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How Real Estate Companies Can Benefit from IoT Technology

Buildings of the future will be more like friends that sense how we feel and then adjust themselves according to our wants and needs. Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning will make this a reality sooner rather than later, and the implications for the real estate industry will be enormous. When you factor in intelligent energy storage as well, the opportunities for real estate companies to offer customized facility experiences for building managers and occupants alike increases exponentially. Here's how:

Increased business and operational efficiencies – Building systems such as HVAC, lighting, plumbing, security, and others can be monitored and controlled through enhanced technologies such as IoT-connected sensors, 3D cameras, and autonomous robots. This can enable proactive maintenance that reduces the likelihood of equipment failure. It can also allow facility managers to automatically adjust system operations to optimize efficiency. This results in less wasted energy and thus a reduced carbon footprint throughout an entire facility and a positive impact on a company’s bottom line energy costs.

Furthermore, the IoT can help increase employee efficiency within office facilities by automating redundant activities. In fact, 69 percent of employees say that office automation will give them more time to carry out their primary duties and 86 percent predict that automation will enable them to think of work in new and innovative ways.

Improved occupant comfort and satisfaction – Buildings can learn occupants' preferences and then adjust themselves automatically in terms of heating and cooling, humidity, and other environmental factors that impact comfort. They can also proactively monitor and report on building envelope integrity, external temperatures, and other situations that may impact occupant comfort as well.

WiFi Interconnectedness and cloud computing – Maintaining redundant WiFi systems enables building occupants to remain connected to the internet on all their devices at all times. It also enables facility managers and real estate companies to capture and analyze data about building system usage on the public cloud to find ways to offer enhanced products and services to benefit building owners and occupants. These can include apps with easy-to-use and intuitive user interfaces that allow people to form an emotional connect to their buildings that goes beyond the mere utility of the facility itself. Increased data transparency can also help crack down on illegal uses of real estate which add significant costs to the industry and the economy as a whole.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) systems – VR and AR enable prospective building owners, renters, and occupants to "visit" facilities virtually to get a realistic sense of what the facility is like to help them in their decision making processes. These systems can also assist in the design and construction of facilities by allowing architects, engineers, and contractors to visualize facility designs in either virtual or real space.

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