Why is IOT Exploding in Property Markets?
Smartphones revolutionized its industry. Will Smart Buildings do the same?
4 min read
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is paving the way for a more interconnected world. As consumers’ expectations shift towards customized experiences and intuitive machines, today’s buildings will need to become smarter to better meet the needs of buyers.
IOT-powered Smart Buildings represent the solution to this demand, yet many property market stakeholders have yet to include these customer-centric properties in their portfolios.
Ultimately, any property market stakeholder will need to begin adopting Smart Buildings to stay ahead of in the real estate industry. Otherwise, we may see whole property portfolios become outdated and drop in value with the exponential developments in technology.
IOT in Buildings: A Simple Explanation
At its core, the Internet of Things (IOT) means connecting everything and anything to the Internet. The significance of this is for IOT-enabled devices to do 2 things:
- Collect information from the surrounding environment and send it elsewhere.
- Receive information from elsewhere and then act on the information.
As such, IOT connected devices in a Smart Home or Building will be able to take information from the immediate surroundings using sensors and also other information from the Internet and other inputs such as a user’s smartphone, and act on this information.
Among pioneers in IOT applications for housing are smart thermostats, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat, which optimizes heating and cooling based on people’s schedules and locations, providing users with energy efficiency and automatic comfort.
How Are Smart Buildings Intelligent?
IOT applications in property focuses on taking control of and automating manual processes to create value for properties and the people in them. Here are 3 key ways Smart Buildings outperform their traditional counterparts.
- Automated Building Management
Through the integration of IOT to create Smart Buildings, tasks traditionally left to building management can now be effectively and proactively optimized through mobile devices or dashboards. These IOT applications create value in terms of Energy Efficiency, Tenant Comfort, and Building Intelligence through behaviour-based optimization through observing tenants. Building management tasks that can be automated through IOT include:
- Optimization of Humidity, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) based on tracking behaviours and usage, ensuring full comfort in each integrated room.
- Automatic control over lighting outputs (such as hue and brightness) based on the number of people in the room and natural daylight availability.
- Tracks usual movement patterns of individuals and respond if unusual activity happens (such as contacting emergency services for a suspected medical emergency).
- Tracks performance of machineries and equipment, automatically requests for preventative maintenance. Devices can also be turned off during crises such as flooding or electrical surges.
- In commercial property, IOT devices can track customer movement to determine areas where the greatest amount attention or time is spent, and produce customer profiles.
- Smart Security and Access Control
Smart Buildings will have key inbuilt functions that further ensure the safety of the property and of the people accessing it. Buildings with smart locks will be able to instantly react to security threats, automatically contacting emergency services if the system recognizes an intruder that does not behave like its tracked residents or access-granted people.
For Access Control, Smart Buildings will also be able to automatically lock and unlock doors based on registered access, removing the need for keys. Building owners can remotely grant building access to visitors, and even select which parts of the buildings can be accessed.
For property agents, they can easily grant access to third parties and customers through code-generated keys, and track for suspicious activity if needed. Properties will no longer be needed to be guarded, as the building will alert the authorities the moment a threat is detected.
- Information Beacons and Awareness
Another new piece of the Internet of Things ecosystem is Beacon technology. These are small Bluetooth-enabled devices that efficiently projects a URL of choice to all nearby mobile devices. Whenever someone comes into range of a beacon, their phone will notify its user of the nearby beacon and prompt it to visit the URL being sent out by the beacon.
In real estate, beacon technology has the potential to replace the use of banners and signs on available properties. Properties with a beacon can now prompt passer-bys to find out more about the property’s information and listing agent through a dedicated website. Agents can even wear the beacon themselves to project their agent website to everyone around them.
While seemingly modest, IOT-integrated Smart Buildings will significantly increase its value and saleability over similar properties. The sector itself is relatively new, but new applications will potentially enter the market to further incentivise buyers to go automatic with their building’s maintenance, efficiency, and safety.
Agents and investors alike may find it more than worthwhile to start including Smart Buildings in their portfolios not only to prepare for the rising demand for value-added assets in a rapidly-changing property industry, but also to enable buildings to market themselves to customers around them.
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