Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 28

TOUCHLESS TECHNOLOGY
At Boston Properties' Prudential
Center in Boston, tenants are
able to avoid touching any surfaces upon entering the building.

CROSS: " We adjusted our rental experience to be a
mobile-first approach, allowing for a completely contactless experience. Renting with us can be done on a
phone, laptop, or tablet. In addition, we also installed
tablets in our stores for our customers to use to complete their rental if they are unable to do so on their
own device prior to arriving at the store. "
DEVULAPALLY: As the pandemic hit, our first priority
was to get everyone working remotely so they could
be safe. We were able to do this very successfully
with little notice because our environment has been
structured in a way to allow secure access for all of
our employees from anywhere, so we had a really
good head start on things.
From a longer-term view, the impact of the pandemic warranted another look at our cloud strategy.
We had already been on a path to move more to the
cloud before the pandemic. These events validated
our strategy, so we're continuing progress along that
path.
STEIN: One challenge we faced was how to ensure our
centers were properly maintained when our property
managers were not able to travel. So, we mobilized a
team of employee volunteers to visit properties they
lived near, reporting on property conditions using a
custom app we already had in place.
WHALEN: We've been able to address health security
and safety and put in place effective measures and
protocols, including technology solutions, to create
a safe and trusted environment. We have thermal

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cameras and touchless technologies that were
overlaid to buttress the health security measures and
protocols in place across the portfolio.

WHY HAS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY
LAGGED SOMEWHAT IN THE
ADOPTION OF NEW TECHNOLOGY?
CROSS: I come from other industries, where there
are so many off-the-shelf solutions. In storage,
it's common to see folks build their own systems.
Because of the unique requirements and unique state
laws and regulations, it's hard to find something off
the shelf that meets your business needs.
The other piece is demand. When you go to
Starbucks, a customer is incented to use the mobile
app. But when you think about our space, will a customer use our mobile app when they only come in to
see their goods every couple of months? It's a different dynamic and a different customer. Therefore, we
have to think differently about the purpose for each
innovation we deliver and the value it provides.
WHALEN: In general, the industry is very focused on
transactions, buying and selling buildings, leasing
space. The appreciation of how technology drives your
business for competitive advantage can take a back seat
to the transactional nature of the industry. I think it's
significantly changed in the last 10 years with PropTech
and the inflows of capital supporting innovation for
our industry and, more importantly, the adoption of
technology across the entire built environment.
STEIN: Traditionally, buying real estate took priority
over technology investments. But over the last 10
years, a shift in expenditures has occurred as companies see the value and necessity of technology in
driving business performance and operations.



Reit Magazine - January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Reit Magazine - January/February 2021

Contents
Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - Cover1
Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - Contents
Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 1
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