NEW YORK CITY- Real estate owners are retrofitting their properties for performance purposes to sustain them amid intense operational schedules during pandemics or unexpected natural disasters, such as demonstrated with the current public crisis the coronavirus has caused, Michael Moran, chief sustainability and risk officer at technology firm Microshare, tells

“One of the big realizations that have occurred in the last couple of weeks is that what we’ve been saying about buildings as living breathing entities rather than inert assets is true,” Moran said.

The firm has been working with real estate owners to retrofit their properties’ facilities management, using predictive analytics to monitor performance, which includes energy and waste management and water use. There are various ways to retrofit a property to outfit it for costs and environmental, social and governance purposes. “The benefits overlap for building managers to bring cost efficiency and other aspects of safety and security to their tenant list,” Moran said. “During this time, we’ve been busier than ever for the last two weeks.”

With the coronavirus sending the country’s workforce into isolation and adopting work-from-home policies, employers are going to reevaluate their commitments to real estate as the pandemic unfolds and in the future when people return to work. Landlords will now think heavily about how to add value to their properties to get tenants into the office, according to Moran. “We’re having the most incredible scientific test group of remote working and what will happen in the mind of those who own real estate is there is enormous risk involved,” Moran said.  

According to Moran, one of the takeaways from this current pandemic is that real estate stakeholders need to be more proactive and that it is never good to wait until a crisis or serious event arises to audit properties’ preparedness. “Take this time to look at facilities and install some equipment, you can change the way buildings work and tenant-staff experience,” Moran said. “Cause when tenants come back they’re going to need to feel like its a safe place to be.”