When reviewing technological advances in real estate by asset type, sectors such as industrial, hospitality or premium real estate are generally the most advanced in terms of optimising facilities, their availability and the quality of services provided.
One of the reasons for this is the criticality of services (on an assembly line or a 5-star hotel) which requires perfect management of services and facilities.
If one compares social housing on the one hand and conventional residential and condominiums on the other, the social landlord market is much more advanced in terms of asset management. Mass management and the ability to have a single decision-maker facilitates the deployment of new solutions, particularly large-scale digital solutions.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are co-ownerships that will be the forgotten ones in the digitalization of real estate. The processes and regulations imposed on the syndicate councils do not help to make quick decisions.
The laws give the syndics the duty to "provide for its conservation, care and maintenance and, in the event of an emergency, to carry out on its own initiative all work necessary to safeguard it". In this context, it is understandable that the improvement of a residential property (digitalisation, connected objects, etc.) will not be the priority of a syndic since he is responsible for its preservation and there are no rules encouraging digitalisation to improve the living experience or to enhance the value of the property.
What can be done in this case to concretely improve condominium management, make technical management more reliable and reduce costs?
The introduction of a collaborative management system is a first step that allows a series of technical improvements and new services to be stacked.
The example of the Urbest collaborative platform:
From the website or the mobile application, Urbest enables the collection of one-off or regular needs to formalise these interventions and follow them up with regular service providers. The platform allows for the management of quotes, the progress of an intervention and the storage of digital archives a posteriori. It is not uncommon for buildings to have no plans or to not know when the last pipe maintenance was carried out. Digital monitoring aims to fill these information gaps in order to be able to deal peacefully with future maintenance.
Step by step, this digitalization allows us to structure the information and leads the co-owners towards reliability and traceability. Generally, the application is supervised by the trade union council and the syndic to monitor all interventions and services. Some syndicates can provide partial traceability of interventions but it is preferable to have an independent application in order not to be dependent on one syndicate or another.
This digitalisation of services has many advantages, both for the manager, the owner and the resident. First of all, the fact of listing and having visibility on the workload of a building is a first step to methodically manage what needs to be done. Factual data avoids ambiguities between co-owners which are a source of conflict.
Secondly, a smoother collaboration with the service providers of a building allows to ensure the quality of the work done and its regular frequency. Without regular interventions, there is a risk of putting off a mountain of work and the slate that goes with it.
Thirdly, collaborative tasks allow for the strengthening of services between those who need them (resident inhabitants) and those who can solve them (interveners/service providers). Unlike neighbourhood social networks that allow people to share a raclette machine, collaborative monitoring will be less festive but will have the merit of advancing tasks for the benefit of the building, its residents and owners.
Finally, the connected objects that arrive on new projects or renovations generate interventions. In the form of alerts or suggestions, they can send signals to request controls.
When should you start digital collaborative monitoring?
Potentially at any time and preferably when events are calm in order not to be in a hurry.Upcoming renovation projects are a good opportunity to structure exchanges or when renegotiating a contract with a heating engineer to set the collaborative mode for the future.
In the end, an assembly of co-owners will benefit from switching to collaborative work to reduce costs in the short term and to improve internal relations through the exchange of factual information. In the medium term, the visibility of future costs will reassure potential buyers at the time of resale with regard to future charges.