One of the biggest trends in proptech today is that of focusing on the increasingly sophisticated needs of tenants. Understanding the IoT impact and the importance of automation, big data and artificial intelligence brings landlords a step closer to giving occupiers exactly what they want from modern spaces.
As both employers and real estate owners tackle the challenges around office occupancy post-pandemic, including issues of worker safety and the flexibility of spaces, the potential proptech and IoT impact has moved front of mind.
Julian Vogel, co-founder of enterprise software platform for commercial real estate Tower360 says:
We at Tower360 believe that tenant satisfaction and building management technology is more important now than ever before as landlords have to get their occupiers back into their properties.
“While there are certain signs that demand for office spaces is picking up again, we are still in a ‘renewal world’, and it will be important for landlords to keep their tenants at all costs. Tenant experience technology is a big category in that context.
Traditionally there was a disconnect between what the landlord knows and what is happening in the building in terms of tenant experience. We believe that making the occupier part of the decision is an important part of the process.”
Tower360, one of the recent European winners of the Propel by MIPIM Startup Competition in Cannes, offers a vertically integrated software suite for real estate owners and users to improve collaboration, streamline daily workflows, and reduce risk.
One of the main things that we do at Tower360 is to allow owners to survey their tenants around what tenants want, and let them give their feedback directly in a survey app. Landlords can then benchmark their survey results on a portfolio level and benchmark individual buildings to each other around core amenities. This allows landlords to identify risks where tenants are having health or security concerns in a building – Julian Vogel
Driving flexibility through proptech solutions
The Tower360 solution reflects the growing trend for landlords to adopt hybrid models that improve the overall user experience, while refining the flexibility and security of workspaces.
For example, German asset manager Union Investment, through its technology spin-off Union Investment Real Estate Digital, recently launched its proprietary platform Run This Place as the first step towards creating a digital ecosystem for all real estate stakeholders. As a key building block with numerous interfaces, Run This Place also paves the way for creating digital twins of buildings and amassing essential data.
In its first iteration, Run This Place gives building users access to property-related services that make their everyday lives more flexible, such as the ability to book a parking space or a workstation. “Properties are competing for users – against other properties, against co-working providers and now increasingly also against the homeworking environment. Post-pandemic, the attractiveness of properties will become a key issue. Part of the rationale behind Run this Place is to tempt people back into the office,” explains Lars Scheidecker, CEO of Union Investment Real Estate Digital.
Safety in the workplace and the IoT impact
Meanwhile, as issues of tenant security become more prominent, platforms such as Spaceti promise to foster healthy environments where end-users feel safe. Max Verteletskyi, Spaceti co-founder & CEO says:
Collecting the right data is not just about improving a building’s efficiency – it’s important on an experience level. Occupiers are asking if workers feel safe enough.
As more employers shift to a flexible work model, Spaceti’s hybrid solution includes a workplace analytics suite that collects data from proprietary or third-party sensors monitoring desk, room, and parking space occupancy, and manages indoor air quality variables such as temperature, humidity and CO2. This combines with a workplace app that offers booking and communication functionalities. Spaceti’s platform is also compatible with the hardware of some of the most popular office solutions, from Cisco cameras to Gantner lockers, to expand the IoT impact.
Spaceti was already on the right path pre-pandemic in terms of looking at offices as safe, healthy, and welcoming environments. Covid has transformed our position in the market. Offices that are able to adapt are the ones that will succeed, as end-users now expect the same level of user experience they have from an office that they get from an iPhone.
Control systems to leverage the IoT impact
Envio Systems, meanwhile, develops end-to-end solutions for managing existing commercial buildings through the deployment of IoT control systems. Its suite of products works together to reduce energy costs, wirelessly connect devices, and track performance to leverage the IoT impact. According to CEO and founder Reza Alaghehband, Envio is also providing safety-first solutions for today’s businesses. For example, last summer, the firm partnered with ebm-papst, a manufacturer of energy-saving fans which monitor, certify and communicate air quality in buildings.
We have also partnered with a variety of sensor companies, such as Airthings and Disruptive Technologies, that specialize in monitoring different health and comfort factors within the built environment – Alaghehband
The pandemic has undeniably accelerated the previous adoption rates of proptech in the commercial real estate sector, with the health and comfort of tenants at the top of everyone’s mind.