Jindou Lee is CEO of HappyCo, a San Francisco-based
soft ware company that builds mobile and cloud solutions to
enable real-time property operations. Its Happy Inspector
product is used by thousands of companies and has captured
more than 100 million items inspected. The company was
founded in 2011 and is privately held. Reach Lee at
Prepare for the Internet of Things
The next tech revolution affecting the mortgage industry is already unfolding
By Jindou Lee
If applied correctly, the Io T also can remedy challenges
many properties face in terms of security, procurement
and construction safety. Autonomous machines can
operate in hazardous or dangerous areas of a work-site; supplies can be re-ordered automatically, saving
time and money; sensors can detect potential sound
or seismic dangers; a worker can be notified when he
or she ascends to a certain height without a properly
secured harness; and expensive tools that are stolen
can be easily tracked once plugged into the Io T.
Smart spaces change more than the way electronic
devices work. They change the way we interact with
space itself. A parking facility linked to the IoT can
automatically notify a towing company when an unauthorized vehicle is illegally parked. It also can track
average parking times to determine when a given area
is likely to see cars move or indicate where there might
be an available space nearby. In addition, as self-driving
cars become more common, the IoT will be able to
route and maneuver them into smaller parking spots,
thereby reducing the need for costly lot expansions.
Indeed, the construction phase is the best time to
integrate the Io T into a property. A facility built to leverage this new technology from the ground up will
be able to offer the benefits of the IoT immediately
without requiring tenants to implement it themselves.
Therefore, construction loans and loan underwriting
will likely become increasingly inclusive of investments related to the Io T.
The IoT is only the latest major innovation the mortgage industry needs to capitalize on, and it won’t be
the last. Traditionally, property owners who adapt to
new ideas quickly will develop infrastructures and
best practices that make them more agile as new ideas
continue to materialize.
The IoT integrates human behavior with the spaces
we occupy and the items we use. By embracing the
Io T’s potential today, mortgage professionals can position themselves as the critical facilitators for owners or
developers looking at the Io T as a power tool to unlock
maximum value from their investments in the future. n
Every industry must race to stay ahead of the latest technological innovations, and the mortgage business is no exception. As each new technology gains traction in the mar-
ketplace, leaders who want to stay competitive must
determine how it will impact their business and then
prepare to make the change faster than their competition. This applies to mortgage brokers operating in the
commercial real estate market.
The Internet is arguably the most significant business revolution since air travel. Then came mobile
technology, followed by the app economy.
Now the internet of Things (IoT) is on the cusp
of changing everything. As the change takes place,
mortgage professionals — focused on multifamily,
retail, lodging, industrial and office assets — will
have the opportunity to play a critical role in the real
estate ecosystem, serving as the central intermediaries
connecting developers and owners to the capital
they need in order to integrate this evolving technology
with commercial properties.
The IoT is a term that describes connecting physical
objects, such as kitchen appliances and climate-control
systems, to the internet. The goal is to create a “smart”
network — and ultimately “smart” spaces.
These spaces can be as self-contained as a single
kitchen or involve an entire home. At scale, the IoT
can lead to an entire civil infrastructure operated
through a smart grid that delivers utility services and
a smart freeway that controls the movement of autonomous vehicles.
Put simply, the IoT supports an automated world
that anticipates our needs and enhances daily life.
According to business-research company Gartner Inc.,
some 8. 4 billion objects will connect to the IoT by the
end of 2017.
Without question, convenience and operational efficiency are the most obvious impacts that the IoT
will address. Organizations that maintain IoT-enabled
properties can realize significant return on investment
by simultaneously reducing their operating costs and
offering more attractive, safer spaces.
Imagine an apartment building that can use real-time data analytics to detect overuse of a specific
floor’s heating or air-conditioning system and schedule
maintenance before the system breaks in the middle
of the night. Picture a residential community where
the manager can optimize LED lighting based on the
amount of sunlight reaching specific spots at different
times of the day. Think about a retail store that can automatically schedule restocking when a product runs
low. This is the promise of the Io T.
Then, there is safety. Inspections can be dramatically
streamlined when climate control, plumbing, smoke
detectors and lighting systems all perform their own
regular diagnostics — and self-monitoring appliances
can red-flag problems, such as the refrigerator defect
that sparked the tragic London apartment fire this
These are some examples of potential applications, as well as cost reductions, that will encourage
more investors to seek out IoT-enabled properties
and more developers to see the IoT as a necessity
rather than a curiosity.
View these articles and more at
“Fintech Is Bridging the Gap,”
Evan Gentry, June 2017
“Tech Is Just a Click Away,”
Tina Lichens, December 2016
“The Slow and Steady Advance of Technology,”
Kellen Jones, October 2016
“Cut Through the Mortgage Matrix,”
Tommy Snyder, October 2017
For more articles on technology
and the mortgage industry