The Consumerization of CRE Tech
We rely on technology for a multitude of things in our daily lives – from shopping platforms to banking or investment apps and social networks. We’ve grown accustomed to the rich experiences and conveniences that these technologies bring to our non-work lives, making it easier to efficiently manage everything from finances to friends.
Many of today’s tech consumers are also employees of enterprises, which means their expectations of technologies in the workplace are higher than ever. From the younger generation of workers who have never known a world without digital conveniences, to the more seasoned employees who appreciate the simplicity and efficiency of the modern user experience, all of us are influenced by the technology we use personally every day.
This begs the question – why can’t our office technologies be just as efficient and intuitive as the apps on our phones, tablets and other mobile devices?
The evolving approach to enterprise tech
Enterprise technology vendors must take a different approach to products and services, keeping in mind the high expectations of today’s users. In the past, it was sufficient to offer tools that improved business productivity, enhanced transactions processes and measured performance. Now, ERP software must also meet the tech standards that employees have come to expect in their daily lives – a rich, intuitive experience, adaptable workflows and notifications, plus the ability to use multiple devices to get the job done.
What does this mean for CRE?
As the CRE industry continues to see the emergence of new technologies, nacsent startups, and analytics solutions to better leverage data, the importance of user experience should not be overlooked. And users of these systems include not only the employees of CRE firms and property managers, but also tenants and investors.
Without a world-class user experience, employees will not readily adopt new technologies. This can lead to productivity issues, and worse still, the system can become irrelevant if employees circumvent the technology and revert to manual processes. Without full adoption, the system will not deliver the value expected, and enterprise organizations can no longer justify investing in tech that will not yield full productivity.
For tenants and investors alike, technology can make or break their perception of an enterprise. Like our personal shopping or banking experiences, technology is a large part of the client experience. If it does not provide a rich and enjoyable experience, then tenants and investors will perceive that the organization provides poor customer service.
The Property Management perspective
Commercial property managers need technology that provides full visibility into building operations and proactively handles maintenance and service requests. To that end, tenant resources and portal capabilities that integrate with a larger comprehensive system are essential to their job. But the accuracy and effectiveness of such systems can be compromised if the software is not user-friendly for building engineers, property managers, and tenants.
User-friendly can simply mean ensuring that data presented to the property manager is applicable to their role and that this role-based approach delivers smart actionable data that is intuitive, allowing them to initiate processes and resolve any building tasks with ease.
The user experience – or lack thereof – can have a huge impact on tech usage and tenant satisfaction. When a tenant submits a request for maintenance, they expect much more than simply getting their problem solved. They want a complete service experience, or the “full uber” – schedule the appointment yourself, see real-time information on the whereabouts of the person who will handle your issue, and get status updates along the way. Software that simplifies the user experience for tenants without sacrificing functionality will result in happy tenants and commercial property managers.
Intuitive, user-friendly software that manages the full scope of building operations, preventative maintenance, work orders, communications tools, tenant resources and more, will gain successful adoption and meet the tech expectations of all parties. As a result, building managers can rely on software for insights into performance and cost, determine the optimal amount of manpower required to complete certain tasks, and ensure projects are completed on time. The consumerization of CRE tech can bring about the best of both worlds by providing transformational technologies to improve the business while also giving users the personalized experiences they’ve become accustomed to in their daily lives.
This Week’s Sponsor
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UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
A Path to Net Zero – Driving ENERGY EFFICIENCY in Smart Buildings - 7/18/2019
One of the first trends to emerge in the modern smart building movement was energy conservation and efficiency. Approximately eight years ago, the industry realized that connecting energy related equipment to a network and applying advanced analytics and complex integration strategies could result in a significant reduction in energy and natural resource consumption and a resultant decrease in energy related expenses. In recent years, operational efficiency and occupant experience have been added to the smart building discussion, sometimes overshadowing energy efficiency. This webinar will focus on the very important goal of including energy efficiency in the comprehensive smart building strategy.
Ruairi is a respected high-performance building design expert. His aim is to elevate the built environment and restore order to the climate for future generations. He specializes in commissioning services for new and existing buildings, building energy assessments, high performance building design, energy modeling/advanced building simulation, and measurement and verification consulting.
Sarah Zaleski currently serves as a Senior Advisor for the U.S. Department Building Technology Office where she leads commercial zero energy efforts, district-scale solutions, and a portfolio of data infrastructure projects. In previous roles at DOE, Sarah led local government clean energy innovation programs. Sarah has over 15 years of experience in sustainability and energy work. Before DOE, Sarah worked for Baltimore City where she helped establish their Office of Sustainability.
Ryan Knudson, is the AVP for Operations and Energy Management at Macerich. He is responsible for the development, execution and operations for all Capital Expense Energy and Smart Building projects as well as national program vendor management. He oversees the daily operations of Macerich’s portfolio with a focus on same center NOI growth.
Akshai Rao, a vice president at Yardi, is responsible for the development of procurement and energy management solutions to ensure high-performing buildings. Prior to Yardi, Akshai spent five years at Bain & Company where he focused on technology and telecom.
Jean-Simon Venne is a tech expert who thrives on developing and implementing new technology to solve long-standing commercial issues. He has over 25 years of experience in the fields of telecommunications, biotechnology and energy-efficiency specializing in the fast and efficient migration of technological innovations to commercial applications. With an industrial engineering background, Jean-Simon is uniquely trained to optimize the value creation opportunity that exists where new technology intersects with business and energy markets.
Gary Fescine FMA, RPA is the president of GFC his own consulting firm. He has recently retired from BlackRock where he was global director of facilities, building operations, overseeing 77 sites in 23 countries. He has held a number of related positions including director of facilities at The New York Times and director of operations at the New York Post. Mr. Fescine was the recipient of several energy savings awards including the Energy New York Award in 2017.