Technological innovation and commercial property management

New technologies are making commercial property management easier and more efficient.

The technological revolution has affected almost all sectors of the economy, commercial real estate management among them. Technologies like smartphones, smarter buildings, security monitoring applications and data collection are changing the way property managers run their business. From increasing efficiency in the buildings they manage and the way they spend their time, to being able to manage a facility from offsite as if they were there in person, property managers now have the tools to make their jobs and, in turn, their lives much easier.

Providing incentives for technological innovation in property management
Jones Lang LaSalle, a Chicago-based company that provides services to commercial real estate companies, honors someone in the industry each year with its da Vinci award for innovation. This year, the award went to a property manager at the Southeast Financial Center in Downtown Miami.

The manager developed a new app for the 1.2 million-square-foot office tower that allows agents to list available space, tenants to report work orders or concerns and makes operations more efficient, along with distinguishing the building in the market.

Cloud computing is also taking on a larger role in managing businesses of all kinds, including property management. Choice Hotels International, Inc., recently honored Todd Davis, the company's chief information officer, as its CIO of the Year. He gained recognition for introducing a cloud-based property management system that allowed hotel operators to manage their business from over the internet, granting them secure access to information and allowing them to run their business from anywhere in the world.

Those kinds of cloud-based computing systems are becoming standard throughout the business world, and they offer property managers and property management companies the opportunity to grow their business by allowing for more flexibility and greater efficiency in terms of time, tenant and employee management.

Smart buildings and social media
Two of the emerging technologies that property manager are, for the most part, still trying to get a handle on are smart buildings and effectively utilizing social media. Smart buildings present an opportunity to save money, as they reduce energy usage and provide information that allows managers to respond more quickly and effectively to building and tenant issues. And social media can be an important tool in building and maintaining a pipeline of properties, while also making it easier for property managers to connect with their tenants.

Those two technologies can also go hand-in-hand, since buying a smart building, or or retrofitting an older one to meet smarter standards, can be a great way to gain more exposure in the marketplace.

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