Managing any property or development is challenging, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic made it next to impossible without the help of technology.
According to Joseph Tay, Managing Director of Proptech company Inventi, virtually every building in the Philippines has incorporated technology in some form as a response to the pandemic, but the most successful in the new normal have been those that have made technology an indispensable part of their property management strategy.
Inventi pioneered smart buildings in the Philippines with Smart Building Solutions (SBS), the company’s flagship property management software. Co-Founder & CTO Eds Encarnacion said that properties that have fared well in the pandemic include some of the earliest adopters of SBS, properties that include office buildings, residential condominiums, retail stores, and even school campuses.
Encarnacion mentioned that one of Inventi’s first clients was a leading private school that needed a way to easily manage two sprawling campuses. Fortunately, the school implemented SBS prior to the pandemic so that when lockdown began, facilities staff were able to continue to monitor and maintain the areas across their campuses despite a skeletal workforce.
Another immediate benefit that Inventi’s customers have noticed is improved cost management and staff productivity. “What we like about SBS is that we can pull up the maintenance history of any piece of equipment or facility and make informed decisions that can avoid costly repairs or replacements. It has also helped ensure that our staff is accountable for the work that they do because their productivity is logged in the system” says Francis Wee, CEO of W Group, which has implemented Inventi SBS into its six office buildings in Bonifacio Global City.
For building tenants, the highlights have been in enhanced convenience and safety. “With SBS, our tenants love the ease with which they can file service requests, gate passes, and amenities reservations from their mobile device without having to visit an office or manually fill up a form”, said Rolph Mariano, Concierge Department Manager at Arthaland.
Beyond software, one thing that sets Inventi SBS apart is its integration with IoT (Internet of Things) devices for buildings such as occupancy counters, thermal cameras, and indoor air quality monitors. Encarnacion explained that SBS can collect and process that data to notify staff of potentially unsafe events such as crowding or declining air quality so that teams can act quickly to solve a potential problem. This has been particularly useful for Inventi’s multi-branch retail & F&B clients, saving them the cost of damage control such as closing down an entire store or outlet.
Although still a nascent concept in the Philippines, smart buildings and the software solutions that enable them are catching on. To date, Inventi SBS has been implemented in almost 100 properties nationwide, in large part due to the push to digitize necessitated by the pandemic.
“Whether through a simple temperature scanner or QR code, the Covid-19 pandemic was most properties’ first foray into using smart building technology to solve a problem,” says Inventi Managing Director Joseph Tay. “In the years that follow, property managers will be searching for new ways to address their challenges with technology and Inventi will be at the forefront of these innovations.”