Smart building solutions promise to improve tenant experience and retention by customizing the workplace. But although they may accomplish a few tasks — like monitoring temperature or tracking conference room use — many smart building solutions fail to raise asset value or reduce costs for building owners.Instead, they often end up being little more than costly gimmicks.
"There is not a one-to-one relationship between what smart building technology promises and the ROI building owners are seeing,” ThoughtWire Chief Commercial Officer Franco Castaldini said.
“Most smart building solutions are not nearly complete enough to cover every part of an office building. So owners typically construct an expensive hodge-podge of systems that don’t integrate with each other.” The key to effective smart building tech is data. A data-driven approach to workflow optimization is known as Operations Performance Management.
Castaldini said OPM has its roots in the manufacturing and engineering industries, where software is used to make sure humans and technology work together efficiently. That same technology is now available for commercial real estate buildings.
“Isolated point solutions that only control one part of a building and generic solutions that don’t churn out actionable insights aren’t true CRE tech; they can’t provide the return of a data-driven, integrated OPM solution,” Castaldini said.
“If your building only has point solutions, it’s not truly a smart building.”
OPM solutions adapt and grow with tenants, learning their heating and lighting preferences and tracking how they use their space. As their employees spend more time in the office, tenants are willing to pay a premium to know that employees feel as comfortable and safe in the workplace as they would in their own homes.
Smart building research firm Memoori reported that smart buildings command 37% higher rent than their less tech-enabled neighbours. And, Castaldini said, building owners with OPM solutions retain tenants longer.