The thing I love about technology is that is constantly changing. New advances render old ones obsolete and inventive companies are always putting new spins on how solutions are implemented. This is also why tech can be incredibly frustrating. For someone that doesn’t have the time to keep up with the undulations of latest and greatest innovations, it can be a daunting task to figure out which offerings to choose. The poor people slated with choosing technologies to put into buildings have it even worse. The only thing that they can be sure of is that the structure will be around long after the tech has become outdated.
This problem is one of the reasons this publication exists. We aim to educate the industry on what technologies are out there in the commercial real estate industry and which direction the change is headed. But, we realize that many busy industry professionals don’t have the time read our articles, poignant as they may be. So, what are those in charge of the built world to do?
First, communicate with the most important person in the real estate industry, namely the customer. Be it architect, office designer, facility manager, or real estate broker, they all need to have feedback loops with the tenants that will use the final product. If it is an office that is being designed then the desires of the modern worker is paramount. If the building is retail, research the latest shopping trends. If the space in question is industrial, find out what the most prevalent sectors in the area and understand their space needs.
Another way to stay current with the changing trends is to go to any of the important events. There are a number of useful, industry specific events out there. This week ICSC, the International Council of Shopping Centers, is holding their yearly event in Las Vegas that talks about all the advancements and challenges in the retail environment. I have always been really impressed with The BuiltWorlds Summit, it is focused on the construction side of the industry, but always features some the most forward thinking speakers and innovative technologies. For a look at the broad spectrum of everything real estate technology, the second week of October is NYC Real Estate Tech Week. I attended last year and can attest that is inspiring in the size of the venue and the scope of the technologies covered. Events have the added benefit over just online research of being able to connect directly with the people and companies that you might be using to deploy technology in your building.
If this is too much leg work, don’t worry, there are still options for you. There are a number of great consulting firms that specialize in choosing, implementing and maintaining the best building technology. One that stands out in my mind is SiteREADY. They offer full service consulting for building technology. This is a way of outsourcing the admittedly tedious task of keeping up with the quickly moving target of the “bleeding edge.”
As technology builds on itself its growth curve is exponential. This means that the task of keeping up with the latest and greatest tech will only be a more involved process. There are options for every effort level, but there is not getting around the undeniable truth that it needs to be on the radar of every person in a building’s value chain. At least, as long as they want to extract as much value as possible out of these immovable assets.