As tech disruption continues to improve many aspects of our consumer lives, there is no shortage of technology trends in commercial real estate. With technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) still in their infancy, the future of this market is exciting.
The buzzword PropTech is now used daily in the commercial real estate vernacular. By definition, PropTech refers to technological innovations in the real estate market. It’s not to be taken lightly. Industry giant JLL, for example, through its PropTech division JLL Spark, last year launched at $100 million venture fund to invest in PropTech companies that it deems will have a great impact on the market.
For building operators, augmented reality is a fascinating new entry into the commercial real estate technology landscape. Per Propmodo:
While augmented reality (AR) may be best known for its recreational uses (i.e. AR goggles and video games), the interactive, digital experiences created by AR can solve a number of complex property management problems. For instance, computer-generated images can aid HVAC technicians and other property vendors in locating and repairing building equipment – adding visual information, such as interactive directions and three-dimensional model specs, to the trade.
Automation is also gaining ground for use in commercial buildings. Lighting can automatically turn on and off as a user enters/exits a room; blinds can open and shut according to sunlight patterns to reduce heating and cooling costs, and automation technology exits where the number of building occupants is recorded in order to efficiently adjust building temperature according to the body heat generated.
Building technology can also use occupants’ cell phone patterns to their advantage. Per Colliers International:
In planning CRE [commercial real estate] decisions, there is a need for knowledge about how a space is being used. Technology, like cell phone pings, can be used to create metrics and determine if a space is being utilized to its full potential. For example, this technology can be used to determine where people are congregating in an office or how full the office is on any given Friday. And applied to the retail environment, the same technology indicates to property owners and retailers where shoppers spend most of their time in a store.
While that PropTech buzzword continues to ring in your ears, do your best not to tune it out. For both building operators and building designers, the future of commercial real estate technology is one that is set for astounding innovations – and surely some we haven’t yet imagined.