The world we live in these days keeps us connected to each other through our smartphones, tablets and computers. This same connectivity has the potential to transform how commercial real estate properties are managed and purchased. New technology has the potential to enable physical objects, including buildings, to stay connected to the internet via sensors and communicate intelligently with people. Imagine being able to anticipate the needs of your building, from the temperature settings to monitoring the whereabouts of occupants during emergencies.

The technology making this possible is called the Internet of Things (IoT). This new technology is already a staple of the logistics industry, which uses GPS tracking devices (via sensors) to measure driver performance, monitor packages, optimize routes, and provide customers with up-to-date information about delivery times. By 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet, according to a report released by logistics provider DHL and IT leader Cisco.

So what does the future of IoT innovation mean for the commercial real estate industry? There are three areas which may be impacted by this new technology.

Three Areas of Commercial Real Estate Impacted by IoT Innovation:

Developing commercial real estate properties.

IoT will change the design and infrastructure of buildings. Buildings may become dynamic rather than static and be able to communicate with personal devices providing improved access and security. Smart buildings may be able to measure building performance continually for such things as temperature, humidity or other issues and anticipate any modifications that may be needed. Equipping buildings with sensor technologies has the potential to reduce waste and save costs for owners. A study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that the use of such sensory devices has the potential to reduce energy costs by 20 to 30 percent.

Marketing commercial real estate properties.

Digital technology is already transforming how a property is marketed for rent or for sale. CoStar and Zillow have changed the way we search for properties. IoT may take this transformation a step further with beacon technology. These Bluetooth enabled devices can be mounted anywhere and transmit data to mobile devices about the environment. Using beacons may enable real estate clients to tour properties remotely in real time, and receive information about the property on mobile devices.

Managing commercial real estate properties.

Digital technology may dramatically change how buildings are managed. IoT may enable property managers and owners to understand more clearly how occupants are using the building. The new technology may provide insight into most visited areas, paths of travel, use of spaces and energy use throughout a building. This building performance data may enable managers to more accurately address and anticipate the needs of tenants, adjust the energy use for a building, and know how to better maintain the facility and utilize space.

Caldwell Commercial Real Estate aims to keep abreast of industry standards, and provide its clients with up to date information on the latest trends in real estate. To learn more about our properties and real estate, email us at info@caldwellcommercial.com.