BOMA CRE Technology Trends: MACH Perspective

February 16, 2023

A recent white paper by the BOMA organization and Building Engines was presented at BOMA 2018 in San Antonio, TX. The thought provoking survey of 600 owners, managers and engineers looked at technology within the CRE industry.  We encourage industry participants to review it, we found it largely reflective of our experience and wanted to highlight some key areas we found particularly interesting.

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The white paper describes the market adoption stages as Achievers (Early Adopters), Maintainers (the bulk of the industry) and Trailers (Late Adopters).  With more than 80% of survey respondents either Maintainers or Trailers, it’s clear that the future is bright for technology adoption in CRE.

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In fact, we believe it may be understated - only 27% of all respondents were managing buildings smaller than 250k square feet despite smaller buildings making up ~90% of the office market for example.  As a result, we would argue the true Achiever market is much smaller then 23% - implying even larger upside for technology adoption across the the CRE industry.

"For any CRE professional wrestling with technology, this report offers some great advice, including:

>  Seek technology partners and solutions who prioritize integration and collaboration with other services”

Our customers have relayed this message for years, as a result, our product features are always designed with approaches to help integrate with other products and offer a consolidated view.  One view can make people's job easier - see below for an integration example with Electronic Tenant Solutions.

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“Achievers have different priorities when purchasing technology than Trailers:

>  Achievers place higher priority on customer service and brand image in their technology purchase decisions; Trailers are more focused on cost and time savings”

We are fortunate to work with many Achievers and would concur brand image and responsiveness are key criteria.

That said, helping make entire property teams’ jobs’ easier using modern tools are key differentiators that we see applied to both Achiever and Maintainer type clients.  

A lot of this stems from the dearth of building management talent available (see BOMA link here – there are fewer people doing more work and they need assistance and easy-to-use technology to manage the building.

“Mandated solutions (from company or building owners) are 20 percent more likely to be “highly effective” than self-selected solutions. “

On a general basis, we have seen this in our work as well.  Some of our most successful programs include competitions, goals and incentives among buildings – one memorable event saved $2MM and resulted in cash bonuses for the engineering team responsible.

Mandates don’t work for every owner or building – usable tools that help with everyday issues like alerts, automated reporting etc. help individual buildings and personnel benefit from technology and ultimately reduce operating expenses and timelines.

“More than half of CRE professionals expect artificial intelligence/machine learning and drone technologies to have a significant or profound impact on the future of the industry.”

Machine Learning is something we at MACH have incorporated into many aspects of our solution. That said, we would caution Achievers spending too much time on buzz, or in some cases unproven technologies, when so many proven technology solutions are underutilized.

Finally, we also looked at CRE Technology Trends findings and compared them to BOMA’s Annual Experience Exchange Report data.  The report show that utility costs are always among the top variable cost/sf in CRE, which Achievers have always understood.  Achievers formed the first and sustaining wave of our customers, but as the years have unfolded, many more Maintainers have come on board. Here again our experience matches what Tech Trends suggests.

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