Imagine if your buildings could talk, telling you exactly how to improve performance and reduce costs in each building of your real estate portfolio…


A daydream? Science fiction at best?

The future is here today: The Internet of Things (IoT) and the Big Data explosion are effectively making buildings ‘talk’. Through the deployment of low cost energy meters, connected sensors, positioning tags and mobile devices – combined with big data analytics – buildings are becoming responsive and even predictive. This will allow property managers to discover actual performance drivers.

Leveraging the Internet of Things

Over the last years, the sensor industry has developed a vast offering of low cost, low power and easy-to-install sensors, small enough to be embedded virtually anywhere. The availability of hundreds of types of plug & play sensors, in combination with improved wireless connectivity and increased data processing power, has created a breakthrough and made the Internet of Things a practical solution in Real Estate management.

Building science

Even in large buildings, long range wireless technology (up to a range of 2 km) now allows for reliable capturing of sensor data streams. Real-time analytics performed on these granular big data enables:

  • Alerts to trigger just-in-time service delivery or maintenance related interventions
  • Efficiency performance monitoring to reduce operating expense
  • Predictive analysis, e.g. detecting when expensive/critical equipment is about to fail and taking corrective action before it does

Understanding property cost drivers

The main objective is to uncover synergies by exploring real-time big data from multiple sources such as sensoring and positioning data, instant customer satisfaction feedback (perception of comfort, cleanliness, service quality…), financial tracking, etc.

Each organization will implement specific user scenarios depending on its own priorities – aligned with company strategy and KPIs. Here are some example use cases for Real Estate managers:

  • RENT: Track the actual rents and charges collected from tenants, including rent-free periods, indexations, etc. Determine where charges can be reduced (energy consumption) and where you should charge more to renters.
  • ENERGY: Smart meters on consuming devices, spaces, or buildings to reduce energy cost and maintain an optimal indoor climate.
  • OCCUPANCY: Indoor positioning of people and room utilization – presence detection and behaviour tracking to forecast space needs.
  • FACILITY SERVICES: In-the-room sensors detect comfort levels (dust, CO2), leaks (water) or supply levels (coffee, paper) to trigger just-in-time facility services or maintenance. Presence or motion detection to track usage of spaces or facilities to optimize service planning.
  • PROJECTS: Track detailed time and material spent on execution of projects or maintenance related work orders.
  • COMPLIANCE: Health & Safety: Detect unhealthy working environments (CO2, temperature, noise,…); Detect obstacles on evacuation routes (from looking at walking patterns); Detect presence in rescue situations.
Learn more about creating value by using sensor data in property management.