BOMA Tech Survey Outlines CRE Professionals Keeping Pace with Changes

June 25, 2018

Phil Mobley, vice chair of the BOMA Technology Committee and head of Research for Building Engines, shares findings from the report “Commercial Real Estate Technology Trends 2018.”


More than half of BOMA international members surveyed for a recent technology report consider themselves as keeping pace with changes in technology. BOMA International and Building Engines released initial findings from the report “Commercial Real Estate Technology Trends 2018” on Sunday at the 2018 BOMA International Conference and Expo in San Antonio, TX.

More BOMA 2018 coverage: Microsoft Azure IoT for Smart Buildings at BOMA Expo

When the more-than 600 respondents were asked how they’re adapting to the pace of technological change in the commercial real estate industry:

  • 59 percent consider themselves maintainers, or property professionals who are keeping pace with changes in technology but aren’t early adopters

  • 23 percent self-identify as achievers, property professionals who are ahead of the curve at adopting technology and deploying it strategically

  • 18 percent say they are trailers, property professionals who’re lagging industry averages when it comes to technology adoption rates and results

Phil Mobley, vice chair of the BOMA Technology Committee and head of Research for Building Engines, acknowledges that the biggest challenge to investing in technology is budget.

“Lots of times managers don’t directly control the budget – so that’s a challenge in itself – but even when they do, it’s not easy to project the payback on a technology solution” compared to more traditional solutions where it’s easier to see how much will be saved, he says.

Key Survey Findings

As a result of the survey, eight key findings were established:

  1. Owners and asset managers stand to profit most from technology solutions that better address the breadth and strategic perspective of their roles.

  2. Early adoption is crucial for technology in CRE: Achievers are 4x more likely than Trailers to try new solutions as soon as they are available

  3. Achievers spend appropriately on technology; Trailers tend to under-invest in tools that would help them operate better.

  4. Achievers have different priorities when purchasing technology than Trailers.

  5. Achievers are the least likely to select technology solutions at the property level.

  6. Achievers deploy “highly effective” solutions for more than half of operational functions, and they do so 4 times as frequently as Trailers.

  7. Time and resource constraints are the largest obstacle to replacing underperforming CRE technology solutions.

  8. 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.

Start Your Technology Journey

For CRE organizations looking to adopt to new technologies earlier, Mobley offers these tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to try something new; that’s the path forward. You will be more likely to achieve success by trying it than not trying.

  • Prioritize investing in technology.

  • Commit to a broad and deep adoption. Make sure many people are using the technology, and it’s being used at a deep level.

He suggests people wanting to move forward with technology get the full report (available soon from BOMA), read it and show it to decision-makers in the organization. “Start making the case that if you want the building to be more competitive, we need to change how we do things,” Mobley says.

For people on the technology side of the industry, the results “show us we have work to do, but also an opportunity, to serve owners much better than we do,” Mobley notes. “We need to help customers make those business cases as to what effectiveness looks like.”

Read the full Commercial Real Estate Technology Trends 2018 survey results.

Valerie Dennis Craven ([email protected]is editor-in-chief for BUILDINGS

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About the Author

Valerie Dennis Craven | Director of Accounts, Stamats & Contributing Writer

Valerie is an experienced journalist with an emphasis in the B2B market. As the former director of editorial services for i+s, she led the editorial staff in producing the multiple assets we offer: articles, podcasts, webinars, social media, CEUs and more. Valerie enjoys writing about technology and the way people work.

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