7 Ways Smart Buildings Add Value To Your Commercial Investment Property

Nov 23, 2016

Technology has already transformed the way we live, work, and play. So it’s inevitable that the same technology shift impacts the commercial real estate as well.

Technology has added an extra layer to the search for value when analyzing the profit potential of a commercial investment property. While location, proximity to other stores, neighborhood composition and other factors are still essential, investors must find another method to differentiate themselves from competitors. They need to find a new way to add value and to include to their bottom line through information-based technology.

Internet Of Things – Using Technology To Add Value To A Commercial Investment Property

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an example of using technology to add value to a commercial investment property. The IoT is a system of software applications, machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers which can transfer data over a cloud-based network.

Any of these devices can be connected to the internet or to each other to send or receive information, or perform a particular action based on the data they receive.

For example, wearable devices like the FitBit, lamps that turn on and off based on the time of day and the occupants’ living habits, are both examples of IoT.

using technology to add value to a commercial investment property

IoT offers several benefits for owners of commercial investment properties.

The most obvious is the lower costs by improving operational efficiency. By tying building management systems with IoT, property managers can effect real-time changes in how a building is operated.  For example – regulating lighting or an air conditioning system. The IoT can also use sensors to keep track of equipment use and upcoming repair and maintenance issues.

It may seem very similar to the automated lighting, heating or elevator systems installed in most CRE buildings. But, the difference between the two is in the total connectivity of all building management aspects to a system that can both analyze and adjust behavior according to the information it receives.

IoT systems enable faster decision making, require less hands-on intervention, and are more integrated than individual building management systems.

Furthermore, since all the data gathered can be done at the macro level, each commercial investment property within a portfolio can be quickly analyzed for profitability. Specific numbers about all investment properties across the board make it possible to analyze and compare investment properties across the board.

The second area that benefits from the IoT is employee and occupant health and productivity. Information about the movement of employees within the workspace can be combined with data from the building management system. It will be beneficial to adjust ventilation, lighting, and air conditioning or heating to create an optimal work environment.

IoT can also be used to encourage employees to exercise more during the day, to encourage socialization, or to ensure the conditions needed for collaboration to occur have been met.

Benefits Of IoT By Property Type

different technology for different type of property


Use footpath technologies to:

  • Track buyer behavior vs. browser behavior;
  • Offer relevant offers based on browsing history and CRM profile;
  • Personalized home screen;
  • Offer a venue for customers to read reviews about a product or read product information;
  • Guided map to find a product in-store or mall;
  • Pre-pay using an in-store app to avoid long lines.


Service innovation opportunities include:

  • Install smarter home devices which can track a tenant’s preferences;
  • Tenants can access, control, and monitor home systems;
  • Real-time security monitoring;
  • Provide preemptive maintenance, automate maintenance requests.


  • Design comfortable spaces that can be customized according to movement sensors;
  • Track staff location for effective security and emergency response;
  • Identify patterns in how employees accomplish work on their own and with others;
  • Automate repetitive tasks;
  • Create comfortable spaces by automatically adjusting heat and air conditioning, lighting, and building amenities.


Faster processing and shipment through automated systems and IoT enabled robots

  • Track the location and movement of items for easy retrieval;
  • RFID tags make sure the right product gets sent to the right place;
  • Robots retrieve products and prepare them for shipment;
  • Sensors monitor systems for equipment failure, preventing loss of valuable inventory through spoilage;
  • Prevent theft.

Because the IoT is naturally connected, data can also be shared between buildings to improve sustainability measures.

This, in the long run, will help investors differentiate their investment properties from others in the marketplace.  Which ultimately, increases the investment property’s value.

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