Smart Cleaning in Commercial Buildings

The Rise of Smart Cleaning Technology in Commercial Real-Estate

An Interview with Nathan Mah, Cofounder of Mero.

Tell us about MERO. What is your mission?

Our mission at Mero since day one has been consistent – we are on a mission to foster beautiful, healthy, and sustainable urban environments for all.

Mero provides a smart cleaning platform to commercial properties with a patented retrofit sensor system for consumables, commercial cleaners and occupancy. Our platform combines hardware and software, empowering buildings to minimize environmental impact, control costs, and help the world safely return to public spaces. We manage millions of square feet of space worldwide, including hospitals, universities, offices, stadiums and airports. 

What are the primary challenges facing commercial and industrial property managers in the wake of COVID-19?

Commercial real estate faces the brutal reality that their spaces will no longer be the same. Variable occupancy rates are causing pressure on commercial landlords to find new cost savings in areas they would not have searched in the past. Gone are the days when landlords could wake up each day expecting 97%+ occupancy rates. Even with a gradual return to work, tenant organization employees will be more remote than ever before.

This opens the future to more dynamic, on-demand ways of doing business. For commercial properties, one of the most significant expenditures is labour. Mero is improving the future of commercial properties through more dynamic cleaning practices, bringing commercial cleaning to the 21st century. This could mean only staffing cleaners when occupancy rates dictate it or providing efficiencies where they would not have been before. Mero’s predictive occupancy algorithms can forecast future occupancy in buildings with a simple peel-and-stick sensing device.

Mero’s approach is consultative, helping their customers find end-solutions with simple, flexible hardware.

How are MERO and PremiseHQ working together to solve these challenges? What are the solution and their key features?

Mero and PremiseHQ partnered in 2021 to bring Mero’s smart cleaning platform into PremiseHQ’s single-pane-of-glass solution.  As it becomes commonplace for commercial property managers working towards a productive return to work, the central topic will be how these organizations can manage the vast influx of building data they need to address. The partnership between Mero and PremiseHQ has signalled a step towards a more streamlined process to handle this data with actionable and centralized information for property managers regarding cleaning.

The data collected from smart building technologies is critical for property managers. The integration between Mero and PremiseHQ will provide property managers with a stand-alone, point solution with real-time access to a more centralized and consolidated view of Mero’s actionable commercial cleaning data. The property manager will also gain unique insights by combining individual datasets across point solutions in PremiseHQ’s unified platform, creating a synergy never seen in commercial real estate.

What ROI can property managers expect from implementing this solution?

Return on Investment is a critical component in commercial real estate, and it is no different for smart building technologies looking to gain traction in the market.  ROI in Mero’s solution comes from multiple angles: from both “set it and forget it” and “hands-on” approaches.

How Mero can provide ROI in an automated fashion:

  1. Cost savings on supply – we offer up to 35% in savings on consumable costs via more efficient “just-in-time” refills. This is not only a significant cost saving but also a sustainability benefit.
  2. More efficient labour – reduce up to 20% of labour costs on site by reducing wandering and dispenser checks. Cleaning staff get alerts only when attention is required, savings high prices during a cleaner’s busy day.

Through practical usage of Mero’s data, we’ve experienced ways that property managers have saved >10x in their cleaning costs through “hands-on” approaches:

  1. Re-negotiate contracts via dynamic cleaning – with variable occupancy; you can use Mero occupancy and space utilization data to take to the table when renegotiating contracts with cleaning companies.
  2. Attracting higher quality tenants and influencing more revenue – tenants will be demanding smart building technology, which will eventually require it. The costs of smart building platforms can then be built into the contracts of tenants.

How do tenants, vendors and other stakeholders benefit from implementing this solution?

Tenants, vendors, and CRE will benefit from a unified solution as all vital building data will be available in one place. Not only will they benefit from Mero’s smart cleaning solution, but also the synergistic effects of other vendors deployed in the building. Long-term decision-making, planning, and optimization can improve tenant experience, reduce operating costs, and improve commercial real estate sustainability.  That is the long-term value of the smart building of the future and what the forward-thinking commercial real estate professionals envision.

How do you see the future of this solution evolving?

We are still in the early adopter stage of smart building technology. As CRE increasingly becomes early adopters of technology, it will only facilitate future growth of companies and, eventually, the overall experience for tenants, vendors, and stakeholders.

The key to obtaining early adopters is to prove ROI early and often, and all vendors should be on a mission.

Nathan Mah

Cofounder, Mero

Nathan Mah is the Co-Founder of Mero, where he leads sales, marketing, and fundraising efforts. Nathan has led the company to signing enterprise deals with companies like QuadReal Property Group, Colliers International and Crown Property Management. Nathan has also led fundraising efforts of >$3M, from leading VC’s including 500 Startups, one of the world’s largest VC funds, and Fresco Capital.

Nathan’s start in entrepreunership came from his family of entrepreneurs, where he was immersed in management, sales, and customer service principles from a young age, instilling a deep passion for entrepreneurship.