44 REAL ESTATE FORUM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 www.globest.com/realestateforum
expenditure, but rather, maximizing it as an investment.
The challenge is making major decisions about real estate
commitments five, 10 and even 15 years in advance with
limited data and analysis.”
Revoy says while legacy technology was extremely difficult
to use, siloed and often not in real time, adoption of modern
workplace platforms can give even late adopters visibility, cost
control, productivity improvement and actionable data.
“Because workplace management has been treated as a
cost, little innovation in technology has advanced in the past
10 to 20 years,” he explains. “The concern of employee pro-
ductivity has turned it into a new focus, which has reeled in
real estate decisions as well since the workplace itself is one
of the highest expenditures for a business.”
Revoy predicts that technology will play a major role in
helping to bridge that data gap, with informa-
tion that allows CRE companies to make better
decisions about the sizes and kinds of work-
places that are actually needed. He points to
platforms such as Teem, SpaceIQ and Zoom as
becoming critical to managing the workplace.
Key trends in the workplace—such as like
IoT sensors, agility, co-working, meeting room
management, solutions that integrate with calendar systems and enterprise adoption as part
of real estate forecasting and planning—have
been discussed for several years. “The industry
is finally seeing major adoption of these technologies and new services,” Revoy says.
So, what can technology provide if the sky’s
the limit? Revoy points to the merging of co-
working and the traditional corporate experi-
ence. “Both Slack and Salesforce are addressing the needs of
the modern employee and the productive agility needed in
their workday via technology,” he says. “They offer private per-
sonal space, collaborative space, modern phone booths and
social gathering areas. There is a tremendous focus on design,
employee engagement, productivity and collaboration.”
This approach, Revoy expects, will be adopted by companies
of all sizes, across all industries. “Even at SpaceIQ, we noticed a
tremendous productivity benefit by making modest, cost-
effective, tech adoptions and design changes to our offices.”
In the end, it is safe to say that commercial real estate
companies need to work with other decision makers in elimi-
nating distractions and providing companies with an environ-
ment that promotes productivity.
When further examining the impact of technology, it is important to consider just how
populated the global real estate tech startup
arena has become. The number of these entities jumped from 176 in 2008 to 1,274 by 2017,
according to a study by Deloitte.
During the same period, cumulative investments in these startups soared from $2.4 billion
to $33.7 billion. While venture capital remains
the dominant funding source, there is substantial capital flow from non-VC investors as well,
Just as notable is that these entities have in recent years
become more synonymous with disruption and innovation.
Many of them focus on the optimization of a real estate footprint. To be sure, this is clearly more than just counting
heads and deciding where workstations should go.
In this era of big data and analytics, it’s all about space
optimization based on analytical modeling. And, CRE owners, developers and investors can use real estate fintech platforms for a variety of services—including leasing, acquisition
and disposition decisions, location analysis, managing the
underwriting process and accessing detailed financial models
for property financing.
For example, companies such as Assess+RE provide cloud-based services of property-level valuation models and related
financial analysis. Another analytical guru, Jane Mather, has
optimized space in Silicon Valley and the fintech world. In
fact, her approach might likely be the only comprehensive
mathematical optimization tool for space optimization. With
the proven results from past projects, Mather is extending
“Although it’s been widely talked
about, the industry has been slow
to adopt and recognize the value of
tenant experience applications.
This will change in 2019.”
“A primary concern isn’t minimizing
workplace expenditure, but rather,
maximizing it as an investment. The
challenge is making major space
decisions years in advance with
limited data and analysis.”