Your Proptech Wish List This Holiday Season

Everything here rolled out in recent weeks — or is coming in 2024

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If innovation is the gift of proptech, what better time of year than the holidays and the new year to learn about new technology being offered to the real estate industry?

While all proptech companies are eager to brag about their products and innovations, the ones noted here were released in the fourth quarter of 2023, or are promised to be under real estate users’ technology tree in early 2024.

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Among the products of note, Tuesday saw the announcement of an addition in the apartment rental security field. Landing, which bills itself as the first company for membership-based flexible apartment living, said it partnered with secure identity firm Clear to introduce a new level of security for the Landing community.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Landing, which provides fully furnished apartments in more than 375 cities, has integrated Clear’s verification technology into its platform, enabling Landing members to authenticate their identity, accelerating the verification process.

In an interesting cross-industry aspect of the technology partnership, the integration also unlocks benefits for Landing members who opt in to verify their identity with Clear beyond the Landing community. This will allow those individuals to access and leverage their Clear account across the company’s ecosystem in travel, sports and entertainment, health care, and beyond. New Clear members, too, get two free months of Clear Plus.

The verification process is free for Landing members and integrated into Landing’s platform. “We’ve built mutual trust across the Landing community, promoting integrity across our membership network,” Marcus Higgins, COO at Landing, said in a statement. “Our integration with Clear advances that work, streamlining our verification process while preserving a high level of confidence between parties.” 

“We’re excited to bring Clear to the residential real estate sector and give property managers peace of mind that the tenants they’re interacting with are verified,” said Kasra Moshkani, executive vice president, Clear Verified, another Clear product. “This partnership not only enhances security for Landing’s property partners, but it’s quick, easy and convenient for tenants — enhancing the apartment rental experience for everyone.”

An upcoming new proptech product for the multifamily maintenance sector is on the way in 2024, said Jindou Lee, CEO and founder at San Francisco-based HappyCo, a  real-time operations platform for property management.

HappyCo will launch workforce management technology it describes as an AI-driven product designed specifically for the apartment industry. It harnesses AI and advanced workflow software to centralize maintenance management.

The technology is based on HappyCo’s collaborations with more than 3.5 million units over the past decade, making the product the fruit of extensive industry knowledge and proprietary data sets that drive the AI engine, according to the company.

“It represents a significant leap in addressing the multifamily sector’s unique maintenance challenges, especially amid labor shortages and fluctuating interest rates,” said Lee. “What sets our product apart is its intelligent AI core, which enables on-site technicians to amplify their efficiency and effectiveness. This AI-driven approach not only centralizes maintenance tasks, but also empowers the existing workforce to achieve more without increasing staff numbers. The result is enhanced productivity, reduced downtime, and a significant boost in tenant satisfaction.”

Innovation gifts are present on the tenant side as well.

“Our team is rolling out AI-driven functionality to enhance so many parts of our platform,” said Adam Segal, CEO of Cove, an integrated platform that consolidates tenant experience, operations and key performance data into one system. “We are also introducing vendor management and payments, new parking integrations, and features specific to our retail and industrial clients, which are still in development.”

Piñata Pay, which bills itself as the first renter debit card and savings account that rewards without the debt risk of a credit card, soft launched in late 2023 with a set of property management companies, said Lily Liu, CEO of Piñata. The offering will be rolled out to all renters in 2024, offering a more financially responsible option for those looking for benefits from their rent payments. Piñata Pay is designed to reward renters for saving each month.

Proptech is also innovating in energy conservation.

ClimaFi, a Brooklyn-based sustainability platform that seeks to aid owners and occupiers in going electric, plans to introduce its Build Navigator product at the end of January 2024. Its interactive tool can find and recommend ways to save energy on individual buildings, according to the company.

“Our software streamlines this process efficiently, requiring minimal effort from clients by seamlessly integrating data from diverse sources such as monthly utility bills, architecture drawings and vendor proposals, into a digital twin energy model,” Joshua Moinian, vice president of growth at ClimaFi, said in a statement.

ClimaFi’s tool draws on a library of 360,000 representative commercial building energy models nationally to simulate various energy conservation measures. These can tell owners where to save energy and boost revenue, and also offer insights into investments, rebates and any energy-saving technology that might work for each building.

Also, at the intersection of property management and carbon reduction is a new product from Facilio, the Atlanta-based management software startup that employs IoT and machine learning to help manage buildings operations, maintenance and sustainability.

In January, Facilio plans to add a new facility service management (FSM) function to its connected computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) platform. CMMS software centralizes maintenance information and facilitates the processes of those operations. Its aim is to optimize the use and availability of physical equipment like vehicles, machinery, communications, plant infrastructures and other assets.

The FSM product provides facility management teams with a centralized dashboard to access data history and enable remote troubleshooting over multiple properties. The ready-to-deploy, cloud-based solution will streamline service scheduling, optimize dispatch procedures, and ensure workers and tasks are aligned for maximum efficiency, according to Facilio.

While the solutions currently available in the market are siloed and not integrated with the CMMS, Facilio claims that its FSM is different because it is built on top of the CMMS platform, making it easier to raise work orders, and then prioritize and resolve them. In addition, field teams have access to historical maintenance records, making it easier to go back and solve issues after looking at historical data for context.

The FSM has a mobile app with real-time job-related information for field agents, and a dispatch console to help match the right technician to each job using location, skills and performance history.

If the multifamily sector seems to be getting a lot of proptech gifts under its tree, it may be because that part of the real estate industry is viewed as having been a good bet for investors in the past year, and could be so in 2024.

Another proptech company focused on this sector is AppWork, a multifamily maintenance management system. The company claims that its platform extends beyond maintenance management by engaging technicians through game playing and ratings.

In 2024, AppWork plans to launch two products: a contract management module and an AI-powered, step-by-step maintenance diagnosis and repair specialist. Both are designed to integrate into the multifamily maintenance workflow for greater efficiency, the company said.

“Our platform is a highly advanced maintenance management system tailored for multifamily properties,” said Sean Landsberg, co-founder and senior vice president of product at the Ramsey, N.J.-based AppWork. “The upcoming contract management module will streamline managing and negotiating contracts, providing a centralized, efficient system.

“Meanwhile, the AI specialist tool will revolutionize maintenance diagnosis and repair, offering precise, step-by-step guidance to technicians, thereby reducing work-order response times and eliminating the need to send a technician to diagnose and repair every work order.”

As if one innovation gift isn’t enough, Manhattan-based CompStak, a proptech pioneer in crowdsourced models to gather commercial real estate information for investors, brokers, asset managers and appraisers, introduced a suite of new products in fall 2023.

The new CompStak One is designed to provide insights and analytics for industry professionals, the company said. It combines a database of lease and sales comps, property information, loan data and analytics into a single, comprehensive platform.

Using data CompStak crowdsourced and verified over more than a decade, combined with new data sets and methodologies, CompStak One claims that it will provide users with extensive tools for making investment decisions, valuing properties and understanding market trends.

“The launch of CompStak One marks a significant milestone for CompStak and the entire commercial real estate industry,” Michael Mandel, CEO of CompStak, said in a statement. “From the outset of CompStak, we recognized that the power of crowdsourcing could fundamentally transform the commercial real estate industry. By creating a product that integrates data across key aspects of real estate valuation — property details, leasing insights, sales data and loan information — and fusing it with top-tier analytics, we are now spearheading this transformation.”

Another type of proptech innovation is being offered by Branch Technology, a 3D-printed fabrication company based in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Branch Technology now offers a new product called BranchClad Interiors, an adaptation of the firm’s 3D-printed rain screen facade panel system, BranchClad, for custom, signature interior spaces,” David Goodloe, program development manager for Branch’s advanced concepts team, said in a statement.

The new 3D interiors product uses a proprietary manufacturing process to create complex architectural designs that enhance an interior space with custom wall panels finished with a suite of colors and textures.

“You can choose from our growing design template library, design your own three-dimensional experience, or have our design team perform a design-assist to cast a vision for your space,” added Goodloe.

Although not a proptech product per se, the Access Control and Smart Lock Lab — aka AC Lab — will launch in early 2024 with the goal of being a Consumer Reports-like testing ground for the access control and smart lock industry, said Lee Odess, CEO of Access Control Executive Brief, a monthly newsletter on industry news and trends.

Housed in a coworking space in Bethesda, Md., the facility will offer a dedicated area for testing and evaluating access control products, providing unbiased and reliable information for the sector, said Odess.

The lab will feature a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, including card readers, controllers, software, and anything else the industry requires,” he said. “One of the key advantages of the AC Lab is the ability to remotely access and evaluate products, ensuring convenience and efficiency.”

In addition, the lab will boast a fully equipped video production area for producing reports that will be exclusively accessible to members.

With all that, here’s to a happily innovative and prosperous proptech new year!

Philip Russo can be reached at prusso@commercialobserver.com.