Commercial property management benefits from technological advances

Smart commercial real estate software is allowing property managers to monitor almost every major energy system in a building, including the HVAC system, improving efficiency overall.

Property management companies are finding a wide array of economic and environmental benefits by employing software technology that gathers and organizes key data points.

The National Real Estate Investor reported that the growing number of intuitive, intelligent high-tech tools available to property managers are enabling them to make better decisions when it comes to energy consumption and budgeting.

"From a property management standpoint, technology makes us more efficient. It makes us more accurate, and it is something that makes our managers' lives easier," says Sam Martin, product manager of national property management at Jones Lang LaSalle in Chicago. "So rather than spending most of their time blocking and tackling, managers can do a lot more value-added activities."

Applications are now coming online that govern and collect data from the entire building, such as HVAC, power systems, hot water pumps, plumbing and ever security systems. These systems can be programmed to deliver customizable alarms or warning alerts to managers. That way, commercial property managers can address problems before they escalate. Sensors placed throughout the building can indicate the precise location of the problem. And the best part, most of these systems are going mobile. That means that information can be accessed and manipulated via smartphone technology. 

"At the core of all of it is how do you create high tech and high touch so that you can still provide high quality service to your tenants," Henry Chamberlain, BOMA president and COO, told NREI.

Building efficiency technology
Of the numerous technological advances, Telkonet, a Milwaukee-based technology firm, has recently launched an energy efficiency platform at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference, the world's largest hospitality and technology event.

"We are excited to have a significant presence at this year's HITEC event," saidJason Tienor, Telkonet's CEO. "Energy management demands in the hospitality industry have skyrocketed and we're eager to demonstrate the next generation of cutting-edge technologies represented by our EcoCentral Virtual Engineer. When integrated with our industry-leading EcoSmart Suite of networked energy management, products, the EcoCentral Virtual Engineer provides a robust, cloud-based monitoring and building control platform that maximizes a building's energy efficiency and cost savings while reducing dependency on physical staff."

The software employs a network of occupancy sensors, digital thermostats, window and door contacts and electrical outlets to form a virtual "consciousness," allowing property managers to monitor the state of the building, reduce costs and maximize performance. Leveraging such technology allows managers to communicate with specific rooms, floors – even in multiple buildings. 

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