The Realcomm Solution Provider Community: Leaders In the CRE Tech / PropTech / Real Estate Innovation Discussion
For anyone in the Commercial, Corporate and Institutional Real Estate market, it isn't news that our industry has seen a massive influx of technology solution providers since 2009. Phase 4, as we call it, began directly after the economic meltdown of 2008 and was fueled by the excessive amount of capital that was looking for a home as a result of historically low interest rates.
A consensus, of those following the Real Estate Technology, PropTech and CRE Tech industry, place the number of companies selling some form of technology solution to the built environment industry at around 3,000. This number is significantly higher than any other time in history. The debate taking place right now is whether this truly is the "new normal," something we have heard before, or if a correction is coming.
With all this talk of new companies in the industry, we wanted to take a moment to better understand the solution provider community that has historically engaged, and continues to engage, with Realcomm and all its associated activities.
It is important to note that our vendor community includes companies that are over 30 years old, those started five to seven years ago, as well as companies started within the last six months. After taking a good look at these companies, we found some consistent qualities that might help the industry better understand who they are, what they do and why they may prove to be viable for inclusion in a real estate company's technology, automation and innovation strategy.
They Strive to Understand the Industry
Our industry, even though it always involves buildings, is comprised of a multitude of different business models. Commercial, Corporate, Office, Retail, Medical, Education – all reflect different business objectives and and need to be fully understood by those selling technology solutions.
Listening vs. Talking
So many inexperienced, and sometimes even experienced solution providers, are so excited about their solutions they forget to ask the prospect what problem they are trying to solve. Those companies that listen more than they speak will speed up the evaluation process.
Partnership vs. Sales
One thing we have consistently promoted within our community is the idea of partnership versus sales. With people busy and so much at stake, both vendors and clients need to embrace the concept of a legitimate partnership where they are working together to solve problems.
Ironman vs. 5K
One of the common mistakes made by new companies is timing. Many believe a great idea will transform the industry overnight. Budgets, forecasts and strategies need to be calibrated for the long term. Our industry requires the knowledge and trust that comes with time.
Understanding the Big Picture
It is one thing to develop a specific "automation sequence" and quite another to integrate that solution into an enterprise strategy. Communications with other systems, one version of the truth and cybersecurity are just a few of the strategic considerations that CRE tech solutions need to understand and consider.
With many companies, there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to engaging the marketplace. For new companies, they need to be everywhere, in every conversation, writing articles, constantly interacting with the industry. Limited engagement with building owners and operators is not an option.
I would personally like to recognize and thank the extraordinary Realcomm | IBcon | CoRE Tech | Webinar | CIO Forum | Advisory | Marketplace | EDGE Magazine community. You have invested in us over the last 20 years and have allowed us to be part of your journey. We have acted - and will continue - as an effective bridge, accelerating the authentic conversations needed with the building owners and operators before any technology solution can move forward.
We believe in our solution provider community and hope that the next 20 years are as productive as the last 20. Thank you again to all those companies, large and small, young and old, local and international, that have trusted us in the curation of this Real Estate Technology conversation. Your vision, innovation, discipline, hard work, tenacity and promise of the solutions you bring to the marketplace are critical to our industry as we continue to navigate in this Age of Acceleration.
This Week’s Sponsor
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UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
Controlling a Building from Your Phone – OCCUPANT EXPERIENCE Platforms Arrive - 2/28/2019
The initial focus in mobile technologies was on meeting room reservations; then came lighting, heating and cooling, then access control. Over the last 24 months it has become apparent that there are many more occupant experiences that can be delivered via mobile phone. Managing parking, reporting maintenance issues, ordering coffee, scheduling an exercise class, viewing security cameras, and other applications were quickly added to the list. With so many options and approaches available, what are the best strategies for occupant experience? Build versus buy, functionality selection, solution integration and ongoing support are just some of the topics to be addressed by the industries’ most respected professionals.
Chuck Niswonger has over 30 years of successful leadership experience in technology-related roles that range from operating his own consulting company (www.nicenets.com) to directing the IT strategy of a real estate investment management firm to manufacturing and technology-enabled education. Chuck has also been the chair of the Realcomm Investment Management (IM) Advisory Council for the last ten years, managing content selection for the conference educational sessions, IM forums, workshops and webinars.
Matthew Lennan has been integrating IT and building system technologies for more than 30 years. He has developed and implemented computing infrastructures for global financial firms, major healthcare facilities, manufacturing, entertainment complexes and traditional smart buildings. Most recently, Matthew has been working in software development to refine the customer experience for smart buildings in Office, Retail and Residential environments. He is currently responsible for driving Innovation across Oxford Properties’ portfolio.
Jared Summers is a motivated execution-oriented high performance individual who has extensive experience managing large-scale global programs. He brings a unique ability to understand and articulate complex technologies in a relatable way while rapidly fielding innovative capabilities. Currently Jared is the Data, Analytics & Technology Manager at ExxonMobil, delivering on the promise of transformational change enabled by digital technologies across the entire global real estate portfolio.
Joshua has over 15 years of successful leadership experience with early-stage disruptive companies. He has an extensive background in property technology, focusing on amenities that drive tenant experience across commercial real estate, multifamily residential and student housing. Josh has lead national sales and support teams with an emphasis on customer success, brand recognition, and occupant experience.
Elizabeth Dukes is the Co-Founder and CMO of iOFFICE, the leading workforce-centric IWMS software and the first 100% SaaS platform designed for the Digital Workplace. Dukes drives strategy for iOFFICE and advocates for the confluence of people and technology that unleashes the full potential of the workforce and the workplace.
As Head of Sales, Nick is responsible for leading the sales organization including domestic sales, product implementation and customer success. Nick’s 20+ years’ involvement with technology dates to the 90s when Peapod did its best to teach him UNIX. Nick’s IT responsibilities over his various positions have included End User Support, System/Platform Administration, Business Continuity Management and Project, Facilities, Procurement, Contracts & Maintenance. Most recently Nick served as Vice President at Environmental Systems Design (ESD).
Matt leads the product development and roadmap strategy for Modo Labs. With broad experience across mobile and audience engagement, along with a customer-centric mindset, he is the company’s product leader for both Workplace and Campus solutions. Matt and his development team continue to enhance the Modo no-code platform, empowering higher education and enterprise organizations to quickly create personalized applications and ensure students and employees have access to the information they need most.