RXR’s Rechler: Proptech adoption only in “second or third inning”

Developer blames failure of leadership for slow return to offices, says tech instrumental to commercial recovery

New York /
Dec.December 09, 2021 11:30 AM
RXR Realty's Scott Rechler and Commercial Observer's Max Gross 

RXR Realty’s Scott Rechler and Commercial Observer’s Max Gross

New York City’s commercial property market is coming back to life, thanks in large part to proptech’s contributions to health and safety protocols, according to RXR Realty’s Scott Rechler. But it’ll take time for landlords to fully realize technology’s transformative potential.

Commercial property owners piled investment into proptech during the pandemic to bolster health infrastructure, enhance sustainability and accommodate flexible leases and hybrid work models, but the industry is only in the “second or third inning” of adoption, Rechler said Wednesday at Propel by MIPIM, a real estate technology conference at the Javits Center.

“Covid hits, and the trend you thought was going to be a three, five, ten-year process accelerated overnight,” he said.

RXR did not fully commit to comprehensive proptech integration until 2019, Rechler said, but it went full bore when it did. The firm hired 25 data scientists, engineers and product developers and launched RxWell, a data analytics platform — now called WorxWell — which aggregates building data related to occupancy, temperature, air quality and other environmental factors, deployed across all of RXR’s 25-million-square-foot portfolio.

On Tuesday, View Inc., a “smart glass” manufacturer and building data platform, said it had reached a deal to acquire WorxWell from RXR and integrate it into its tech stack — the latest in a string of proptech consolidations this year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We realized while creating products for our customers that things were moving so quickly, that if we were going to be able to ensure that our product was the most competitive, provided the highest level of service, and had the greatest level of security, so that it was really at the forefront, we couldn’t do that internally in our lab at RXR,” he said. “We needed to be part of a technology company.”

Rechler said the slow return to pre-pandemic work norms represented a failure of leadership on the part of business and government, who he said have not identified a clear mission and goals, contributing to the public’s general confusion. The virus should be combatted the same way global terrorism was combatted in the wake of 9/11, he said, by building out the necessary infrastructure to coexist with it, rather than hiding from it.

“We’re not eradicating Covid,” he said. “Covid is going to be in our lives for many, many years in some form, or derivation — or some new virus. It’s a threat that we’re going to have to learn to live with.”





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Eric Gordon
    Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
    Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
    Big Tech locations in NYC
    MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
    MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
    What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
    What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
    What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
    Latest fintech unicorn offers credit-score boost to renters
    Latest fintech unicorn offers credit-score boost to renters
    Latest fintech unicorn offers credit-score boost to renters
    Jonathon Yormak,founder, managing principal, East End Capital; and map of 48-02 48th Avenue in Sunnyside Queens (East End Capital, Google Maps)
    East End Capital bets on Sunnyside industrial
    East End Capital bets on Sunnyside industrial
    John Gilbert (Getty Images, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
    Rudin COO and tech chief John Gilbert to step down
    Rudin COO and tech chief John Gilbert to step down
    Craig Solomon, ceo, Square Mile Capital (iStock)
    Square Mile issued record $3.1B of loans fueled by multifamily, life sciences
    Square Mile issued record $3.1B of loans fueled by multifamily, life sciences
    TENNY Policy Director Martha Star and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander (NYU Wagner, New York City Comptroller)
    Last Stand: Property tax reformers recruit Lander to lawsuit
    Last Stand: Property tax reformers recruit Lander to lawsuit
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...