Building on Realcomm ׀ IBcon Connections
I consider the Realcomm ׀ IBcon conferences a highlight of the year. The most recent installments in Nashville, Tennessee, in June were no exception, defining the impact of technology, automation and innovation on the Real Estate industry in powerful and stimulating ways.
The conferences provided enough material for a long series of Advisories. I’ll confine this one to the key themes presented during the general session presentation by Anant Yardi, my company’s president and founder, and the “Big Changes Ahead—The Next Chapter of Real Estate Technology & Innovation” panel that followed and included Anant Yardi along with leaders from Microsoft, Tridium and Intel.
Connecting B, C and P
Anant Yardi kicked off his General Session presentation referencing “The Age of Continuous Connection” article in the May/June 2019 issue of the Harvard Business Review. The concept of ‘continuous connection’ traces its origins to the dotcom era which heralded the introduction of digital business to business (B2B) operations and business to consumer (B2C) ecommerce activities. In real estate management, this led to working with technology vendors to digitize back office accounts receivable, accounts payable, procurement, budgeting, business intelligence and front office marketing, leasing, CRM and tenant and investor services tasks.
Commercial property managers and stakeholders reaped the benefits of business-wide real estate technology platforms that provided instant access to sales, marketing, CRM, property management, construction, leasing, procurement, financial, budgeting, operations, business intelligence and other data, superseding the traditional method of consolidating these data elements from multiple disparate systems. They could better manage this enormous amount of data with the required degree of security. They enjoyed the convenience of executing all property, financial and ancillary operations from a single connected solution. Dashboards, interactive stacking and floor plans provided a visual dimension for analysis and business intelligence systems drove asset performance such as tenant health and traffic patterns by unifying property and accounting information.
The development of cloud computing, mobile devices, AI, 5G, the IoT and social media has further enhanced these B2B and B2C activities.
A new vision
This paved the way for the current focus: the PropTech Vision or CRE Tech Vision, which encompasses a new era of digital technology development with corresponding advances in software capabilities that make systems easier to use and provide new insights.
These technology developments converge to drive real estate success in the current environment by connecting investors, property managers, prospects, tenants, vendors, technology partners and others. Anant Yardi referred to this next evolutionary step as business to property (B2P), connecting business to property in ways that affect building operations such as access control, inspections, repair/maintenance, occupant comfort and more.
“The success of PropTech/CRE Tech will be predicated on enabling this age of continuous connection of businesses, consumers and properties to focus on achieving desired outcomes in revenue, expenses, asset valuation, risk and customer satisfaction,” he said, adding, “It’s a tremendous opportunity.”
The General Session panel elaborated on the theme of managing continuous connection across all elements of real estate within a building information model that’s open and standard. Applied examples include such things as sensors, cameras and systems capable of detecting and alerting security personnel in the case of gunfire or dangerous activity on escalators; building management systems that enable a better tenant experience with preventative maintenance; and systems that collect data on everything from parking lot arrivals to workstation and coffee machine usage, then use that data to tailor a building’s light and temperature settings. The primary challenge will be managing the profound changes driven by artificial intelligence, big data and IoT responsibly in the face of growing cyber-security threats and privacy concerns.
I expanded on technology’s role in continuous connection in a live streaming interview during the conferences, noting that success comes when teams work together to create an ecosystem of users who collaborate to improve operational performance. We already see property management technology giving rise to new revenue streams from coworking membership arrangements, better forecasting capability, reductions in energy consumption and expenses, and budget and schedule certainty for construction projects.
Reiterating what Realcomm ׀ IBcon 2019 presenters pointed out, interconnection of systems is an important part of the future and technology is the key. Efficient management is more important than ever in an era of heightened competitive and regulatory pressures and evolving consumer habits.
The best way to manage continuous connection in real estate is to recognize its inevitability and be ready for it. Successful change management in this space requires clarity of purpose and value at a project’s outset; properly managing resistance to change; embracing ongoing changes in buildings, technology and requirements; excellence from suppliers and business partners; and recognition of the cybersecurity perils. As Intel’s Thierry Godart said, “Think big while starting small on one project that’s part of a bigger picture.”
I look forward to seeing how much of what was predicted in 2019 will have come to pass at Realcomm ׀ IBcon 2020.
This Week’s Sponsor
Yardi® develops and supports industry-leading investment and property management software for all types and sizes of real estate companies. Established in 1984, Yardi is based in Santa Barbara, Calif., and serves clients worldwide. For more information on how Yardi is Energized for Tomorrow, visit yardi.com.
UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
CORPORATE REAL ESTATE & Technology – The Importance of Developing a STRATEGY - 10/24/2019
The Corporate Real Estate industry has quickly gone from constantly resizing the corporate real estate portfolio based on the everchanging business needs of the corporation, to having to understand and deal with a myriad of issues relating to technology, automation and innovation. Not only do CRE professionals need to understand things such as IWMS, intelligent buildings, the smart workplace, AI, VR/AR and other emerging technologies, they also need to understand the fundamental shift on how we use space. Technology which is enabling mobility has shifted the landscape. This webinar will feature some of the most innovative professionals discussing the importance of developing a comprehensive Corporate Real Estate portfolio strategy around the concept of Digital Transformation.
Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with some of the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.
Chuck Niswonger has over 30 years of successful leadership experience in technology-related roles that range from operating his own consulting company (www.nicenets.com) to directing the IT strategy of a real estate investment management firm to manufacturing and technology-enabled education. Chuck has also been the chair of the Realcomm Investment Management (IM) Advisory Council for the last ten years, managing content selection for the conference educational sessions, IM forums, workshops and webinars.
Emmanuel Daniel is responsible for building and delivering the Digital Transformation strategy for campuses across Microsoft and leads a global multidisciplinary team of architects and experience designers. He builds experiences that merge technology with the built environment, leading to the formation of spaces that respond to the needs of its users. He is also accountable for identifying, building and implementing the next generation of products that will make smarter and sustainable buildings.
Paul Maximuk is the Product Owner as well as a technical SME at Ford Land, leading all BMS and controls integrations globally. He has over 30 years of experience in the industry managing multiple types of energy systems and specializing in strategic smart building implementation and management. Paul’s expertise in the built environment spans real estate assets from large industrial facilities to Class A office buildings.
Ronna Davis has been in the networking and telecommunication industry for 23 years. She has been with CommScope for over 13 years and has held positions in sales, channel and product line management. She is currently on CommScope’s Strategy and Technology Team for Buildings and Campuses. Previous to CommScope she worked in the design and construction of telecommunications networks for eight years and in wholesale distribution for two years. She studied marketing and is a LEED Green Associate.
Ron Victor is a Silicon Valley based technology entrepreneur with 20 years of experience and expertise launching new ventures at start-ups and fortune 1000 technology companies. To-date he has enabled raising more than $30Million in start-up capital for multiple start-ups in silicon-valley. Ron has founded and led three companies to-date with successful exits. His latest venture is IoTium Inc. – a Silicon Valley start-up that provides a secure, cloud-managed, easy-to-deploy software defined network infrastructure for all IoT verticals.
Marc is a pioneer in leading the Intelligent/Smart Buildings and M2M movements pushing the industry forward and has contributed to transforming and changing the Intelligent Buildings and M2M (now IoT) industries. As Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Lynxspring Marc leads corporate and product marketing, strategy, brand management, public relations and communications that support the company’s strategic and growth initiatives.
Brent Boekestein is the CEO of Vintra, Inc., a leading video analytics company from Silicon Valley that uses artificial intelligence to transform any video surveillance into actionable and tailored intelligence. Forward-thinking enterprises and public safety organizations like Sacramento City, NYC DOI, Sacramento County, and more use Vintra’s solutions to organize, analyze, and derive critical insights from overwhelming amounts of stored and live video.