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CHICAGO-RealComm 2009 will host its annual conference next week, in hopes of delivering to commercial real estate executives the new technology, business solutions and knowledge necessary to survive the current downtown. The conference, REboot.09: Turning Challenges into Opportunities, will be held June 23 and 24.

“Our real play is on the operations side – helping to make a project more attractive to people and create an asset where tenants feel good while they’re there. Despite this horrific economy, the case studies we’ve been waiting for have finally arrived, so this is one of the most content rich conferences we’ve ever had,” RealComm co-founder and CEO Jim Young tells GlobeSt.com. “Everyone is screaming ‘we need help’, and we’ll be showing people technologies they’ve never seen before, and in a sense, it’s a little frustrating because nothing will get fixed sitting in your office with the door closed waiting for the phone to ring. Our message is more important now than ever, yet it comes at a time when people are telling us that because of travel costs, people can’t get there.”

Geoffrey Kasselman, president of Op2Mize and Conference Ambassador for Realcomm 2009, says some of the knowledge being offered at this year’s conference is must-have skills that executives can take home and put to use the very next day. He says several sessions will instruct brokers, such as himself, on technologies that will change the way they do business and give them the edge needed to stay competitive in these challenging times.

“Quantity is one thing but quality is another, and this is one of the highest quality RealComm events there has ever been and it’s more relevant than ever,” Kasselman says. “We need to find alternative sources of revenue to make up for what’s declined with sales, and a lot of that knowledge comes from RealComm. A lot of asset managers and owners realize they’re going to be holding onto properties for a while, and therefore there’s an inward focus on how I improve my property, change out business systems and make it operate better. The people attending are going to end up pulling away from their competitors in service as owners.”

Topics being discussed were gleaned from worldwide travel conducted by Young to seek out best practices. “Geoff and I and others have gone around the world and seen buildings run differently,” Young says. “I’ll tell you first-hand that we don’t run our buildings the best in the world anymore. RealComm is about aggregating all these best practices and making it very easy for people to see what’s coming and do more with less.”

Among the principle ideas to be touted at the conference is that of intelligent building infrastructure. “Our idea and concept is instead of having ten people running around, our approach is that you plug the building into a network and run it from a control center,” Young says. “That’s been a little foreign to people, but little by little they’re getting it. Now that they have to hold their properties for longer, they’re beginning to look to run their buildings as efficiently as they can, which makes for happier tenants and on the operations side can save you money. Technology is one of the tools you can use to do that.”

Other practices discussed include LED lighting, sustainability, energy efficiency, building information modeling, solar power, as well as how to use incorporate video and social networking for professional and financial gain. “We’ve got incredible tools,” Young says. “In all honesty, I do believe when we come out of this economic decline, real estate will never be practiced the same.”

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