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Why Digital Signs Are a Landlord's Newest Secret Weapon

Commercial landlords are eager for the latest in tech, whether it be repositioning boring office into "creative" space (and bumping up the rents), or even stepping up their signage game. Enplug chief strategy officer Jessie Kim tells us how this relatively easy and inexpensive move can pay big dividends.

Why Digital Signs Are a Landlord's Newest Secret Weapon

Jessie says the Culver City startup wasn't even looking at commercial real estate, but that the business came looking for Enplug. The company offers a number of services, including digital directory software and apps that go along with it. Unlike some other companies in the space, Enplug doesn't sell the signage—just the software. "Our clients can use something more like a household TV, so now it may be as little as $500 for the display and you can get it from Costco," she says.

Why Digital Signs Are a Landlord's Newest Secret Weapon

Some big-time landlords have jumped on board, including Rising Realty Partners, outfitting its PacMutual building with the tech. At PacMutual, there is a directory app on the left and right, and then ad space in the middle, which created another revenue stream for the owner. Other apps available include a weather display, newsfeed, or even an Instagram wall to display photos.

Why Digital Signs Are a Landlord's Newest Secret Weapon

The company has other well-known clients, including Macerich, Westfield and WeWork (there's signage in every WeWork in the world). Here's a sign at a mall in Atlanta. Jessie tells us the early success with real estate landlords is prompting the company to shift a strategy on seeking out more business in the space. The newest offering: Developers can now use a software development kit from Enplug to build custom apps. Jessie says one useful example would be a transit screen, which would be a real-time dashboard that displays transportation info—think nearest buses, trains or even Uber drivers.