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Contributed Content: Putting Connectivity at the heart of the Commercial Real Estate Experience

Contributed Content

Translating Proptech from buzzword to decisive competitive advantage is trickier than one might anticipate at first. Given the huge array of options now available for the contemporary CRE owner and facilities management operation, simply deciding to ally with technology isn’t specific enough. After all, ‘Smart’ is about more than potential on tap, it’s about being aligned and optimized. Building automation has ensured the presence of technology for some years now. Virtually every aspect of the human experience of a built space is anchored in one sort of technological intervention or another. However, the previous generation of automation has been mired within the inherent limitations of disconnected silos.

Rather than introducing yet another layer to already discordant complexity, Proptech startup Facilio is changing the fundamentals of how technology is embedded in built spaces. An enterprise-wide, connected buildings platform that leverages IoT and AI technologies, the Facilio solution is the effect multiplier and unified solution that FM has been waiting for. Integrating the multiple existing systems using a vendor agnostic software platform, the solution enables complete data-rich transparency into operations. It uses IoT to collate performance data across all functions and subjects it to continuous AI enabled analysis, which generates actionable insights to optimize systems and workforces, in real-time.

A property’s most important asset is its people.

Buildings that offer a smarter and more empowered experience to their occupants drive a truly wide array of bottom-line benefits. From lower vacancy rates and higher energy efficiency to enhanced employee engagement and lifestyles, a myriad positives translate into better return on investment for all stakeholders concerned. After decades of being considered a relatively passive cost centre, technology is helping FM embrace the role of a value-driven service. Over 70% of millennial respondents, to a recent study in industrialized countries, want to work in smart offices within the next five years. With typical workdays stretching between 7 to 10 hours, air quality, temperature and lighting all have a marked impact on their physical and mental wellbeing. Their expectations from residential properties are no less particular. These expectations of integrated work, play and community spaces, that facilitate a seamlessly high quality occupant experience, mean that modern FM has far greater scope than periodic maintenance. This is where the Facilio platform emerges as a primary driver of the value proposition of a built asset.

The enabling power of enterprise-wide, data-driven FM platforms

Technology has definitively taken centrestage in the real estate sector, with a marked acceleration in Proptech reflecting in nearly $4 Billion being invested across the smart buildings sector, in 2018. A trend currently gathering momentum within the industry is the emergence of enterprise-wide data-driven platforms for managing FM operations. The possibilities for real-time data-led decision-making, using technologies like AI, IoT and Machine Learning unlocks has a profound multiplier effect. Building owners can finally scale efficiencies across their entire portfolios, by collating and analyzing the goldmine of data that sits idle in existing automation and sensors. The most transformative potential, of course, is around becoming far more predictive in the management of buildings, to deliver an unprecedented and enhanced occupant experience. As an enterprise-wide software platform for facilities operations and maintenance, Facilio gives CRE owners the edge in a crowded marketplace, by identifying them as providers of modern facilities and superior occupant experience, for which customers are increasingly expressing the willingness to pay a premium.

Ubiquitous connectivity is the future of FM

A recent Gartner study has forecast that 25 billion connected devices will be in use by 2020, up from 4.9 billion in 2015. Smart buildings with lights, sensors, windows, HVAC units, doors and CCTV, in a hyper-integrated network, will become the norm. Contemporary CRE owners are looking to gain a competitive edge by differentiating themselves as operators of modern and smart facilities that focus on customer experience. Real time value creation, by employing state of the art connected and AI-led technology, is emerging as a non-negotiable operational model for FMs and CREs. Connectivity, IoT and AI led Proptech, in the shape of smart infrastructure and an enterprise-wide platform, simply works better, scales faster and provides more responsive services.

For building owners, the need today is to manage real estate facilities in a way that blends strategic differentiation, commercial expertise and a focus on occupant convenience. This is a distinct shift in the perception of built space, from a commodity to an experience. The first stirrings of a connected, IoT enabled and AI empowered real estate future are here, and very rapidly transcending into an imperative era of experience and service-led buildings.

About the author

Prabhu Ramachandran is the founder and CEO of Facilio Inc, an enterprise-wide platform for facilities O & M (Operations & Maintenance) across real-estate portfolios, headquartered in Atlanta (US) and with operations in USA, Middle East and India. Prabhu’s career spans over 18 years of product, business and customer experience focused on enterprise-scale software for IoT-based connected services, sustainable building solutions, and telecom network management. For more information please visit:

About Facilio

Headquartered in Atlanta (USA), with operations in UAE and India, Facilio is an enterprise-wide platform solution for real-time facilities operations & maintenance (O&M). Facilio harnesses IoT and AI to centrally consolidate existing building systems and automation data across portfolio, onto the cloud. It offers applications and modules for property owners to effectively manage and control portfolio-wide O&M activities in real-time, organise maintenance, compliance, and vendor workflows, improve asset lifecycle and sustainability performance, and engage with tenants. Founded in May 2017, Facilio is currently used by leading enterprises to optimise over 30million sq.ft of space globally.

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