7 more essential technology terms FMs must know

Facility managers (FMs) are expected to be familiar with the technologies transforming their industry—just look at any facilities management (FM) job application these days.

As discussed in a previous post, a great way to get there is to learn the essential technology terms that are becoming key to FM and corporate real estate (CRE). Here are seven more.

1. Building internet of things (IoT) technology — a.k.a. building IoT, smart building technology

Building IoT describes physical devices embedded with sensors and software that connect to and exchange data across the internet. With these devices, users monitor and control more aspects of their buildings than ever before: energy use, HVAC systems, lighting, equipment and assets, environmental quality, and spaces.

IoT-enabled devices give FMs unprecedented visibility into their spaces and real-time data for smarter decision-making. Direct control of the work environment improves the workplace experience for employees and improves productivity.

2. Floor plan creator — a.k.a. office space planning, space optimization software, floor planner, office layout planner, floor plan app

Floor plan creator software generates a two- or three-dimensional virtual diagram, to scale, of an office or workplace as seen from overhead or a bird’s-eye view. Users can add equipment, workstations, and even decor, and then easily share the design with FMs, IT, and HR teams.

The real-time collaboration and sharing features of this technology save time and money by accelerating the space optimization process.

3. Occupancy sensor — a.k.a. occupancy monitor, utilization sensor

An occupancy sensor detects human presence in a particular space—and some can even measure the distance between occupants, how long they’re there, and whether a space is occupied by people or objects (such as items on a desk). Infrared, microwave, ultrasonic waves, and cameras are the most common sensing technologies.

Occupancy sensors clarify space usage, allowing FMs to make data-driven adjustments—especially as employees return to the office—for keeping people safe and healthy.

4. Proptech — a.k.a. property technology, real estate technology, RE tech, RealTech

Proptech blends the words “property” and “technology” and refers to software platforms that transform almost every facet of how commercial and residential properties are bought, sold, leased, designed, built, managed, invested in, and marketed. Among the latest innovations in proptech are artificial intelligence, data analytics, and virtual and augmented reality.

Proptech promises time- and cost-savings by collecting data, analyzing it, and automating responses for greater operational efficiencies and safety while minimizing environmental impact.

5. Space management software


Space management software tracks, manages, designs, changes, and optimizes physical spaces in a company’s inventory or portfolio. It identifies how much space an organization has, how it’s categorized, who’s using it, and when it’s being used. This information can be leveraged to reconfigure spaces and seating arrangements, streamline moves, and forecast future real estate needs for the organization.

Space management software serves as an invaluable system of record that leverages robust data for improved workplace experience and smarter real estate decisions.

6. Temperature sensor — a.k.a. industrial temperature sensor, temperature and humidity sensor

A temperature sensor measures the temperature of the air around it and records and notifies users of temperature changes. Similarly, a humidity sensor monitors, records, and notifies users of the amount of moisture in the air. Temperature and humidity sensors are often combined into a single device, as both are essential to safe, comfortable air for equipment, materials, and humans alike.

7. Workplace experience app — a.k.a. employee experience app, hybrid experience app

A workplace experience app is a mobile (or mobile-first) app that simplifies daily tasks for employees, connects them to employer services and resources, and delivers a smarter employee experience.

These apps help workers feel connected to company resources, whether they’re working remotely or are at the office. Positive experiences contribute to greater satisfaction and productivity and even facilitate talent recruiting and retention.

Familiarizing yourself with the above terms will deepen your understanding of current FM and CRE technologies and position you and your team for the challenges and opportunities of this new, tech-driven world.

Download our Technology Glossary for Corporate Real Estate.