Toronto-based ThoughtWire has long recognized that the corporate and commercial real estate business model is changing, that tenants’ demands have become stronger than ever before and as a result has developed solutions to help commercial real estate owners enhance their tenants’ experience.
ThoughtWire focuses on operations’ performance management for the “built” environment and currently serves commercial real estate buildings as well as hospitals—two key built environments that position the company as a commercial Internet of Things (IoT) vendor. In its supportive operations and performance management roles, ThoughtWire helps orchestrate the data that comes from connected devices, systems and people in order to come up with process efficiencies.
“In commercial buildings today, we’re able to provide building operators with complete command over their building as an overlay,” ThoughtWire Chief Commercial Officer Franco Castaldini told Connected Real Estate Magazine. “So all sensors, building management systems, connected devices as well as other systems (can be used) to diagnose and respond to problems quicker.”
ThoughtWire’s solutions have helped building operators lower their operating costs by 88 cents a square foot. However, the company has seen more property owners attracted to its products because they want to improve their tenants’ experience. That is why the company has provided another application that uses the same data layer as its building operator app does. The application learns tenant behavior and uses that information to give them control of their environment as well.
Through the tenant-facing application, tenants can create a profile and save their comfort settings, communicate with facility managers in order to troubleshoot issues right away and receive information about things like health and wellness initiatives in the building rather than get that information through email or on a poster on the building’s message board. Building managers can use the data from the app to see how tenants are perceiving events, how well they’re attended and perhaps tie that information in with how they’re promoting retail.
“Tenant experience is a buzzword in today’s industry, and there are a lot of different interpretations in terms of how to best achieve a better experience for tenants.” Castaldini. “Our point of view on that is you have to reduce the friction between the operations of the building in support of the tenant experience. We achieve that by having two applications that utilize the same layer data so we can learn the tenants’ behavior, which informs the building management to adapt.”
By using the data ThoughtWire helps bring to the forefront, property owners not only learn about their tenants, but also how the building and its subsystems are performing. This information allows commercial real estate owners to automate certain processes and adjust how its building responds based on the tenants’ requests.
“We believe that synergy between the two personas will lead to a better experience for the tenant and at the same time, drive down he operational cost of the building, and ultimately increasing the asset’s value of the property owner’s portfolio,” Castaldini said.
As an example, property owner Oxford Properties did not have much regular engagement with building management. After it deployed ThoughtWire’s app, their daily engagement went up to about 65%–in a 900,000 square foot building.
“(Oxford Properties) felt that having regular engagement showed an increase in overall tenant satisfaction and it was important for them to achieve that outcome because they wanted to reduce the friction within their building between management and their tenants.”
ThoughtWire also offers commercial real estate owners its “Precision Hub” application, which allows them to remotely monitor their property. Building owners can monitor how their building is performing whether it’s the network, security doors, the elevators or the lighting. In the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane, operators can prepare for the storm, see what’s going on during and know right away what happened inside the building that might require maintenance. The app also allows central operations to communicate with first responders so they know exactly what situation they’re walking into, where to locate people still inside and more.
“I think all of us understand and appreciate a lot of times first responders who are coming in blind to a building or having to communicate with staff during a hurricane might not be on site, so this gives them that visibility and the ability to coordinate that response without actually being there,” Castaldini said.