Connecting the Dots on Technology in CRE

Real Data Management’s Blake Grosch and Joe Leach were in attendance for BOMA New York’s Connecting the Dots Seminar.

The event featured speakers from The Berman Group, Silverstein Properties, and MRI Software to discuss the ways technology is helping building staff and tenants.  The discussion was broken into three sections: Real Estate Apps and the Use of Social Media, Mobility, and Tools to Enable Collaboration.

This is some of what we heard:

• New York City launched several tech-based initiatives under (former) Mayor Bloomberg -- WiredNYC, ConnectNYC, Broadband Map, & Made in NYC.  His initiatives helped expand the availability of high-speed broadband for business owners.
• Profile of the "new" tenant: understands technology, expects accessibility, and won't compromise.

• Property management and landlords should not be behind with the integration of new technology.

• The Empire State Building is a good example of a property which retrofitted its tech infrastructure. The professional networking site LinkedIn is now ESB’s anchor tenant.

• Smartphone and tablet apps are a good way to distribute building information to tenants.
• Building management apps increase building efficiency and responsiveness.

• Buildings should consider having a social media presence, which can help create an identity for a property.

• If a building engages in social media, they should establish a communication schedule in order to promote a desired identity.

• Silverstein’s Sandy Jacolow noted that (hurricane) Sandy changed the way we think about emergency notifications.

• Jacolow mentioned there are mobile solutions for getting information out quickly via text, email, or voice.  He also is a proponent of rent payment mobile solutions -- quicker and easier.

• According to Jacolow, mobility options helped change the way Silverstein thinks about Wi-Fi options in its buildings – he feels it’s critical to be connected at all times.

•  Zac Wolf (MRI Software) sees digital convergence eroding boundaries & digital experience making or breaking a firm as trends in 2014. 

• Customer service is a critical factor for property management -- having online tools set in place is important to achieve tenant satisfaction and retention.

• Wolf noted mobilizing tenants is as important as mobilizing your staff -- which will undoubtedly improve efficiency.  He insists mobile solutions will make money for owners.