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Read this article in BOMA Georgia’s latest publication of the Insight Journal.

Speed is an expectation in virtually every area of life. For commercial real-estate management, instant visual verification of properties can increase productivity and help those who service or manage buildings to implement proactive plans. But retrieving this information can be challenging, especially when managing or servicing multi-sites across the country. Enter the gig economy.

In the gig economy, employers contract freelancers to complete temporary jobs as opposed to utilizing internal resources or hiring full-time employees. According to Statista.com, more than one-third of US workers participate in this labor market. It’s no surprise that IT, Retail, Health Care, and Media heavily rely on gig workers. But what you may not know is that gig workers have a growing presence in the facility/property management industry. In fact, it is among the top 8 industries poised for disruption by on-demand workers according to WorkMarket, Inc.

How Commercial Real Estate Professionals are Working the Gig Economy:

Those who work in property management are used to adapting to change. But using technology that provides quicker and more efficient way to gather insights, makes it that much easier to adapt. The gig economy is a game changer for commercial real-estate professionals, especially in the areas of talent and speed.

So how does it work? Similar to how Uber or Door-Dash operates, but instead of giving a ride or delivering food, crowdsourcing technology is used to connect companies with professional talent and trade workers looking for short-term positions or local consumers searching for on-demand assignments within the commercial building management industry.

TalenT

Even before the spike of remote work, industry professionals have often felt the burden of being spread thin on available resources in the field as well as the skyrocket budget it takes to send teams where they are needed. To be effective, commercial real-estate professionals need multiple productive teams who are readily available at a moment’s notice. Hiring gig talent helps fill the gap. And not only do gig workers provide help when it is needed, but they also come with fresh perspective. Oftentimes, a different outlook can help business owners and property managers become more adept at delivering advice, insights, and new services to improve customer experience and the bottom line. Corporate also wins by saving on employment-related expenses such as payroll tax, health/insurance premiums, and other overhead.

Leveraging Gig Talent

If you are like most business owners or property managers, you’re used to hiring extra workers to meet intermittent high demand in areas such as cleaning or security. Gig workers are no different; only now—with dedicated freelancing platforms, it has become easier to procure highly specialized talent. Sites such as upwork.com and freelancer.com can source virtual assistants to manage tenant relations or field emergency calls, perform data entry, or accounting tasks; temporary labor to augment the team; or project managers to coordinate jobs and help free up your frontline internal resources. There is no doubt a wide range of gig talent is available to improve day-to-day operations. But the gig economy can also help facility managers increase response time and make data-driven decisions.

Speed

As a commercial real-estate professional, you hear it often: “I need it now.” Leveraging the gig economy to satisfy speed requirements puts control back in your hands to create real-time impact.

Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology that is gaining momentum in the FM space. Imagine a facility has experienced some sort of control failure on a piece of equipment. A master technician located halfway across the country can slip on AR glasses to inspect the system and troubleshoot the problem without ever having to step foot on site. Sounds amazing, but it is possible with the right setup.

There is, however, a more common, simple, and affordable technology right at your fingertips. The iVueit platform and mobile app connects industry professionals to an on-demand workforce who is ready to gather photo and survey insights for any property or project.  Consider this scenario—a tenant calls to complain about a leak at a property four states away. Gig workers, along with visual verification technology, can show you the location of the leak and the extent of the damage—all from your smartphone or other device. This enables you to respond more rapidly and mitigate risk. But that’s not all.

This technology makes it faster and more affordable than ever to monitor quality control, contract compliance, service verification, and more from anywhere in the world. Regardless of whether you need eyes on one site or an entire portfolio, it is possible to see virtually every property within minutes of a request. And using third-party workers to collect the data eliminates the chance for biased data.

Leveraging Gig Efficiency

The gig economy makes it faster and more affordable than ever to monitor quality control, risk mitigation, contract compliance, service verification, and more from anywhere in the world. Regardless of if a building owner, manager, or service provider needs eyes on one site or an entire portfolio of 10K+ sites, the gig economy makes it possible to see virtually every property within minutes of the request, regardless how remote.

Here are a few ways the commercial real-estate industry can leverage visual verification technology and the gig economy to improve efficiencies.

  1. Track progress – Monitor project/vendor progress of any service on one or multiple sites
  2. Monthly audits – Request survey data to proactively address repair and maintenance issues
  3. Proof-of-presence – Request photos to satisfy proof-of-presence requirements and verify workmanship
  4. Risk Mitigation – Request photos of areas that have resulted in liabilities for speedy resolution and future prevention
  5. Rollouts – Monitor milestones with photos and video of a variety of trades
  6. Prioritization – Rank repairs based on location and severity of defect with photos that are time- and location-stamped
  7. Budgeting – Make well-informed decisions based on what is seen

Ultimately, gigs aren’t just for ridesharing or e-commerce delivery, there is a growing need and demand for the gig economy in the world of property management. And just as your job requires flexibility, so does the mindset of the industry when it comes to outsourcing for talent and speed requirements. The workers and the technology are there. Now it’s up to you! The right people in the right places, along with speedy resolutions, is the key to satisfying tenants and customers as well as adding value to the overall facility and brand experience.

Use iVueit’s on-demand Vuer Network to gather visual verification on your properties. Vues (site audits) are completed on average in 1.3 days and some sites within minutes of the request. Utilize the gig economy to monitor your nationwide portfolio faster and more affordable than any other method. Try us out for free when you request a demo. 

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