Covid 19

Back to the Office: 4 Useful PropTech Solutions in Post-Pandemic Times

July 1, 2021

There is a lot of uncertainty in the real estate market right now, but one thing is sure - the pandemic has reinforced the need to have the right new technology (PropTech) to remain competitive and attractive to tenants, especially when thinking about getting back to the office.

In order to survive and thrive, developers, investors, owners, and real estate managers will have to shift their strategies dramatically. However, with the rise of new technology and growing concerns about maximizing workplace productivity, health, and safety modern real estate solutions are becoming increasingly important.

Smart, connected technologies are valuable for real estate owners and managers. These technological advancements allow them to manage their building in the post-pandemic world and meet the challenges of the "new normal" of today. In this article, we are going to review four main PropTech developments explaining how they solve critical needs these days in real estate management operations and help to get back to the office.

Remote Management with IoT

Implementing Internet of Things (IoT) systems has proven extremely helpful in managing a remote workforce during lockdown periods. The ability to monitor and control IoT systems from any remote location makes it easy for:

  • Owners
  • Property managers
  • FM teams
  • Asset managers

...to keep an eye on their properties, ensuring optimal working conditions for maximum profits.

IoT sensors were handy, for example, during extra cleaning and security audits to follow coronavirus country recommendations or regular inspections in the building.

By leveraging data gathered by IoT sensors, implemented computer-aided facility management software (CAFM), computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), and other PropTech solutions, managers and property owners can gain deeper insights into various areas of property and facility management to identify potential savings no matter where they are.

This can be done by using smart occupancy and environmental IoT sensors, beacons, NFC tags, and other measuring tools in all parts of the building. These devices can be placed at the entrance, in hallways, or meeting rooms; hence, they can track energy consumption or air quality over time and detect problems immediately. By combining this information with evaluating trends, patterns and goals, you'll have a real-time tool to identify areas for improvement and quantify them.

IoT is a technology that can make re-entry to the office and helps keep workplaces safe. Using sensors, both employees and buildings can be monitored, for example, for contamination and air quality can be checked in real-time. Safety rules can be enforced immediately, without delays in enforcement.

Data-Driven Decision-Making and CAFM Software to Minimize Uncertainty

Managing building operations is an enormous undertaking for real estate managers and property owners. These professionals are often tasked with improving efficiency, reducing costs, and identifying new revenue sources. To achieve these goals data must be captured from the right sources and analyzed effectively.

Smart buildings and big data analytics deliver valuable insights that:

  • Reduce operational costs
  • Increase tenant satisfaction
  • Improve tenant retention
  • Help with dealing with uncertainty – highly crucial in uncertain times

Big data is an opportunity to obtain more precise data about the effectiveness of real estate. It also enables companies to normalize data while improving and optimizing processes after a lockdown of restrictions has been eased in many regions.

When you’re preparing for a return to work after the Covid-19 pandemic, you need to know that you’re returning to a safe environment. Only when you have a comprehensive view of what happens in the building you can assess the risk, for example, of unnecessary contact and crowding. A useful tool in making data-based decisions is the computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software solution. The building management system implemented in real estate gathers valuable data and allows to monitor people and processes. Consequently, it is easier to identify potential risks in advance and prepare strategies to prevent them. So important when thinking about getting back to the office.

Touchless Solutions to Increase Safety of Visitors and Tenants

Over the past decade, touchless technology has made its way into many aspects of our daily lives. From ordering food at restaurants to paying bills online and swiping your way through security gates. Needless to say that touchless technology gives us safe and convenient access. But what about in the workplace?

Touchless solutions, for example, touch-free visitor management systems (VMS), can help companies create a safe environment for employees and their visitors without need to touch any surface to check in. The safety of people is one of the main reasons managers must implement these touchless visitors management systems. Not only will your staff feel safer and more secure, but they will be able to get back to work sooner. Their peace of mind will boost their productivity and make the return to work process seamless and efficient. Implementing no-touch visitor technology in your business not only saves money but also promotes a safe environment.

The best example where touchless technology can be implemented is Touchless Check-In. Touchless technology preserves the cleanliness of shared surfaces, connects people with minimal physical contact, and promotes the overall return-to-work process. Less touching = less spread of infection = safer return to work after COVID-19! Visitors don’t need to touch any surface of the reception – they can handle everything using their personal mobile device.

Tenant Experience Apps that Power Workplace and Employees

Another technology playing a major role in return to the office are various applications for tenants, also known as tenant community apps. Tenant-experience (or workplace experience) apps can fill the gap between the physical office and the digital workplace. With these mobile solutions, landlords can create a more seamless user experience for tenants, providing them with a heightened sense of convenience. The technology behind tenant apps is also beneficial for employees because it allows them to access all important features and information from a single tenant portal on their smart devices.

According to CBRE Research Report ‘The Future of the Office” one of the most in-demand building attributes are flexible office space options, shared meeting spaces, indoor air quality, and connected tech/building apps.

When tenants return to the office after an extended time away, they will need technologies that help them get reacquainted with their offices. Technologies such as building applications for tenants can better manage their experience and provide useful data such as when common spaces were cleaned or when the last time a visitor entered the building. Using tenant apps, landlords of buildings can also easily communicate with their occupiers on health, safety, and other critical well-being issues

Final Thoughts

Some of the countries entered the “post-pandemic” world and for more and more people a pandemic is getting almost like a normal occurrence. In the aftermath of the pandemic, it might be viewed as part of the “new normal” which is why the real estate industry and technology implemented in this market will be adjusted to this new reality. Fortunately, one of the benefits of the pandemic is that many businesses are looking at their processes to be more productive and reduce their costs. As tenants move back to work after a period of rest, real estate owners and managers are thinking about how they can create a healthy working environment for them – PropTech solutions may help.

Indubitably, technology for real estate especially IoT sensors integrated with CAFM/CMMS systems, touchless visitor management solutions, or tenant experience and community apps can help in getting back to the office.

Are you looking for ways to improve operating real estate with an advanced facility and maintenance management system? Do you want to leverage IoT sensors to capture data and analytic tools to predict occupiers’ needs? Wondering about implementing a touchless visitor management system or tenant app in your building to provide extra value for tenants?

Feel free to contact our experts who will gladly suggest the best PropTech solution for you. Contact us today!

Written by:
Kacper Troć
PropTech Expert

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