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How JLL is preparing itself for real estate IoT data explosion

Scott Carey | Jan. 19, 2017
The real-estate management firm will look to utilise sensors and IoT for three main use cases: managing infrastructure, utilisation of space and total employee experience

Typically within large organisations heads of corporate real estate will meet with heads of divisions to hash out issues like changing space requirements against budgetary constraints. The idea is to shift these conversations from a reliance on PowerPoint, Excel, and marketing department-created reports to a more self-service, dynamic reporting style using JLL's platform.

Wagoner's corporate solutions department at JLL provides clients with a technology platform to perform services like location consulting, occupier solutions, integrated lease administration and estate and facilities management systems. Property and facility management accounted for $338 million in revenues for JLL in 2015.

As Wagoner said: "We aren't Apple or Intel or Google. We tend to follow from a technology perspective, and what pressed me was the potential for visualisations for people in real estate who are not as experienced with predictive or analytic models and were used to manual reports."

Teething problems

As with any new technology in the enterprise there was resistance to the new style of analytics at first, especially among executives who were used to a monthly reporting cycle and tended to know their portfolio back to front.

"In our world they are used to historic reporting," he said, "so financial reports to review from last month or work order reports. Now predictive or real time is a different way of thinking and analysing information, so people have to think and operate differently."

To break through to these users Wagoner recognised that the tool needed to deliver a level of insight that opened the eyes of clients without making them feel obsolete.

"The reality is it can be generational and people are afraid of it," he explained, "but once they start hands on using it, that changes. What I tell baby boomers one-on-one is that this new way of working with data is not replacing you. We need your expertise interpreting it based on experience, so when given three potential outcomes you can help us decide. Then they start to grasp it and make it their own."

Wagoner gave the example of one client - who he said "had probably never looked at a report in his life, he had people for that" - who was so impressed with the interface that he asked for access to the dynamic reports after a meeting. "These are executives in their late fifties to early sixties wanting to use technology. You take someone who knows more in their role than anyone else and get them seeing new things, that was pretty powerful," he said.

Another client managed to save $5 million on its energy consumption by using JLL's brand of analytics to spot the least efficient of its 8,000 locations. "Using regression analysis we found outliers to point to a couple of locations that if you looked at tabular data you would have missed. We didn't turn the lights off, we just figured out locations that weren't as efficient compared to others," said Wagoner.


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