January 05, 2017
The Rise of Smart & Connected Buildings
Goodbye standalone technology. Hello, The Internet of Things (IoT) where everything is connected. The rise of this new connectivity of is rapidly revolutionizing the way people and objects operate. Gartner has forecast that 20.8 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020. Last year, an estimated 5.5 million new things were connected every day.
And make no mistake, buildings are no exception to this connected reality. More and more property management companies are leveraging the anywhere/anytime nature of the Internet to bring together insights derived from data, process and technology.
For both residential and commercial building developers and investors connected buildings help leverage insights from fundamental areas of operations: energy management, IT, security and property management.
The Impact of Connectivity
From a property management perspective, developers and management companies see the value of a connected building in four main ways:
Experience: The ability to create seamless, differentiating customer experiences for residents (both residential and commercial) —from online applications to smart climate control sensors to portals and other means with which to communicate with building management— does more than drive up leasing and retention rates above market average, it also creates a higher property valuation.
Purpose: Property management companies can vastly improve the productivity levels of their teams. When almost every system can be tracked and monitored, there is a new visibility into maintenance cycles and building needs. This can help improve the longevity of equipment/infrastructure and optimize asset utilization. Real-time insights into resolution will enable management teams to evaluate which buildings are more efficient.
Building Performance: When buildings are connected, there is less chance of human error, and the ability to analyze data on a building-to-building as well as floor-to-floor level. Reducing energy costs and carbon footprint is just the beginning. Companies can leverage preventative and predictive analytics to forecast events that will impact portfolio performance.
New Revenue Streams: The IoT creates a vast amount of data that can be gathered from applications, social channels, and building sensors. This rich contextual data can be used to seize new opportunities for building-wide or personalized services to generate new sources of income.
What We’re Seeing
From our conversations with property management companies and investors, we know that organizations are taking a strategic approach, integrating and retrofitting technology or updating legacy systems to connect buildings where there is guaranteed and immediate ROI.
However, with third-party web-based SaaS offerings, much can be done at very low cost, including leasing, management/reporting, marketing and resident relations.