Digital transformation is sweeping across industries as our ways of working and doing business shift. Companies – along with their investors and stakeholders – are increasingly paying attention to and publicizing their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals and policies. One of the most significant contributors to a company’s carbon footprint is energy.
With this increased attention to energy and sustainability, commercial real estate (CRE) companies have an opportunity to expand their services to meet their clients’ needs better, both today and tomorrow. How are your clients currently managing their energy procurement? It’s likely haphazard, which creates an opportunity for CRE companies. Why should your firm offer this untraditional service offering? Read on for a few reasons why and how you can get started.
1. Buy-in Starts from the Top
For a new service offering to succeed, there must be buy-in from the top. To get your leadership team on board, they’ll want to see clear metrics and ROI. If time and money are invested into digital energy procurement, what will the returns be? Fortunately, it’s easy to measure.
A digital energy procurement platform can be measured in four ways:
- Controlling and centralizing broker fees
- Procuring the right energy contract at the right time
- Demonstrating your client’s sustainability goals are managed in alignment with milestone targets
- Earning new revenue from procuring energy contracts through your white-labeled platform
Commercial real estate is a competitive space, and having smart digital energy procurement as part of your service offerings can be a competitive advantage. Energy sustainability is in the headlines every day, so why not have a tool to help your clients achieve their ESG goals? It’ll show your firm is progressive in this space.
Lastly, should you decide to offer smart digital energy procurement within your commercial real estate company, it’ll require educating employees about the offering. How does it help the firm and how it will help clients are a couple of the questions you can expect. Additionally, pilot the offering with an existing client. Gain feedback along the way to learn and pivot from any mistakes to improve for clients moving forward.
2. Invest in the Right Platform
Spreadsheets and manual processes are standard in the commercial real estate industry, but there’s a better way. To avoid siloed data, commercial real estate firms should select a centralized “data linking” energy procurement platform to act as an overlay to connect customer information to energy usage and contract data. The unified platform will offer better insights, actions, and opportunities–all things you won’t find on a spreadsheet saved on a broker’s desktop.
3. Forge the Right Partnership
When you partner with the right technology, you can deliver the new digital experiences your clients demand. Zentility, for instance, provides commercial real estate companies access to an end-to-end procurement ecosystem, allowing you to centralize your existing energy procurement strategy, as well as open new opportunities to earn revenue from your client network.
There is also an opportunity for co-branded partnerships. A leading global real estate investment, and management firm, recently transformed its energy procurement team through partnering with Zentility. The company needed to scale quickly without the costs of developing a new technology platform or employing a back office to manage the operation. Instead, they pursued a parallel partnership strategy through Zentility. They onboarded and organized existing energy billing and contract data into one central location, which allowed them to monitor the market and alert the team of the best buying opportunity based on market timing, product, legal, sustainability, and budgetary needs.
As companies begin their journeys to reduce their carbon footprint, energy usage and sustainability are top-of-mind. Transforming how they procure their energy is a win-win for both the commercial real estate firm and the client.
Written by Dan George
CMO at Zentility
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