Tim Curran, CEO
The commercial real estate (CRE) industry is at the pinnacle of a tech revolution, with an array of digital innovations introduced over past years. While earlier a luxury, today, CRE technologies have become a table stake for property owners and managers to streamline building operations and drive exceptional building experiences. This is where Boston-based Building Engines—a leader in optimizing CRE building operations—is moving the needle by improving net operating income (profitability) across the world’s most successful CRE portfolios. “We are optimizing the performance of buildings in many ways, which can be measured by tenant satisfaction, operating efficiency and net operating income,” affirms Tim Curran, CEO of Building Engines.
Building Engines stepped into the market with a SaaS platform in 2000 to create an exceptional experience for everyone in every building. Having started as a one-product company, Building Engines is today a multi-product company, advancing its platform with extensive R&D, acquiring companies with proven products, and building out a rich partner ecosystem.
Building Engines provides the most innovative, robust, powerful, and scalable building operations software platform— Prism—for CRE. Prism is an open platform that connects all the elements of building operations and the related workflows in a single, easy-to-use interface. “With so many point solutions hitting the market over the last several years, selecting the right tools can be daunting for buyers. Our goal is to help solve this CRE tech problem, with a single, comprehensive, and flexible platform that is critical to any CRE technology stack,” asserts Brendan Cournoyer, vice president, marketing at Building Engines.
Prism has an API interface, which is highly secure and complies with critical data privacy regulations. The platform is used in over 50 countries in over 25 languages, and allows omni-channel access via mobile phone apps, web applications, and natural language chat user interfaces. Prism comprises 13 purpose-built product modules designed for an intuitive, modern user experience.
With Prism, Building Engines ensures that everybody connected with the building performs their daily CRE operations efficiently and without hassle. In this pursuit, the company offers a myriad of tools that serve up the information for property managers to manage work order request status, simplify maintenance and inspection tasks, track the performance of their teams and properties, and monitor tenant satisfaction.
Property management teams and tenants can also directly connect with each other to help submit and track maintenance requests, reserve amenities, register visitors, and receive communications from the building management.
The platform also proves beneficial for leasing agents, helping them access interactive floor plans to customize, measure, and present suite configurations and rentable square feet (RSF) to tenants. It even manages the workflow around finding the right vendors via RFPs and ensuring that they are paid once the work is done.
A major element of managing building operations is to address the service requests raised by occupants. Hence, Prism is built to help streamline, prioritize, and manage work order/service requests while anticipating equipment failure with its preventive maintenance module to plan and keep important assets running. Additionally, Prism allows for a comprehensive inspection of the building’s condition.
Prism has a number of building operation modules that differentiate the platform from other solutions of its kind, namely Bid Management, HVAC Management, RealAccess, and Plans,. While Bid Management allows property managers to find suitable vendors at the best price and ensure diversity and inclusion, HVAC Management helps users gain visibility into complex and expensive HVAC inventory. RealAccess and Plans make up Building Engines’ space management offerings, allowing users to quickly view floor plans and stack diagrams, enable accurate re-measurement to maximize RSF, and effectively visualize the properties and spaces.
To radically improve the tenant experience, Prism offers robust tenant-facing modules, including Resource Reservation, Visitor Access, and Building Communications. Prism makes amenity reservations simpler with its Resource Reservation module while helping tenants check their visitors and register them before they enter the building with Visitor Access. The platform’s Building Communications module further helps the building management engage with occupants through email, text messages, and more. Additionally, Building Engines simplifies communication between all the teams associated with the building through its natural language chatbot, Bengie. “With these 13 modules of Prism, we are well-positioned to drive revenue, reduce expense, and improve the tenant experience for our customers. We manage over 3 billion square feet, 30,000 buildings, 850 customers, and 150,000 users,” says Curran.
Building Engine’s earnest effort toward driving excellence and innovation is well-depicted by the success story of a client, The Feil Organization. One of the leading real estate investment, development, and management firms, The Feil Organization was finding it extremely daunting to manage over 800 leases a year and the related building data through a manual, unorganized process. To help them with the task, Building Engines stepped in with its RealAccess software to help the client manage and organize building, lease, and tenant data, and ensure data transparency. As a result, The Feil Organization could easily identify any changes to floor plans, streamline processes for accessing building and tenant information, and realize greater RSF.
In the near future, Building Engines plans to focus on energy management while continuing with acquisitions to further bolster its presence in the CRE landscape. Building Engines also aims to improve space management by enabling the visualization of activities in a specific part of a building on a floor plan or through a 3D model. “We are in the growth mode, and we aim to quickly build and buy many products that our customers want to be integrated into our Prism building operations platform. All in all, we want to add new capabilities to keep pace with the industry requirements and expand the value we deliver to our customers,” notes Curran.