The real estate sector’s efforts to mitigate the threat of the contagion by securing buildings have already put it at the forefront of the global response. However, the industry’s most important contribution will be in helping to create an operational framework, within which some semblance of normalcy can be restored.
Technology Will Be a Critical Enabler
Innovative technology solutions will facilitate real estate owners and operators to navigate the new conditions and recover from the challenges posed in the post pandemic recovery phase. These are some of the most impending issues that rightfully need to be solved:
Diligent and rigorous sanitation methods: It has been estimated that we are several months away from an effective vaccine to combat Covid-19. In the interim, prevention is the only viable strategy at our disposal. Tech-enabled hygiene management facilitates the automation of tailor-made and venue-specific disinfection and deep cleaning routines, which can be rolled out at a portfolio scale. Such digital tools also enable inventory management to ensure the availability of essential supplies, and platforms on which to share live sanitation and health updates with occupants.
Contactless visitor check-in and occupant comfort controls: Restoring tenant and occupant confidence is perhaps the most significant role the real estate industry can play in reviving economic activity. Contactless visitor entry with QR-code-enabled mobile sign-in, touch-free elevator entry and exit, app-based control of ambient comfort like temperate and lighting, and more, can help build trust with occupants.
Portfolio-wide analytics, compliance and automation: Cloud-based analytics and compliance monitoring of building systems across properties will be crucial to respond with agility to the new HVAC guidelines and dynamic tenant needs when properties open. For instance, stakeholders can gain portfolio-wide visibility of adherence to new HVAC guidelines and indoor air quality data, identify areas to act on immediately, and provide live dashboards to tenants on HVAC compliance. Operators are better equipped to deploy changes to multi-vendor building automation systems across properties such as bulk changes to schedules and overrides, automating trigger-based sequence, audit logs and more.
Unified, Portfolio-wide Operational Command: Gaining a data-driven 360-degree view of operations, from a unified digital hub is a game-changing advantage in the current crisis. Such software platforms allow CRE businesses to simplify the implementation of custom solutions, and automate workflows ranging from sanitation and routine maintenance to tenant management and remote BAS operations, from a single command center.
Prabhu Ramachandran, founder and CEO of Facilio Inc., an enterprise-wide platform for data-driven property operations and maintenance across real-estate portfolios