How data and automation can help property managers improve buildings
| June 14, 2023
According to IBIS World, the market for commercial leasing has increased faster than the overall real estate and rental market in recent years. While market size has grown an average of 1.1% annually between 2017 and 2022 — and is expected to continue growing in the future — property owners and managers are not without challenges.
Two of the biggest challenges facing businesses in this sector are high levels of competition and rising costs. Smart building data collection provides property and facility managers with the information they need to make cost-saving and value-adding decisions to meet these challenges. Discover five ways to get the most out of smart building data below.
Create more proactive maintenance processes
Around 85% of maintenance spending is reactive, which means it occurs only after a problem has become big enough to hit someone's radar. When you primarily dabble in reactive maintenance and repairs, you lose a lot of money no matter what type of building you manage.
Using smart building technology and automated building assessments to track the overall health of a building or facility, you can find and correct small problems before they become large issues. For example, installing smart technology related to water flowing into a building can help you address numerous problems before they impact tenants, customers, or your own bottom line:
- Collecting and analyzing data about water consumption in the building helps you find leaks. AI can analyze robust data sets that include occupancy rates, external temperatures and seasons, and other factors that you'd expect to impact water use. These algorithms can predict water use for facilities with high levels of accuracy, which means they can quickly tell if water consumption is outside of normal — a potential indication of hidden leaks.
- Water analysis lets you ensure potable water. Collecting and analyzing details about water flowing into the building ensures property managers can take appropriate actions to protect the safety of drinking water for residents or business customers.
- Understanding the water supply can help you protect internal equipment. Whether you're leasing manufacturing, health care, or commercial office space, an in-depth understanding of the water supply lets you support tenants with specific water needs for a variety of equipment or other processes.
Find and address safety concerns early
Building data helps you proactively address more than efficiency and cost-savings. You can use it to help ensure safety. For instance, automated systems collecting data on HVAC and other electrical units within a space can detect potential malfunctions and alert maintenance personnel early. What might otherwise turn into an issue that sparks a fire or creates a large gas leak can remain a minor inconvenience with such proactive repair.
Understand Whether Common Areas Meet the Right Needs
Smart building technology and the Internet-of-Things (IOT) can help facility managers understand whether common areas or other amenities meet the needs of building tenants and visitors.
Consider a large facility with multiple waiting or sitting spaces, such as a hospital, an office complex, or a hotel. Leveraging IOT technology, property managers can understand what type of traffic and use each space gets. For example, data might indicate that the waiting room in the east wing of the building only gets 10% of the traffic that other spaces do.
Looking into the disparity, facility managers might discover that the east wing waiting space is outdated, less comfortable, or simply much harder to find than the other common spaces. These insights can support action that adds value to the space, such as upgrading furniture or implementing better signage.
Drive Eco-friendly building solutions
Cities across the globe are using IOT tools to discover opportunities for more eco-friendly operations and infrastructure. Data and building automation can help property managers do the same for buildings and other facilities.
Potentially obvious smart building solutions for greener facilities include monitoring emissions and particulates to reduce the building's impact on the environment and the air safety inside. However, facility managers can dig deeper, harnessing smart building data to create eco-friendly processes in areas such as maintenance and cleaning.
For example, if a specific bathroom in a building wasn't used at all during the day, do you really need to use time, water, and cleaning supplies on it? By balancing cleaning with exact building use, property managers can keep environmental impact to a lower level.
Implement better marketing for the building
When you learn to capitalize on building data, you can find creative ways to use it across your entire business. For instance, what you learn in smart building data collection can help drive more effective marketing campaigns when it's time to bring in new commercial lease tenants. Your smart building data helps you better understand how previous tenants used the space, which can lead your team to highlight the features and benefits most likely to resonate with businesses interested in the building.
Ultimately, the more data you have and can analyze, the better you can manage a facility or building. Smart building data collection is an important factor in improving value and building operations now and in the future.
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