There is no denying that mobile apps are having an impact in our lives and on our buildings. But there is a significant lag in the real estate industry around building operators and facilities managers actually adopting mobile applications. They buy the software and they spend money on it every year but most are not using it effectively.
Mobile is quickly becoming the foundation for every other technology currently being installed in buildings. It allows for faster response times, real time data collection, transparency and time savings. In fact without mobile, sensors and the Internet of Things cannot really work to their full potential. Aware Manager’s Courtney Porcella shared some insights with Propmodo about how mobile can help building managers streamline their day-to-day operations.
Tracking vendor activity
Mobile can provide a great link between building operations staff and third party service providers. If a service provider is performing an inspection they can have access to the history of previous readings. This can be used to determine if current performance is an outlier or if the issue at-hand is consistent. A common problem with using outside vendors is tracking the information they collect. If a building manager relies solely on the vendor’s system then it can be very difficult to access the data. Building managers need to always know what each vendor is doing as it’s happening. Keep in mind that any report generated on the manager’s behalf by a vendor is a byproduct of the work order and belongs to the building. There is no reason why managers shouldn’t have direct access to that in real time via mobile phone technology.
Monitoring daily inspections
Every building manager says they have an inspection program but odds are it’s probably not being done consistently. Most building operations inspection data is probably living in a binder. Each person should have the ability to search on a mobile app for every work order needing to be completed each day. There’s no reason for people to be walking around a property with radios doing inspection rounds. With geolocation and mobile, managers can actually see where building operations staff are and what they’re doing in real time. They can also receive automatic notifications when inspections are complete and, perhaps most importantly, maintain an audit trail.
In most buildings, adding mobile capabilities is going to require some integration with other IT systems. Building managers shouldn’t fear it. Involving the IT department early on is an opportunity for collaboration. In addition to the IT department, building operations can take this opportunity to increase engagement with tenants. Most tenants will appreciate the increased transparency and the promise of improved response times. Today more than ever tenants are coming to expect on-demand service, easy monitoring and transparent processes. Mobile technology can facilitate that.