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How to accelerate «green» real estate management with digital platforms by The Smarter Place

Digital real estate platforms enhance sustainability efforts through coordination, aggregation, and analytics of data, processes and communication.

Digital real estate platforms are growing up. Often startend as tenant and customer integration platforms, they have extended their services and integrations reacting on customer needs. Real estate management is an activity with many moving parts, customers, staff, service providers, partners, legacy IT, processes and communciations. The main advantages of digital platforms are at the same time the close integration of the moving parts as well as the fundamental openness to new activities and software.

Aspire for data aggregation and analytics

These advantages – apart from general cost reductions, effciency gains and not the least resilience – translate beneficially into general  sustainability efforts of real estate management. Maybe the single most important factor that influences the integration of sustainable development in real estate management is the reduction of energy consumption of buildings.

Apart from respective materials and construction practices, sensors and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices installed in buildings provide the digital means to monitor, control, analyse and predict energy consumption. For their success, all sustainability efforts crucially depend on data integration and  comprehensive high-quality data to measure and calibrate all efforts accordingly. Digital platforms, geared towards integration and interfaces with existing data and applications, provide the necessary flexbility and capabilities to leverage all the data available.

In addition, platforms allow the comprehensive analytics of events and processes to get actionable insights from all sustainability efforts. In fact, just to measure one activity, for example the provision of renewable energy to a building, but to fail to communicate to tenants how to save energy, risks to offset gains on one end with waste on the other end. Only the connection, data aggregation and comprehensive analytics of all or the most important activities reap all the rewards of sustainability efforts.

Not to forget a communication strategy

Not only are accurate data crucially important for the success of sustainable real estate management, but also communication processes and strategies as a parallel line of action. The importance of effective communications to support important processes and activities is routinely underestimated even by practitioners, although studies suggest that 80% of all activties in real estate management are communication related.

Since digital real estate managment platforms started off in their early days as communication platforms between managers, tenants and service providers, based on their structure and setup they are ideally suited to support wider ranginig sustainability efforts and activities. In general, effective real estate communication aims to reduce redundancies and bottlenecks in management processes, and in addition strives to assure productive and trust-based relationships between the participants.

The integrated communication features of digital platforms, with apps and other devices, also provide the comprehensive communication backbone for an effective «green » real estate management. An interlinked communication strategy to move sustainable development forwards, or, simply speaking, communicating to all real estate participants how they specifically can contribute with their actions and behaviours to a sustainable development, supports all other efforts in a significant way.

Boost data aggregation and analytics with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) and as a special technology machine learning (ML), if seamlessly integrated into a digital real estate platform, provide the next step for successful sustainability efforts with platforms. Beyond the current hype, what can they really deliver ? In short, the more data you gather, the more AI you need. AI applications are the digital « slaves » that process, sort, categorize, evaluate, analyze and predict based on your data. In a way, the more comprehensive your sustainability efforts become, the more AI and ML are able to help you with your success.

One business case for ML deployment is the analytics in building automation systems (1). This involves placing sensors in strategic areas in the building.  Sensors may be placed in the lighting or heating systems, elevators, and security systems to collect data that will help the building owner improve energy efficiencies. ML analyses the data and builds predictive models and forecasts of device failures before the event.

In general, the more you want to get out from your data, from prediction (forecast) to prescripition (automatic action), AI is the tool of choice to support your sustainability efforts. Digital platforms provide the consistent application of AI and ML tools through the value chain and connect  data as well as analytics.

Dashboards – call to action

All the aggregated sustainability insights provided by digital real estate platforms only lead to appropriate actions if they are communicated accordingly to management, staff and partners. Data and results have to be displayed and communicated in an actionable manner, and this means simplification and an overview provided by specialized dashboards. Dashboards are the proven point of insight for data driven activities, in this case for the analytics of sustainability.

Data dashboards, integrated into digital platforms as a central service for results inspection and oversight, build the core connection between applications and users. One view, all-encompassing information – that’s the slogan for any data dashboard and also for digital real estate management. It is the art of dashboard building to combine the complexity of information with the concise insights needed by management. Dedicated sustainability dashboards complement the offerings of digital platforms with front-end visualizations and deep understanding.

Platform automation – sustainable in the details

Not only reduced energy consumption and other big topics contribute to the long-term sustainability in real estate management. On the contrary, also the sum of small steps and actions, for example efficiency improvements and automation of standard tasks, can improve the sustainability index of a real estate management company considerably. Small automations, for example offering chatbots for standard requests and answers, distributed and applied over the whole digital platform, lead to significant efficiency gains over time that contribute to improved sustainability and reduce waste of time and effort.


Alex Schmid, Founder & CEO of TheSmarterPlace


Alex Schmid is founder and CEO of the TheSmarterPlace, the end-to-end, AI supported real estate platform for comprehensive digitalisation. He has experience in building digital solutions in finance, media and other industry sectors. He’s working in real estate since many years and has an MBA of the University of Zurich as well as an MA in linguistics and philosophy.

Company description TheSmarterPlace:

TheSmarterPlace is an end-to-end, AI supported digital real estate platform for the comprehensive digitalisation of real estate management companies. TheSmarterPlace is a scalable solution for real estate companies of all sizes and integrates into existing IT and process infrastructures. Internationally active, the company is currently focused on the DACH market (Switzerland, Germany, Austria).

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