Archilogic helps office providers better understand and visualise their spaces through 3D floor plans, office design simulations and data analytics. Here we look at how important property data will become for commercial real estate sales and management in the near future.
In an era of constant change, everyone’s looking for pointers as to what’s ahead; what they need to look out for, and even more importantly, how to get ahead of the market. Real estate, in general, has not adapted rapidly to tech innovations. But digital transformation can unlock opportunities – and drive profits.Building information modeling (BIM) was the first major shift, bringing huge efficiency improvements in construction. On the sales side, we’ve seen flyers and personal tours giving way to online listings and 3D floor plans. But construction and sales form such a small part of the property life cycle. What’s the coming revolution in property management?
As in other industries, it turns out, data is the key – or as Deloitte puts it , “data is the new gold”. Market data analytics is already being used to make better investment decisions. Sensors and smart buildings are feeding data into the Internet of Things. And BIM naturally generates data that remains useful after the construction phase is over. In fact, argues Deloitte, “BIM’s virtual building model can serve as a data foundation for tomorrow’s digital service model.”
The keyword there is “service”. Increasingly, value comes from service delivery more than the underlying assets. We know that the demand for office space is sinking thanks to the rise of hot-desking and remote employees. But on the other hand, there is a growing desire for flexible leases and fully managed workspaces. Clients are looking for a minimal-effort, easy-to-manage package deal for their office. Similar trends can be seen in residential and retail markets, as demographic changes and online shopping take their toll. Millennials are in decision making roles now and expect to find the same level of service in their office lease as they do when buying a pair of custom sneakers online. This change in client needs opens up new opportunities for office providers.
Modernization of the property industry demands an increasing emphasis on technology. It demands a high level of service delivery, at an attractive price. That, in turn, means property managers will need to be tech-savvy and creative. They’ll need to automate and innovate. As Deloitte has found: “The market for real estate service providers gradually expands in the direction of complex, high-tech services. The opportunity lies in linking existing subject matter expertise with new ways to serve users and owners and creating lasting added value.”
For instance? An on-the-move, geographically distributed workforce needs just-in-time workspace delivery. Employers (or workspace providers) will need to offer automated space management: an app that can find and book the nearest suitable workstation or meeting room, based on the user’s current location.
Or superior delivery could mean better temperature and lighting management, based on building sensors, access control, and smart systems. Combining basic building data (floor layout, location of airconditioning units, etc) with live information (occupancy, room temperature) and intelligent, self-regulating controls, creates the potential to improve cost efficiency as well as employee well-being.
This kind of automation and delivery is built on data. From BIM to 3D floor plans, building management apps to sales data analytics, technological developments across the industry are generating plenty of data – but in separate silos. Imagine what we could do with all that data if it were connected.
Having a single source of truth will mean more efficient property management, of course. Information will be more accurate, more current and more complete. Digital teams will have better data to train their algorithms. It will also mean far greater potential for service delivery. When one data repository can be connected to apps for workspace bookings, maintenance scheduling, office design and more, real estate managers will have better insight into their holdings and how they are being used. And this holistic vision will mean a better view of market opportunities.
All of this is coming. Much of the groundwork has already been laid through digitization of the various property functions. The next stage of industry innovation will be integrating it all, using machine learning to automate – and human creativity to develop strategy.