Real estate portfolios generate huge amounts of data. That’s all well and good, but what are we doing with it? Aside from “data” and “digital transformation” being huge buzzwords across all industries, we are experiencing a point in time where new technology is moving from theory to practical application.
WillowTwin™, our digital twin offering, is capitalising on data technologies and platforms finally becoming accessible (in terms of both usability and price) to more industries and the people who work in them.
Part of capitalising on this accessibility includes providing an alternative to custom-built digital twins. While every environment is different and requires tweaking, there is still a common foundation they can be built from, and that is what we have created with WillowTwin™ for Real Estate, our purpose-built industry solution.
Real estate is playing catch up with data
The value of data is hidden behind incompatible systems that have grown over time without any specific strategy. This is not anyone’s fault, after all there are very few commercial real estate portfolios that started after data platforms were invented!
Nonetheless, retroactively putting a strategy in place for data is important. Many companies, in and outside of real estate, have had a mantra of collecting more and more data. So it’s likely you have it, and probably a lot of it, but you’ve probably also quickly realised bigger is not necessarily better in this scenario.
What many people have overlooked in their hunt for data, whether that data lives in a silo or in a beautifully constructed data lake, is to go deep. After all, what joy does the dragon get out of his beautiful pile of gold and jewels if he doesn’t spend it?
Going “deep” with your data looks like having contextual relationships between data sources and points. In data terms, this is called an ontology, and Willow uses a purpose-built real estate ontology in our digital twins to do this.
After quantity, comes quality
The first hurdle to going deep on your data is harmonising all your data sources.
A really easy way to understand this is if you ask two people for the time and one answers 1:00pm and the other answers 13:00. Technically, they’ve both told you the same thing, but they’ve presented it in a different format, so you have to take the extra step to translate those two formats into one.
Magnify this scenario across the hundreds (if not thousands!) of systems across a portfolio with just as many buildings, different suppliers, different data formats, and you end up with… a bit of a mess!
Willow’s solution for the real estate industry
Once your portfolio’s data sources are normalised and surfaced in a common interface, it becomes much more actionable and insightful.
It’s at this point that the concept of a digital twin comes into play. Digital twins allow you to not just collect more data, but collect it in such a way that it’s presented in context and in such a way that you can draw insights and action from it.
WillowTwin™ is the level playing field for your data and systems, for your entire portfolio.
With your WillowTwin™ in place, you’ll be able to centralise and gain control of your data, build a digital foundation, protect against future data silos, and utilise cross-portfolio insights and trends to evaluate, strategise, and execute future plans.
We have spoken before about the link between digital twins and sustainability and how digital twins are addressing the key challenges for asset managers, so let’s get a little more technical.
If you needed to build a long-term equipment maintenance plan, what steps would you need to take? Maybe you’d first need to orient yourself with something simple like a list of what you currently have. How would you go about this?
With WillowTwin™, you’d be able to search for this information in just a few clicks and even export a handy spreadsheet of results. You would be able to filter your search by equipment type, location, or even just search the whole portfolio! Now let’s see, which brand of equipment is giving you the best performance? Has needed the least amount of maintenance, or breaks less often than other brands?
All this historical information on the performance of the equipment is included. It’s presented in context, on one screen. You don’t need to look up paper records, remember the name of that old document stored on a dead laptop, or call the building manager who has all this information in their head.
Read more about our search and explore functionality
Still on the theme of long-term planning, let’s go through another scenario. You’re weighing up two different asset management plans. Which one should you go with? Well, why don’t you test both out on a short-term plan, and then use the data from your WillowTwin™ to decide on which plan had the best outcome?
Using Time Series, you can track exact points in time where a change was introduced, and what impact it had. Now we’re using hard data to make decisions, sounds good!
One more, this time around tenants. Take data from your WillowTwin™ to strategise on tenancy negotiations, rental prices, and improve your overall tenant experiences. When a tenant comes in or out and their space needs to be retrofitted, your WillowTwin™ helps with the design and construction process. All this information is also stored, and can be pulled up for future reference whenever you or a tenant need.
Across all the areas that you want to improve or excel in, benchmarking your buildings to find which ones are overperforming, and applying those learnings to the rest of your portfolio will raise the bar overall, and this cannot be done unless you have up-to-date, portfolio-wide data available.
See our customer success stories for more examples of WillowTwin™ in action!