Artificial Intelligence Will Drive Corporate Real Estate

Chris Read
The industry is on the threshold of an important transition, as advances in technology disrupt our traditional ways thinking about our space.

Artificial intelligence (AI) already has a significant role in our daily lives - it powers our smart appliances, supports our energy use, orders our shopping, helps our medical care and so much more. In corporate real estate, we’re approaching the exciting time where AI can help us create exactly the right type of flexible spaces and better utilise those spaces.

The Data Challenge

The next challenge in corporate real estate management is to interpret the mountains of data we collect in creating and running our spaces. AI is the key tool here, poised to underpin evidence-based decisions and outcomes, aligned with the organisation’s aims. This digital approach can unlock the potential for a better built environment - yet our clients tell us they struggle to achieve good results.

Our research illustrates the challenge facing many corporate occupiers: whilst 90 per cent of their data is current (generated in the last two years), 80 per cent of that data is unstructured and fragmented, as it’s often owned and managed by the supply chain.

In corporate real estate, we’re approaching the exciting time where AI can help us create exactly the right type of flexible spaces and better utilise those spaces.

We also found that only 48% of clients collect data related to corporate objectives, and these clients agreed that the use of their data could be improved. Thirty-eight per cent of clients collect only data related to supplier KPIs and contract management.

Properly interpreted, the data can be put to excellent use to deliver the more agile, technology-enabled space that corporate occupiers now expect - promoting efficiencies in the workforce and/or better customer interaction. Already there is technology that can track, monitor and adjust workspace usage, including automatic desk bookings as you walk into the space or freeing up meeting rooms that are not in use. Linking this data to individual user patterns enables better understanding of how the building is used, paving the way for space/time optimisation. The technology already exists to do this, and will mean that output and efficiency can be truly linked to the business case and investment decisions.

Harnessing Technology

In response, Faithful+Gould is on a mission to support clients with gathering, interpreting and driving action from their data, on all aspects of their built environment. We’re investing in AI solutions and systems integration to meet this demand. We’re partnering with technology innovation providers to explore machine learning and data integration techniques that can be applied to our clients’ specific problems.

Our insight system is an excellent example of the way in which we’re leveraging previously inaccessible data for use in future AI solutions. 

We’re developing solutions that help clients move away from data management approaches linked to supplier KPIs. Instead, we help them create a true learning culture where data is captured and analysed automatically. This supports a proactive estate management approach and swifter adjustments in strategy.

We’re already seeing exciting results. Our insight system is an excellent example of the way in which we’re leveraging previously inaccessible data for use in future AI solutions. Imagine being able to undertake key cost management functions automatically, faster and more accurately than any consultant, by linking measurement, delivery and billing. The technology will reduce supply chain risk, speed up payments and improve cashflow. This will result in savings across the supply chain.

Looking to the Future

We can expect to see more and more use of AI in the industry, and our combination of client experience and technology investment puts us in a leading position to advise our clients on how best to release value from property into their businesses.