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What Is Commercial Real Estate Technology?

Commercial real estate (CRE) is a non-residential property that can generate income through rent and capital gains. In 2022, the commercial real estate market of the United States is worth $1.1 trillion.

Commercial real estate technology consists of cloud-based access control, touchless visitor management, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Data Analytics that transform commercial properties in a positive way. 

Over the last few years, commercial real estate companies have increased their engagement with technologies and digitalization. A survey from KPMG Global found that over 58% of real estate companies have a digital strategy in place. 

The main objectives of CRE professionals who are adopting technologies and digital strategies include:

  1. Increasing the safety of people
  2. Streamlining workflows
  3. Reducing operational costs
  4. Creating new revenue opportunities
  5. Improving the user experience

This article provides an overview of how technology has changed the real estate industry since 2020 and identifies current CRE tech trends.

CRE and Proptech

Proptech describes the usage of technology in the real estate industry. Proptech makes it easier for stakeholders to own, lease, rent, buy, sell and manage properties.

There were over 8,000 Proptech companies in the United States in 2021, up from 2000 a decade earlier.

Proptech provides appropriate technology and software that helps commercial properties such as enterprises, retail stores, workspaces and co-working spaces streamline operations, improve workplace security and boost employee productivity.

How CRE Tech Has Changed the Real Estate Industry

Property management companies have been ignoring technological advances at their peril for the last few years. However, the trend is passing due to the changing mindsets and attitudes of real estate investors towards technology.

  • Brokerages have slower than average job growth: CRE tech is slowly eliminating the need for brokerages in real estate. Since every real estate transaction begins and ends online, it has become imperative for brokerages to reinvent themselves by taking a technological leap.
  • New technology makes paper obsolete: Paperless is the new trend in the commercial real estate industry. CRE tech encourages organizations to go paperless to improve productivity, enhance team collaboration, reduce operating costs and meet sustainability goals. CRE professionals can gather real-time data on energy usage and sustainability, which simplifies the submeter billing process.
  •  Real estate investments are more accessible than ever before: Investors and entrepreneurs in the real-estate industry have recognized the need for investing in the latest technologies. Nearly $9.7 billion was invested in real-estate start-ups in the first half of 2021, up from $8.8 billion in the same period of the previous year.

Current Commercial Real Estate Technology Trends

Technology has been a catalyst for the growth of CRE companies over the past few years. Let’s take an in-depth look at the latest commercial real estate technology trends below: 

Cloud-based Access Control

Could-based access control provides physical security while enabling  admins to manage user credentials and monitor access activity from anywhere. Often, these systems enable users to more easily and conveniently access their office space with a mobile device.  Data security is the biggest concern for commercial real estate properties. Security breaches happen when companies don’t restrict unauthorized people from accessing important data. Cloud-based access control enhances data security by assigning role-based access permissions to employees.

Real estate properties can easily integrate cloud-based access control with identity management systems, like Okta, to unify security. Admins can quickly deactivate employee access rights within a few minutes of their termination.

Touchless Visitor Management

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced commercial real estate properties like co-working spaces, hospitality companies and offices to create protocols for maintaining social distance, verifying vaccination certificates of visitors and collecting details about their health. Security and safety concerns may increase if commercial properties don’t follow these norms.

To promote a safe workspace, CRE owners should implement a touchless visitor management software that allows visitors pre-register through an app, fill out a health questionnaire and upload relevant documents to receive a QR code or a barcode that acts as an entry access key.

Here are a few major benefits of touchless visitor management software to commercial real estate properties:

  1. Eliminates the need for visitors to meet security personnel in person
  2. Streamlines the tenant experience
  3. Helps to keep the building premises safe and hygienic
  4. Protects the front-line employees, especially in hospitality firms, service offices, and healthcare centers

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT comprises a network of physical devices embedded with sensors, software applications, and technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices over the internet. Building owners can implement a wide range of physical devices embedded with sensors and software applications. A few examples of IoT for commercial real estate properties include after-hours HVAC, smart lights, swipe cards, surveillance video cameras and beacons.

The following are the use cases of IoT in commercial real estate properties:

  1. HVAC control is a major use case of IoT in commercial real estate. Offices, hotels, and co-working spaces can integrate HVAC systems with smart sensors that can adjust the ambiance based on the temperature, humidity, and air quality.
  2. Offices can integrate smart sensors with doors and windows to increase workplace safety. These sensors trigger a warning and send notifications to concerned authorities when unauthorized people attempt to enter into restricted areas of a building.

Data Analytics

Data analytics is the process of analyzing raw data to identify trends and derive decision-making inputs. The technology strategy of every commercial real estate property should prioritize tools such as big data and data analytics as they help make informed decisions by gathering real-time data on maintenance, the churn rate of tenants, net effective rents, market demand, occupancy, and energy usage.

For instance, commercial real estate properties can make use of a high-quality energy analytics solution to gather real-time data about a building’s energy usage and identify systems or appliances that consume more energy than expected.

An analytics solution may help commercial real estate property teams track and reduce energy consumption by:

  1. Providing hourly energy consumption rates.
  2. Allowing property teams to create key performance indicators or baseline performance measures.
  3. Monitoring greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. Creating personalized dashboards where tenants can monitor and reduce their energy usage.

Find a CRE Technology Solution that Works for You with Genea

Property owners have already started adopting innovative technologies that help them streamline operations and improve operational efficiencies. The latest real estate technologies like property access control, visitor management, property listings, IoT, blockchain, data analytics, and home automation may improve the security of people, data, and physical assets on building premises.

Genea can improve the safety and security of your commercial real estate properties with a wide range of world-class innovative technologies such as:

  • Cloud-based Access Control Systems: Genea’s state-of-the-art access control platform enables admins to streamline security operations of buildings and increase the access convenience for employees through mobile access control.
  • Touchless Visitor Management System: It automates the visitor management process by allowing visitors to pre-register and provide health-related information before gaining entry access through a QR code or barcode.
  • Video Management: Genea Security can be easily integrated with Rhombus’ video management to enable features such as door mapping, facial recognition, and real-time video feeds.
  • HVAC Control: Genea’s HVAC control automates heating, air conditioning, and lighting devices at commercial real estate properties.

Learn how CRE tech solutions from Genea can improve the safety and security of your building.

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