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Thoughts on Realcomm 2018

  • June 14, 2018
  • Joseph Aamidor
Thoughts on Realcomm 2018

“Thoughts on Realcomm 2018” was originally posted by Joseph Aamidor here

Thoughts on Realcomm 2018

This past week was the 20th year of Realcomm, which has become one of the leading (if not the leading) real estate technology events. Over the past few years, the related IBCon conference also has been held at the same time. This year, IBCon and Realcomm seemed much more closely linked – primarily since technology is permeating all parts of real estate.

I attended and spoke on a panel about the smart building technology skills gap, a subject that I’ve written about in the past (here and here).

In case you missed the event, here are some of my general thoughts:

  • Real estate technology is mainstream. There are a variety of RE technology and CRE technology events that have popped up over the past few years. Realcomm has been around longer (20 years!), but the size of the event and the significant number of vendors and real estate owners/investors in attendance is a sign of the seriousness these firms are starting to place on technology.
  • Analytics entrants. I was surprised to learn of even more emerging vendors selling analytics products. There are dozens, if not a few hundred firms that provide a data driven solution for building operations – and even more are entering the market. While there are some signs on consolidation (here and here), the market remains generally fragmented.
  • Energy value proposition. The energy value proposition generally is challenging, but a number of vendors still market themselves and/or quantify their value based on saving energy. In the coming years, I suspect this will become the icing on the cake, not the primary driver of the purchase.
  • Misalignment between vendors and building owners/operators. While many owners and operators still are using spreadsheets to manage key data, there are many vendors that have solutions far beyond simple data management and reporting (see “Analytics entrants”, above). At the same time, simplified data management solutions have been available for years – despite the fact that from the building owner/operator point of view, they aren’t ubiquitous. (Note: As it relates to building energy management solutions, I am working on a series for GTM about the true penetration of these systems and the market shares of key vendors.)
  • Lack of focus on outcomes. A key challenge for smart building vendors is moving beyond data and technology to deliver a positive, quantifiable outcome. Rather than marketing technology, it’s more effective to focus on what that technology enables. That said, a number of vendors still focus more on how much data can be collected, how fast it can be analyzed, etc. This can be part of the story, but delivering an outcome-based pitch is more effective.
  • Great networking. In addition to the dozens of contacts I met at the event, I ran into a large number of other friends, colleagues, and contacts. I knew that many people in the industry would attend Realcomm, but I didn’t realize that quite so many people would be there. This includes some contacts that I met when I spoke last year at a smart building event in Australia.
  • Good learning opportunity. For anyone new to real estate technology and smart buildings, Realcomm is a must-attend event.

If you attended, please let me know what you thought of the event! If you’d like to discuss this more, please feel free to contact me at www.aamidorconsulting.com.

Joseph Aamidor

Joseph Aamidor is a senior product and market strategy consultant focused on smart buildings, IoT, energy and real estate. He provides strategic guidance and advice to established building management firms, technology providers, and early-stage innovators. Connect with him at www.aamidorconsulting.com.

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