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Using Technology To Create Smarter Buildings And Enhance Occupant Experience

Leading-edge building technologies are improving sustainability, communications, operational efficiency and even the health of building occupants. Caruso Affiliated SVP of technology Rick Gehringer, who is among the all-star cast of presenters at Bisnow's San Diego Future of Real Estate event March 10 at Sheraton Hotel & Marina, tells us technology is being deployed at Caruso properties to enhance the experience for retail guests, as well as services and amenities at residential and office projects.

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Caruso Senior Vice President of Technology Rick Gehringer

Rick is tasked with overseeing technology at Caruso projects. As the Internet of Things comes fully online, the impact of technology on real estate will be even more pronounced, he says. “When you make things smarter, they communicate and can better manage building systems; when it happens, we will look for ways to exploit that,” says Rick.

Technology helps deliver better service, such as supporting concierge services, Rick says. “Our focus is on enhancing the experience of guests, and office and residential tenants. That drives the way we apply technology,” he tells us.

Caruso is installing converged networks at retail centers that allow integration of property communications, using a limited number of service providers. This enhances public WiFI and provides platforms for event promotions and security video. The network also could support retailer operations and internal communications.

The converged network integrates technologies at different touch points to manage guest relations. Rick says touch points start with an automated parking garage programmed to interact with mobile apps. The apps provide ways for guests to pay digitally for parking and capture information to reward them for their shopping loyalty.

One app tracks purchases made by members of the center’s rewards program, and when they reach a certain amount, the member receives free parking and other rewards, he says.

The parking garage entry gate reads codes on tokens mounted on members' rearview mirrors, identifying them when they enter the garage. When guests leave, the exit gate credits them the parking fee.

Another example is the Santa and Bunny houses (including the one above at The Grove), which are automated to allow guests to make photo reservations and pay digitally, eliminating long waits. "These efforts have significantly improved the guest experience for these seasonal activities." Rick tells us.

Hear more from Rick and other SoCal industry experts at Bisnow's San Diego Future of Real Estate event on March 10, beginning at 7:30am with breakfast and networking at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina in San Diego. Sign up here