How to Leverage Modern Technologies and Big Data In a Real Estate Company

How to Leverage Modern Technologies and Big Data In a Real Estate Company

People have been rethinking the way they live and work. From a high cost-of-living to increases in remote working, our spaces are being reimagined as never before.

Property managers need to be responsive to these rapid changes. Staying ahead means exploring new business models, even within the existing spaces.

But what do these new spaces look like, and what does that mean for a real estate company? How can you make the right decisions for your current properties and plan for the future?

The answer lies in both technology and data. You can gain insights into your spaces and how they are used. By harnessing this information, you can strategically adapt to a new business model.

The Model of Real Estate as a Service

Traditional real estate models think of the space as fixed. People occupy space for a fixed period of time. Whether for work or home life, the purpose of the space is known. In this model, real estate is thought of as a “product.”

Real estate as a service changes all of that. The use of space is much more fluid from one occupant to another. Occupants use the spaces on-demand and in different configurations according to their needs.

Real estate as a “service” focuses on amenities, flexibility, and a sense of community. To move into real estate as a service, you’ll need to do the following

  • Shift your thinking away from traditional real estate models
  • Identify your new target customers/occupants
  • Establish a meaningful community
  • Designing your space to meet the service business model
  • Think about the financial impacts 
  • Have a team that effectively supports the service you will provide
  • Have the technology in place to enhance your services

Ultimately, you want your real estate space to be a place where customers will return because they enjoy what you offer. Depending on your properties, there are many ways to embrace the “as a service” real estate model.

Flexible Living Spaces for Individuals

Living in one home for life is no longer every person’s dream. People want to experience new places and have the freedom to do so.

A single home that is meant to be “for life” doesn’t allow people to adapt as their needs change. A new job, a new relationship, or a new baby are all reasons that people need different living spaces.

Younger generations move around and enjoy flexibility. This has led to a rise in shared or swappable living spaces. The idea of a fixed- or long-term commitment isn’t as attractive as it once was.

Apartments with shared kitchens and living spaces make housing more affordable. Spaces that are short-term offer the ability to pick up and move as conditions change. 

Co-Working Office Space

More people are working remotely than ever before. People are collaborating with their co-workers in new ways. Both of these have lead to changes in what companies need for office space.

For companies that have embraced remote work, gone are the large rooms filled with cubicles and large meeting rooms. Instead, the focus turns to individual employees and meeting their needs.

Even for companies that may still have needs for traditional office spaces, flexible arrangements allow them to adapt to uncertainty. Scalability and other changes are reasons that companies may hesitate to a more long-term office space.

While working from home is a benefit that many people enjoy, employees may want a change of scenery or a space to occasionally meet face to face with co-workers. You can transform traditional office space into a flexible space to meet this new business model.


A hotdesk is a single workstation in a common area with shared amenities like bathrooms or break areas. A hotdesk is used by different people at different times, often with 24/7 access.

Hotdesks could be used by large companies, offering hotdesks for their employees to come in as needed. Or hotdesks can also be used by individuals who are either self-employed or simply looking for different workspace options.

Individual Office Space

More private than a hotdesk, an individual office resembles what an employee may have in a traditional office, except that the space is shared. The space may be occupied by different individuals that rotate on days of the week or on an as-needed basis. Individual offices offer more privacy than hotdesks.

Meeting Rooms

Companies with a remote workforce may still find the need to collaborate face-to-face. The company may also have clients that require an in-person meeting.

Without a traditional office space, these companies may turn to shared meeting spaces to rent or a short period of time. They may be looking to use the space for anything from a few hours to a few days.

Retail Communal Spaces

Changes in the retail industry have resulted in under-utilized properties. Economic conditions and the rise in online retail have left malls and other traditional spaces empty. Property owners lose rental revenue as they struggle to find tenants.

These retail spaces can be rethought as an office or other flexible environments. They are ideal for offering communal areas.

Managing New Real Estate Models

While real estate as a service may push you outside of your comfort zone, flexible real estate spaces are the trend. Yes, you may give up the consistency of a single tenant. But you can gain a much larger pool of people seeking your services.

Of course, with more people accessing your space, you need to think about how to control the space. It should be both secure and easy for your occupants.

Physical keys are also a thing of the past. Smart access and virtual keys can manage the real estate as a service model. Self check-in and the ability to control access remotely are critical to the manageability of flexible spaces. The remote access should also include the ability to revoke credentials if necessary.

The user experience should also be seamless, with occupants able to make reservations in an app and use the same app for entry.

In addition to flexible home and office spaces, a remote, cloud-based access control system benefits other industries. Hotels can streamline operations with fewer employees by allowing guests to self check-in. 

For all spaces with occupants coming and going, remote access control can also give maintenance and cleaning crews the access they need. Anyone should be able to make use of personal devices, such as a smartphone, for the proper access at the right time.

Using Big Data for Real Estate Insights

You may recognize the need to change to an “as a service” real estate model. But how will you know how the spaces are being used and if the changes you made are effective?

Remote cloud-based apps will give you data insights regarding access. For example, with flexible office spaces, you can see if users are reserving hotdesks or individual offices more frequently. This can help you know how to continue to transform spaces in the future.

You can also see the rate at which users return to your properties. From flexible living spaces to hotels, returning occupants will tell you a lot about whether the space is meeting needs. Combine this data with reviews and leverage the information as necessary.

Real-time user tracking will also help in the event of a health emergency. Covid-19, for example, has presented this as an immediate need. Being aware of an occupant’s movements can keep your building safe and help with notifications to other occupants in the event that a shared space had exposure.

As you look beyond your current real estate properties and into the future, big data can also offer additional insights. You can now gain regional information on property values, demographic changes, or other trends in the marketplace. Certain properties may have more appeal by their proximity to amenities such as grocery stores, gyms, or other amenities.

Lack of proximity to these outside amenities may also help you shape what you offer within your own property. Community spaces within offices or hotels can be further enhanced by what you provide to the occupants.

Flexible space means that it is no longer only about the square footage, but about the experience.

Technology Solutions for a Real Estate Company

Rethinking real estate into an as-a-service model will mean reshaping your mentality along with the space. You will want the technology in place to support such changes. From replacing keys with smart access to an app experience, you want your space to be secure and scalable.

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