PropTech: The Future Is Now for Real Estate

March 04, 2020

By Darren Griffith

Fordham University recently held its “PropTech 2020: Modernizing Real Estate Operations and Management” conference. The conference offered perspectives on the latest trends and cutting-edge technologies for building owners and operators. The keynote speaker was Sonu Panda, CEO of Prescriptive Data. Prescriptive Data is the creator of Nantum OS, the worlds’ most advanced building operation system. With the use of a building’s existing infrastructure, IOT sensors, property management team and third-party data feeds, Prescriptive Data can mine for insights to identify and amplify both positive and negative patterns to help provide recommendations to a building’s management team. After working with the management team, the system looks for anomalies in the data set. Sonu presented a case study where an implemented building showed excessive water consumption on a weekend. Nantum alerted the building management’s team prior to the development of a much more serious water issue. In another case, Nantum used its predictive capabilities to detect a blackout 10 minutes prior to its occurrence. Other examples included the system’s ability to determine and regulate the temperature of a building based on expected occupancy (e.g., lunchtime adjustments, after-hours adjustments), which can significantly increase utility efficiencies thereby decreasing costs.

The event’s panel consisted of John Gilbert, COO of Rudin Management, one of New York City’s largest privately owned real estate investment companies. Rudin has also collaborated with Prescriptive Data to implement the Nantum OS technology in their real estate portfolio. The panel included Andrea Jang, COO of Ackman Ziff, who was formerly head of Global Growth at JLL Spark, a $100M proptech fund; Laura Patel, Head of Strategic Accounts at Density, Inc., a platform that uses IOT sensors to anonymously count people in order to provide occupancy and space utilization analytics; and Omri Stern, founder and CEO of Jones, a real estate insurance tech platform that helps owners, managers and developers with liability management for both vendors and tenants.

The panel covered many interesting points on the state of proptech. John mentioned that since implementing this technology in buildings, he has seen that lenders now understand the value of proptech and have given him a reduction in refinance rates because of the implementation. In addition, Omri said that the implementation of these systems lowers insurance carriers’ risk, which helps ownership groups negotiate lower insurance premiums.

The real estate industry has historically been a slow adopter of technology. The issue in the past was that it was hard to quantify tech value. Now that the value of the technology is more easily quantifiable—with the lowering of insurance premiums, mortgage rate discounts and savings on utilities—we’ll likely see more building owners and operators implement these types of technologies in their real estate portfolios.

About Darren Griffith

Darren’s experience includes real estate private equity, financing, acquisitions and dispositions, marketing, leasing, underwriting, asset management, property management, real estate risk management and business consulting.