the sheer amount of data that is now available to property managers is a potential game-changer, especially in the age of AI.

“Software autonomously looks for saving opportunities by analysing these large data sets and the factors affecting building performance,” says Steven Meleca, the General Manager of EP&T Global, in an article on the GRESB website. “Historically, this analysis would have been undertaken very slowly by a human or not at all.”

What this means is that, thanks to PropTech, commercial property managers are able to analyse performance data more effectively than ever before, and take action when it is needed. As a consequence, changes to a property’s operations, processes and even design can be much more timely and more evidence-based.

The Last Word

The commercial property sector is at the very forefront of the on-going PropTech revolution, and digital software solutions – such as those offered by Engage – can assist property owners and managers with everything from improving energy and communication efficiency, through to enhancing the overall customer experience. 

If you are interested in benefiting from this technology, download our brochures or book a demo today!

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