4 Secrets to Cut Operational Costs in Commercial Real-Estate

4 Secrets to Cut Operational Costs in Commercial Real Estate

A rise in inflation has everyone thinking about lowering their costs wherever possible. However, keeping overhead expenses low and tenant morale high remains a top priority for property and facility managers, regardless of the current financial climate. Here are four ways to cut operational costs in commercial real-estate. 

1. Automate Operations 

Running a property or facility management business involves a long list of time-consuming, repetitive tasks. The sheer volume of these tasks costs companies millions of dollars in staff time every year. 

Automation reduces costs by streamlining processes, reducing manual labour, and improving overall efficiency. By automating specific tasks such as the collection, verification and approval of lease agreements, certificates of insurance and SLAs, companies can save time and money that would otherwise be spent on manual labour. This reduces labour costs and improves productivity, ultimately leading to cost savings. For example, tracking tenant COIs by hand leads to stacks of certificates cluttering the office, hours spent finding computer files, and confusion over who has the most current documents. With a COI tracking solution, you can automate requests for updated or missing COIs to limit time and resources spent managing files, identifying issues, and ensuring tenant compliance.

Automation also eliminates human errors, which can otherwise lead to expensive mistakes and omissions, making you liable for injury or damages.

Finally, automated systems can quickly and accurately analyze large amounts of data, allowing property and facility managers to identify areas of risk and inefficiencies. For example, with an occupancy detection platform in place, you can monitor the presence, vacancy and dwell time of occupants in any space and use real-time data for immediate action and long-term planning to reduce energy expenses, manage space more efficiently and streamline janitorial services.

2. Integrate and Centralize Your Data 

When data isn’t centralized and lives in multiple places, it is difficult for property and facility teams to answer even simple questions. At the same time, fragmented and incompatible data stifles innovation and makes your organization less competitive.

Collating and analyzing data from multiple systems is time-consuming. Centralization enables fast data manipulation and reporting and removes the need for teams to consult several data sources. When teams spend less time generating and compiling reports, they will have more time to work on their strategies and data-driven decisions. This approach will also help you save more resources as centralized data makes inefficiencies visible while making solutions more evident and effective.

Consolidated data also reduces the overall number of systems that property managers must manage and, consequently, reduces the number of software licensing fees.

3. Leverage Conversational AI

Implementing a conversational AI tool powered by ChatGPT can provide tenants with 24/7 self-service access to building information like tenant handbooks, rental terms and local services and amenities. It can also automate the coordination, processing and approval of requests like work orders, resource reservations and amenities bookings.

Empowering tenants to self-serve reduces support costs significantly. Property managers can resolve tenant cases at scale and allocate resources more efficiently to ensure staff focus on revenue-generating initiatives rather than time-consuming, repetitive tasks.

These AI tools can also collect and analyze tenant behaviour helping property managers stay ahead of the competition, accelerate leasing cycles, improve tenant retention, and optimize operational efficiency within their portfolio. 

4. Deploy IoT Solutions

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing how commercial buildings function for owners, managers, and tenants alike. There is a plethora of IoT solutions that provide valuable insights into energy efficiencies, equipment health and space utilization. When fed into a central hub or dashboard, facilities managers and property managers can use this data to reduce a building’s carbon footprint, enable predictive maintenance and make large spaces more cost-efficient and productive. 

For example, environmental sensors that monitor temperature, lighting and ventilation can help optimize energy management. This critical environmental data can identify the key energy consumption drivers and provide a 360° view of energy consumption patterns, abnormal energy consumption by faulty equipment, and under-used or over-used infrastructure and wasted resources.

Similarly, in real-time, water leak detection sensors can monitor high-risk areas like ceilings and basement pipes, toilets, sinks, water-based appliances and sprinkler systems. Property managers can then set up alerts at the first sign of a leak to ensure immediate remedial action or integrate this data into a building management system to enable automated responses like shutting off the supply valve or HVAC equipment to prevent costly damage and insurance claims.

Wrapping Up

As a building owner, property or facility manager, regulating the cost of operations is remarkably important. Leveraging the power of innovative proptech solutions from a central platform is critical to improving efficiency, reducing costs and maximizing revenue across your property portfolio.