Pace Setters

By on Jun 7, 2018 in Uncategorized

Appropriately for the “acceleration” theme of its global conference this week, Realcomm recently hosted a webinar in which several experts, including Yardi’s Alex Stanton, commented on the rapid pace of change in commercial real estate and new data management technology entering the marketplace.

Alex Stanton

Stanton, regional director of commercial sales, said the movement toward an integrated concept of information management is so profound that it’s altering the very concept of the lease. “Client,” for example, no longer means a single entity but instead a broader category of people to be managed with increasingly granular information. “Space” encompasses coworking, parking and amenities as well as traditional offices. “Tenants” are morphing into “guests” whose service expectations require the collection and management of an expanding body of information including such non-real estate sources as weather and traffic information. Companies are creating digital twins of everything from their buildings to their tenants and the environment surrounding them.

The best prescription for managing change, he said, is aligning IT resources with a company’s strategic direction. “When there’s a nice marriage of business and IT, there’s stronger direction and execution on investments, efficiencies and other actions,” Stanton said.

Other participants and their thoughts on managing change included:

  • Sam Wong, head of analytics and data science for global real estate manager QuadReal Property Group. When building its data platform from scratch, QuadReal focused on gaining insight and action, not just reporting, and its attention to the information management and database portions of the solution stack equaled that devoted to business intelligence and analytics. “We also sought a platform that could grow in capability and size so we don’t just worry about what we need to do in the next year or so,” said Wong, who managed both the business and technical teams that built the data platform.
  • Chong Huan, executive vice president and CIO of brokerage firm The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies Inc., reported that his company obtains its single source of the truth from a data warehouse that integrates financial, sales and property data from numerous internal and external information sources.
  • Brian Zrimsek, industry principal for MRI Software, discussed how application program interfaces support connectivity by allowing clients to choose solutions suitable to their business needs.
  • Abhinav Somani of deep learning technology provider Leverton discussed machine and deep learning technologies, a form of artificial intelligence that lets computers write their own code based on experience. Benefits for property managers include more accurate lease abstractions and less risk in the contracting process. “AI and machine and deep learning can help companies get better-structured data for decision-making,” he said.
  • Jeff Thompson, co-founder and CEO of software provider AwareManager, also touched on the challenges of pulling data from multiple resources into one ecosystem that’s tailored for decision-makers.

There are few more dramatic trends in commercial real estate technology than the ongoing development of AI, Stanton added. “It will be refreshing to see AI leapfrog analytics. There are a lot of content mining opportunities that people are just starting to see,” he said.

Yardi is a sponsor of the Realcomm webinar series.