CRE Goes Mobile:
Property Management on the Go


Kristen Sarubbe

Connectivity is good for business. Period. There are more than 5 million apps in the Google Play and App stores, combined, for personal and professional purposes. In CRE, property management is a 24/7 operation.  Apps have made it possible for management teams to track from their mobile devices and tablets dozens of property functions, such as security, custodial services, maintenance programs, and lease management.  Some of the apps are so advanced and sophisticated that it actually eliminates the need to have staff on-site (typically maintenance and custodial-type job functions) until necessary. This adaptability and cost-saving potential is what makes mobile apps very powerful in CRE, and KBS has incorporated many of these in its operations.

Maintenance
Angus AnyWhere is one of the main apps used at several KBS properties. The management team leverages this for tenant work orders, building preventative maintenance, and reservation system.  The property building engineers have smart phones where they are able to accept work tickets in real-time and notify tenants where they are in the process of closing out tickets. This system is also used for the preventative maintenance on the property and reserving the rooftop amenity as well as freight elevators and loading dock.

In the same vein, over at the KBS’ 500 West Madison building in Chicago, the management team began using Kimberly-Clark’s Onvation technology late last year. This wireless technology is embedded in the restroom paper and soap dispensers and allows for real-time alerts to be sent to the maintenance staff when product is low, or the dispensers are jammed. This allows for quicker service and does not put the burden on the tenant to report issues. Historically, 95 percent of issues within a restroom are reported by the tenants. This lessens their workloads and allows for a more proactive approach to customer service and restroom cleanliness.

Apps have made it possible for management teams to track from their mobile devices and tablets dozens of property functions

Security
Security and surveillance is a critical component to property management. At its Financial Center at the Gardens property in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, KBS’ management team has implemented the DW Vmax mobile app, which allows them to connect, view (live), playback, capture immediate still images, and search video surveillance up to 16 channels. Several cameras are strategically placed throughout the property for an “all-eyes” security program. There is also a two-way audio communication capability where a user can interact with another person on-site.

Accessibility
Datawatch’s Mobile Access eliminates the use of access cards and allows users to open any authorized door with their mobile device.  This “mobile ID” can also activate other building systems, such as lighting, heating and air conditioning, and even the elevators. KBS has this feature and app in place at some of its Florida properties.

Entertainment
A unique tenant experience tops the list for many companies. Via the Sonos Surround Sound system and app, the property management team can control audio throughout the building, including lobby areas, meeting space, or special amenities such as a game rooms or lounges.

Most of the app functions available to CRE already exist either on the property level, software or another platform. But the difference is the convenience factor apps bring. In KBS’ experience, integrating apps help save time, money and add a cutting-edge factor that is beneficial to building’s operation and overall tenant experience.

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Kristen Sarubbe is the property manager at KBS-owned Financial Center at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida