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Smart Spaces Boost IoT Opportunities for Real Estate Investment Trusts

Posted by Michael Antoniou on Feb 27, 2018 12:50:51 PM


More and more environments and properties are being re-imagined as Smart Spaces. Numerous industries want to implement Smart Spaces quickly and efficiently to enhance security, maintenance, efficiencies and cost savings.

 In 2017, we were surprised to discover that a substantial market segment for our partners in the IoT space was REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts). I asked a couple of our partners to share a few of the benefits that IoT Smart Spaces provide for this particular industry.

The three experts I had the pleasure of speaking with:

  • Janelle Branch - Project Manager, Clearwater One Tower
  • Daniel Ikajevs - Real Estate Developer and entrepreneur
  • Michael Dris - Real Estate Business Owner of multi-use commercial buildings and residential apartment living spaces

What are the benefits IoT leverages for your business and properties?

JB: “My goal as a project manager has become to transition older buildings to intelligent buildings, feasibly, securely and quickly. The greatest benefit of IoT solutions is the ability to program, monitor and regulate key elements of a building’s infrastructure such as HVAC, Lighting, and Security. Establishing that consolidated network of different systems helps to reduce points of failures and lessen time spent on monotonous activities, such as checking which lights are out in the building.” 

DI: “As a developer and owner of different types of real estate, my objectives are constant across the board - satisfy tenant expectations, cut costs, and maximize profitability. IoT solutions allow that greater degree of connectivity between operations and provisions. It helps to better understand what is consuming the most energy and how we can, therefore, lower our overall consumption. As someone currently developing smart workspaces, the ability to customize, monitor and adjust the behavior of our systems is increasingly important.“

Interesting. Daniel, you remind us of how a solution means something different to each business stakeholder and that involving multiple stakeholders is critical in discovering not just an IoT solution but is an integral part of the sales process as well. Essentially, a solution is considered ideal if it solves multiple problems and provides ROI across the business. Do you mind elaborating on this ideal?

DI: “As I have observed in the past with incremental retrofitting of LED lights and HVAC digital controls throughout one of my buildings - a lot of time, energy, and money is spent on employing multiple industry experts to assess current issues. Intelligent solutions allow for a pre-emptive strategy to better plan and phase the replacement of outdated equipment and software as they become less useful. It is necessary to have that degree of control while being able to feasibly scale operations for steady business growth. 

Furthermore, being able to understand how space is occupied or used allows me to make informed decisions as it relates to the development and expansion of my business endeavors. Greater energy efficiency can lower maintenance and (CAM) common area expenses allowing me to stay competitive in today’s real estate market.“ 

We see a common thread here - greater efficiencies and cost savings are the end game when it comes to implementing IoT opportunities for Real Estate Investment Trusts.  Michael Dris, you typically engage with IT resellers over traditional use cases such as network installations, telephone and A/V installations, what are your thoughts regarding the benefits of IoT?

MD: “We want to use technology in a way that does not interfere with the personal interaction with a tenant, which we feel is important. Therefore, we still need to keep leasing personnel, but we try to automate virtual tours and tenant notifications. We also try to automate lease applications, credit and background checks, lease signing and collection of rent. Some of our properties have automated notices for maintenance needs such as HVAC equipment, water heaters, etc. They use some sort of sensors. Electronic keys are now in use in many places. Drones are also being used to give potential tenants a bird’s eye view of the property; this also applies to our developers and investors. They use Drones to periodically monitor the property for activity, changes, and security.“

It is always beneficial to go direct to the source to find the answers you seek. Thank you all for your input.  You have provided various use cases that clearly support the demand for and benefit of Smart Spaces. 

Whether it is a new build or renovation, the possibilities for creating Smart Spaces are endless. Through our ecosystem of vendors and IoT solutions, Tech Data can help partners identify REIT opportunities and deliver cost-effective solutions. Speak with the Tech Data IoT Solutions team today at iot@techdata.com to learn more about IoT for Real Estate Investment Trusts.


Tags: IoT, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart City