Lee Odess | CEO | Access Control Executive Brief | Unlocking the world of access control


DA: Welcome to TEN, the Tenant Experience Network. I’m your host, David Abrams. In this episode, we are connecting with Lee Odess, CEO, Access Control Executive Brief. In this episode, we learned how Lee’s career journey began with a position in the security industry at Brivo. He eventually discovered that it was best to work on his own within the building access space and focus on the digital transformation that is impacting the industry. Lee sees the world of access control from the perspective of the end user and how it contributes to a better customer experience. Lee has always had a focus on community building and sees his role in the building access space as doing just that. He believes the past has helped inform the present and should not be overlooked when reviewing the evolution of property technology. Lee was instrumental in creating an interactive experience at CREtech in London to better sell the ecosystem around access control. We had an interesting conversation about the collaboration between building owners and occupiers as they work to provide a more seamless experience. Our conversation goes on to explore the intersection of digital space and physical space. Lee is a great spokesperson and leader for the access control world, and I look forward to continuing our conversation as technology and commercial real estate continues to evolve. We’re excited to share this podcast with you, so be sure to subscribe to TEN. So you never miss an episode of the, Tenant Experience Network. And now I would like to welcome Lee to the show. I’m really glad you could be with us today. And I have to thank you again for coming on season four. And a return visitor. I went back and checked it out season one about the fourth episode. So, great to have you back on the program.

LO: No, always. I’ve enjoyed watching you in the journey that you’ve done over the season, so it’s an honor to be back and I appreciate what you do.

DA: Yeah. And it has been a journey. That’s a good way to describe it. And speaking of journeys, my favorite question actually is to talk about your journey to your current position role. And even since we last talked, I think it’s taken a few twists and turns. So tell us how you got started in the business.

LO: Yeah, so started in the business, I guess. So it goes way back to my wife and I had an integration company here in the DC area. Ended up selling that and then was introduced to a local company called Brivo, which is an access control manufacturer. I ended up getting a job there. And then that sort of sparked my sort of journey within the security industry. And handful of stops here and there in between. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not a really good employee, so I enjoy being on my own. And I also like the industry and think that there is a transition happening just like other industries as a digital transformation, I see an opportunity for us to tell a much bigger, better story than the traditional one that we’ve told. And I’ve decided to go back out on my own to focus on really the today and the tomorrow side of our industry and tell stories, do some reports, help sort of be a bridge to the external markets of what we have and have conversations like this on behalf of the access control and smart lock industry.

DA: Right. Well, like you, I have been an entrepreneur most of my career. I held a job for four years after university, and that’s probably the last time I worked for someone, so I get that and I think that would be hard to go that route having been an entrepreneur as long as I have.

LO: Yeah, it’s taken me, I think 46 years to come to that realization.

DA: Better late than-

LO: Hey, only can ask, I can’t wait for the next 46.

DA: Sounds good. So again, obviously, and maybe this ties back to that realization, but why do you think you were so uniquely suited to this opportunity? First, I’ll split into two. First to the industry, you know, why has building access just become such an important part of your life? And maybe then the other, the other side of that is, you know, why do you think, you know, being independent, being an entrepreneur, working for yourself is probably the right place for you?

LO: Yeah, I think from the access control standpoint is, is that it’s been somewhat of a nascent cottage industry that has been really focused on a single value proposition, an important one, which is keeping people safe and keeping bad people out of places. And also, if you think about the amount of times that we enter and exit places. It’s something that we do a lot, but we don’t necessarily think about. We think about it when something bad happens, but if it’s going right, we don’t really think about it at all. But it’s really the initial user experience of physical spaces where whether it’s a card, fob, phone, visitor management system, whatever it might be, that is the relationship that human beings have with this sort of physical space. So, it’s an important one. It’s a utility that I think has a great opportunity. And frankly we’ve been in industry that has never really invested heavily in marketing outside of product marketing. It’s been very channel driven. And it’s been an industry that the feature of the industry has been like, “Don’t worry about it. It’s a risk for you to get involved. We’ll handle it and take it on.” And we’ve isolated ourselves with the idea that that helps deliver better security and safety. But as things have changed and moved on, there’s a different story that is in addition to, so it’s not an or conversation.

DA: Right.

LO: That still exists. This is now the ability to tell a different story for a different opportunity. That in a lot of ways our industry can command and occupy that space because we can deliver safety and security. We have done it for very many, many, many years. So I feel like now’s the time, especially as buildings are going more digital. And if you look at it whether it’s tenant engagement, applications, data, whatever the reasons are that companies are bringing these this technology and trying to apply it to it. They fundamentally all always come back to the need to integrate or work with the access control. Because the thing that most people do consistently and is a need is get into the building. You don’t have to order lattes, you don’t have to reserve rooms. Those are all nice sort of additional features that help with the experience. But security is going to be there. You have to get on the internet. That’s another one. That’s why I think these utilities have this opportunity to enhance and engage with whatever the other things are that are happening in the building. And access control has just, again, because of how we’ve been for so many years, we’ve gotten away with saying, no, we don’t need to. But now there’s enough groundswell, enough opportunity, enough value creation, enough external threat, like all of these things that are happening. So where our industry is having to show up, and I saw an opportunity to help shepherd that message and go tell some stories and identify some things. And my, a little bit into like why me type of a thing is that if I look back at my career, no matter where I’ve been, something that I’ve always sort of focused on is community building. And I didn’t know what that word was until I read about it was like, “Oh wait, that’s what I do.” I happen to apply it here in access control because that’s the market that I’ve been in, the relationships that I have, the opportunity that I saw and frankly just wanted to go do it. So if I took, if I Venn diagrammed a building community with the like liking to talk about where things are going in communication and marketing. With access control, like that dot in the middle is what my job is on a daily basis.

DA: Well, you mentioned two things. First of all, you talked about digitizing. And you know, yes, we’re in the tenant experience workplace engagement sort of space, but the language that we’re really focusing in on now is digitizing the customer experience and buildings. And that’s what it’s all about. And it’s not just have an app and that’s your solution. It’s what does that experience look like and how do you make it more digital and reduce friction and just improve the overall delivery of service. So, and obviously building access for us as well is a significant component. And you just mentioned one other thing and it is totally escape the hatch here.

LO: Community.

DA: Yes, community. Thank you. And listen, community is what is where, you know, I started my career.

LO: Yeah.

DA: It’s always been about helping building operators create community and buildings. And I think that that is so important, particularly as we’ve just, you know, when you and I first met, it was early days of 2020 and the pandemic and we were all at that point just about to enter into a period of time where we would come to realize how we were starved for community.

LO: Yep.

DA: And I think buildings represent a unique opportunity to help build community and connect to neighborhoods and cities. And I don’t think that theme should be underlooked in this world as it’s evolved.

LO: No, and I think it becomes even more important. And a lot of times you, a lot of the conversations we have, you can bring it back to that, that is what it is. But it’s also an interesting thing with access control that I like to bring about that talks about this, is one of the reasons why I think we’re having a moment is our industry forever has never really known who the end user is like of our industry. They’ve always been a card or a fob and they’ve always been somewhat of a bit number inside the bill inside of our system. And now we’re all of a sudden we’re having between mobile phones and the interaction through applications and the rest of it, we have a new stakeholder that’s come. And the bad is, is that we don’t really have the user stories in the ethos of our industry for 30 years. ‘Cause we kept them safe, we just never knew who they were. And now we have to have an interaction in the new, so user experience. Like user experience in our industry, it’s kind of funny, like our industry was forever about putting barriers up and actually creating friction.

DA: Right.

LO: A sense of security. Like, the more barriers I put up in between you getting in helped increase the security posture of the building ’cause it slowed you down frankly or kept you out. And now though, that is in complete counter of the convenience side.

DA: Totally.

LO: That it is now, but I don’t believe it will be long term, but it’s in addition to, ’cause there are still places where you want to have that happen. I personally believe all, everything will be changed. It’s just to be a case of when. But there’s markets, especially in commercial real estate, tenant engagement, I’m sorry, tenant in the enterprise space where now you have to have high levels of security with levels of convenience.

DA: Right.

LO: And when you stir all that together, the soup is called user experience.

DA: Right, right. And remember, let’s remember that pre pandemic, for the most part, building operators really thought of their customers as just the decision makers who signed the lease every five to 10 years. So, I think we have a whole new appreciation for the importance of engaging with and supporting each and every person that walks into a building and doing that in a very different way.

LO: Yeah. But does you know what that sounds like? Hospitality.

DA: Oh, bingo. We’ve been saying for some time we just need to pull a page out from the hospitality industry, and commercial real estate would be a whole lot better.

LO: Yeah. I also think we could pull a page out of early webpages back in the day, kind of like all of this is going on with tenant engagement and applicant work tech and the rest of it kind of reminds me when developers and builders were first had websites when basically all they did was they took their paper brochures and put online. And then they’re like, “Wait a minute, we can also have people pay rent on this thing,” so there was like an operational efficiency opportunity. Then they’re like, “Wait, we can also sell services through this app, through this website.” And it’s all of a sudden became revenue generation, like you can say website or you can say now tenant engagement applications is like the same thing. So there’s, just like a lot of things, there’s some history here that I think if there was curiosity met with communication, we probably might learn a lot of sort of past experiences that help us maybe get the future to be here a lot sooner than it is.

DA: Right. So in other words, we didn’t just get here by chance. There’s a lot of touch points along the way that led us here. That’s an interesting insight.

LO: Yeah.

DA: So listen, I think we can both agree that buildings are now part of a much larger workplace ecosystem. You know, the physical workspace is still integral or perhaps core, but people are going to continue to work from many different places. And that’s something that technology needs to embrace and accept and the industry needs to understand. You’ve just come back from CREtech in London, so I would imagine lots of insights to share, just in general combined with your recent travel experience and your continued work in this field, you know, what are you seeing right now? How are you seeing commercial real estate operators continue to reimagine their businesses to deliver ultimately a better experience to meet these emerging needs from customers? What’s sort of top of mind for you?

LO: Yeah, so at CREtech in London, we did this thing called the Day in a Life. So we actually, we called it the access control village first. So, we actually went and grabbed 10 companies to come together. Six of the 10 worked together to create something called Day in the Life. And the idea behind it was that I felt that there was a transition that happened over time at CREtech where people would come and go booth by booth by booth. And it was really hard for them to know the difference between one booth to the next when it came to like our space. And what I wanted to do was I believe we were at a moment where people it framed properly and they walked in like, “Oh, this is the, I’m going to learn about access control smaller.” Great, okay, so now I’m in that frame. Now, tell me your story. I wanted to take it a step further, but the idea being that I don’t think they actually want to buy. And if you look at our industry, you don’t typically ever just buy one product. It is a combination of many that creates an experience. So we wanted to show that when you walked in, you would use an application to get a credential, which then went to the turnstile, would then went to the logical access to turn onto your computer, that went to the locker, that went to here, the here, here and hear. And here we went, kind of went through that entire experience. Long way for me to get there is like what I saw happen more than anything else was you had commercial real estate owner operators and property managers walk up to you like, “I want that.” And it was like, “What exactly that you want?” They’re like, “That.” Whatever that is, I want that experience. So it clicked because some of these people were still already having conversations about that, but they were doing it in isolation of the individual company, not the overall ecosystem on that side. So what I’m seeing is this desire to have an ecosystem sort of sale, not an individual product sale, but bringing all the different parts and pieces together and they’re really looking for like an easy button in a lot of ways to basically say.

DA: For sure.

LO: Like, how do I get this with the least amount of friction to get this experience that we want? And I don’t want to have 7,000 meetings with 7,000 different people.

DA: Yep.

LO: I want to be able to push and look at that thing and say I want that. So to me that’s what I saw. The other thing that I saw there was sort of a groundswell of like other amenities and things that are going on. It’s almost a table stakes conversation in a lot of ways of the experience that if you go to 22 Bishop Gate there and see the experience that happens on that, do you start, you’re starting to now see buildings having to have those things to keep clients and bring in or whatever, like new ones that are there. So I think we’re moving to almost at some point it’s like it’s moving to a marketing differentiation currently now. And I think it becomes a standard sort of what expectation of how a system, how a building operates, which right now it’s historically been a nice to have and I think it becomes a need to have.

DA: Right.

LO: A good summary. And you’re starting to see that. We’re not there yet by any means. The third thing that I saw was, everybody wants to talk about new construction, but the transition into retrofit, is it going to be, I think out of control compared to there’s a lot more existing buildings than there are new ones

DA: For sure.

LO: going to be built globally. And I think the ability to go after that retrofit market will drive a whole bunch of opportunity, new experiences, new products, new technology, new partners, all of that. Those are like the three that I’m seeing happen, at least within our space, within the commercial real estate market.

DA: Right. Some great insights there. And I’ll just start with the notion of retrofit. And certainly that’s going to take a huge chunk out in the B and C market, right? Which is massive, it’s 80% of the industry. So, a lot of opportunity there. And likely you’re right, new development will slow and there’s going to be a lot of real estate that needs to we need to figure out its value, its purpose and its use. So, a lot of opportunity there. So, those are some great insights. And I think obviously a tremendous amount of opportunity. What you created in that sort of ecosystem of partners that can collaborate and then someone comes up and says, “I want that.” And that was not one, but it was the whole. We take a similar view and recognize that it is about sort of the technology stack that is ultimately presented. It’s not necessarily one partner can do it all. But we also look at it even a little bit further and say, it’s not even just the tech within the building, but it’s also how does that, how can technology enable that building to be now part of that neighborhood or part of that community or part of that city and what does that mean for technology as people move between places, between buildings, between you know, where their head office is and maybe a coworking space. How do we recognize that? It’s a very decentralized kind of world today. And that’s what we’re excited about doing a lot of thinking around.

LO: Yeah, this whole ecosystem opportunity. And if you think of the building as a city amongst itself, it’s like a city within a city. How do you bring the external city into the city that it’s own. We will get there, I truly do believe. It’ll be at least from our standpoint, like our industry, our industry’s very hardware driven and software’s like new. So, there’s sort of like this reboot about hardware becoming sexy because of the digitalization of what can happen with it. So, which I actually also think is, there’s an opportunity here for a thing that was purchased for a single use to now have exponential value that goes beyond that single thing. And there’s something exciting about that. And then we’re just talking about that from the single building itself. When you start to then think about how it can extend beyond just the individual building that it’s in, but now that turns turnstile is actually attached to a greater ecosystem. Just even opens up even more opportunity. That’s why I think in our industry, the high security industry has been reported to be about a $10 billion global opportunity outside of China, like everywhere else. We believe it’s actually a $70 billion opportunity when we did the math that goes beyond the high security. So, this is the value creation on top of what’s already there. It’s not in lieu of, it’s in addition to. And I do believe even if you get even further into like the ESG side of our industry, the S part of it for our industry is a hundred billion dollar opportunity. That’s all built off of a lot of the traditional hardware that’s in our space and it’s exponentially built upon it. It’s not in lieu of.

DA: Right.

LO: So that’s interesting to me ’cause I can start to imagine the, just the value creation and the importance of the industry. Like our companies can go from small to big and like, or there’s just a lot there that could happen.

DA: I’m curious on your thoughts about how closely should building owners and operators be working with their customers, the occupier in terms of just attracting and retaining the best talent, helping them ultimately to build great companies and particularly through your lens of building access. So, are you more focused on the building operator? Are you also talking to occupiers and is, you know, where do you think the opportunity is for the two to be collaborating together?

LO: Yeah, I mean it wasn’t too long ago and there still are plenty of examples you can give and I think there will be, even as we continue to go forward, they may become less and the new becomes the majority. But it used to be our industry, you would sell the shell and somebody else would sell the interior. And it was a classic case where you would sell the shell of the building to the owner and then the system didn’t work internally. That’s why a lot of places, if you’ve ever had two fobs, two cards a card and a key ’cause one of ’em got you into the building, then one got into your unit. That is our industry in living color over the years. And that’s completely shifted now to where, you know, there’s at least more conversations around all of that seamlessly working together. And it sometimes is driven from the tenant into the building and sometimes it’s a building to the tenant. And there’s a new stakeholder that you have to have a conversation. It’s forcing our industry to even recognize that there’s a tenant within that building and having people selling into it and building use case stories and features and functions, and all the thing that have to go do. We still have a lot of work to do in that area, but it’s definitely, and I would even say there’s a third is the people working for that tenant in that building.

DA: Right, right.

LO: That we’re just starting, as an industry, we’ve sucked at that completely like it’s, we’ve, like I said, we’ve never really paid attention to them, but now if, think about it, if I go to this building two or three times a week now or once or whatever, once a month, whatever it might be, and I go and the card, the fob, the mobile credential that you gave me, I go to go use it and the system doesn’t work and it doesn’t let me in. That’s a bad user experience. And I’m probably going to report that in some way when I get my engagement survey from the HR department about how I’m feeling about the company that people are going to start to say like, “Every time I come to this building, you make me come. Every time I do come to it, it’s like the first time I’ve ever been there and I’m not welcomed at all.”

DA: Right.

LO: And that is completely like you’ve asked our industry, we’re like, “Yeah, it’s working,” but it changes the relationship completely of letting the right people in versus keeping bad people out.

DA: Right.

LO: And that stakeholder, now that end-to-end user, the way we talk to them, the communication, the experience that we deliver to them is going to go beyond a blue or green light blinking now or red saying, no, it’s going to be a completely different. And you’re seeing it in the visitor management intercom space and the rest where these large sort of towers that have video on ’em and that you can talk to some, like you we’re starting to nibble into it around and recognize that that experience has to be better.

DA: Well, I think two things. First of all, I think early proptech companies were so focused on selling technology to buildings that none of them, and perhaps even still today aren’t doing enough thinking around the consumer, the customer, the end user. I know that we’ve always been focused on that only because of our DNA being in the service industry focused on helping building operators connect to their customers. That’s how we’ve grown up, and so we always thinking about the end user. But I think that’s the real opportunity because that’s also the customer of the building that has been absent for the most part for the last several years. And if we don’t really focus in on them, we’re going to continue to miss that boat.

LO: Well, yeah, but I mean, to be fair too, there’s never been really a direct line to revenue generation either. So when businesses were looking at who they make money from, you could almost ignore them for quite a while and do it. But I do think you do it at your own peril now moving forward.

DA: For sure, for sure. We talked a lot earlier about community and how buildings really are a part of community. Just any other thoughts on sort of, you know, how make providing the opportunity for buildings to be more connected to the community beyond again, just that immediate, their immediate core customer. Where does building access play a role in that?

LO: I think so. Like, so I’ll give you an example of how. And I don’t have all the answers with this, but just some thoughts and ideas. And I would say, by nature I would say yes, and then go figure it out type of a thing. But I look at what goes on out in the outside world and say, how does this not, so let’s take an example like Microsoft Places, I dunno if you’re familiar with it, but they rolled this thing out, right? Where you now can give credentials to people based off of Outlook and where their calendar is and take the digital. So not only can you sign into a meeting digitally, but now if I happen to be in New York City and I want to team with some people to have this meeting in person, I can give access now through Outlook. Like, so I think about, oh, okay, so think about this sort of downstream of that. Now my enterprise software tool that is here to manage my schedule and collaboration and email and the rest of it is kind of fundamentally now my access control system in a weird way, right? What downstream impacts it has, I have some opinions on that, but ultimately the impact that it has, I don’t know, like I just think it’s going to look very, very different and it does play a role to where at some point the virtual and physical order are ubiquitous. So it also, I think, I start to think about sort of digital space connected to the physical building itself and the relationship that exists there. I might not separate the difference between the two. And if that’s the case, again, if I’m the end user as a building and a building owner and operator, what opportunities and permission to play there do I have?

DA: Right.

LO: I don’t know. Like could I, this is where I know again, people talk about the digital world of like real estate and digital world and without getting into whether people believe in Web3 and the rest of it, but there’s something there like if I’m showing up to work online or in person, there’s a relationship there somehow. What opportunities does the building? I don’t know.

DA: No no, it’s interesting. And to what extent should the building be thinking more about that so that it can lay ownership to that piece of the experience as well and it’s a more holistic solution. That’s definitely something we could talk about more. And I’m sure we will. Let’s take a short commercial break and we’ll be right back.


DA: And now I’d like to welcome back to the show, Lee Odess, chief executive officer, Access Control Executive Brief. Again, Lee, it’s great to be having our conversation again today.

LO: Absolutely.

DA: We know that technology’s playing such a huge role in how building operators deliver experience, customer experience, how they’re digitizing their buildings to ultimately improve the relationship with their tenant, their customer. Certainly workplace engagement is uppermost in everyone’s mind and we look for opportunities to do things differently. So obviously building access is uppermost in your mind, but just in general, either in that arena or elsewhere, what are you seeing in terms of new technologies that are gaining traction and really helping to change the game for building operators and their customers?

LO: Yeah, I mean with the, again, selfishly within the access control space right now everybody’s talking about the wallets within the mobile devices. That’s somewhat of a hot topic. It’s, you know, you’re starting to see adoption rollout in the rest of it to where I now can use my phone as my key and I can tap to get in utilizing NFC. And it’s really, I mean Apple is the one that is sort of shepherding the message more mainstream on that side, opening up the operating system and the wallet to get people the capability to go do that. That is sort of the main driver, which I think is great for many reasons. Number one, the sort of the habitual change of how our industry works from issuance of credentials out to people. So instead of having to go to the card office to go pick it up, and if I lose it, what do I do, blah, blah, blah. I now can request a credential or have it sent to me within my phone. And as a user that it’s part of my daily way I function. I go to the metro or the train that way, I pay for my lunch that way. Why couldn’t I get into my building that way, right? So I also then think about, “Great, if that happens, what else can it do?” So this is where I think it gets kind of interesting and will only accelerate some of the things that we talked about, whether it’s the experiences and bringing in the outside world into the building and the rest of it. There’s a relationship there that is going to be very different than what it historically been on that side. So, that to me is very exciting. The other one is that, that I, you know, right now we’re hearing a lot about, of course is around AI. And if we were to outside of that, using a word that people like to use, so they don’t get perceived as being dumb like if I don’t use it. Sort of like how it used to be around big data and all these other things. So when you start to click into an AI, some practical things that we’re seeing is we’re seeing software companies come and layer on top of legacy systems to make those systems more modern, mainstream, actionable, more valuable. So there’s companies in our space now that are taking sort of the flat file reports and really bringing that to life a bit to where it not only delivers better security, it also delivers better user experience and for the user. So, that’s interesting to take a look at where historically, again, if you went to our industry about that, we’d say, “Nah, you don’t need it,” to where now there’s plenty of opportunities of people, it’s like, “Oh cool, I can leave the no, you don’t need it people alone and go over here to this group that has figured out how to say yes and deliver some value to us on that side.” That’s interesting. I also believe we’re going to continue to see an evolution there because if you think within the building space, this is where I think we’ll see a lot of adoption. In our world there’s always been this sort of conversation, in the access control world about convergence with video. Like the two of ’em come together.

DA: Yep.

LO: Super nerdy, not necessarily a mainstream message. But as it starts to go mainstream, I think what you’re actually looking for there is high levels of security with high levels of throughput and there’s no better place for that to happen than a lobby of a building. You want people that should get through quickly that need to be, and people that aren’t known that shouldn’t to go to a place to get credentials or not and be kept out or let in to go through quick. And I really believe that that’s going to be a combination of access control video and artificial intelligence to allow high levels of assurance with high levels of convenience. That’s coming, and it’s you’re starting to see it. It’s been primarily done as integration, which is really kind of getting there to interoperability and automation and the rest of it. But it’s a step to get there. But now I think we’re going to start to see, and I think it’s going to hit a click at some point where it starts to just explode versus this incremental sort of growth that we’ve been seeing right now. The other thing I would tell you that is interesting in our world is, and I think it it trickles down into the building operator and owners is around choice in a lot of cases. Not necessarily technology, it kind of is, but you’re seeing the moats in the barriers of entry for a lot of lock in access control companies to come from Europe and Asia into North America, North America to go into Europe and Asia and the rest of the markets was always really high because the country, every country basically had a different type of opening, the lock, physically, like how it was done. So the ability to have enough money and resources and whatever to go do that was really limited. Now though, because of software centricity of these companies, software first, mobile first, cloud first, right? And these hardware companies opening up their hardware to work with these systems, you’re seeing an influx of people come in with really interesting good ideas and products.

DA: Right.

LO: And I mean there’s some garbage in there too, let’s be honest. But there’s more positive on that side, which I think it’s sort of like iron on iron in a lot of ways, which will, I think will elevate the entire industry, especially within ours, which then trickles to the customer base. And I find that to be extremely interesting.

DA: So we’ve already been seen and maybe specific to building access, but there’s been some consolidation within the market, and there’s also been new entries, new entrants into the market, do you think within the building access area, we’re still going to see that happening specific to your industry? Do you think that even though there are some very mature companies, some relatively new ones, there’s still opportunity that has not yet been realized by existing partners?

LO: Yeah, I mean that’s where I talk about the 10 to $70 billion additional value creation and upwards of a hundred billion. So yes, a hundred percent. There’s ample opportunity. There’s also opportunity in staying in the 10 billion and doing eight to 6% growth that we’ve seen forever. Like that doesn’t mean that that’s bad, it just means who do you want to be and what do you want to go do, and then being comfortable with who you are and what you’re doing. So, that is there. I do think consolidation. Yeah, like you’re starting to see it in different verticals like multifamily residential right now there’s definitely consolidation happening in that area. We saw it in hospitality. I think we’ll see it in commercial real estate. We’ll see it in life sciences, the enterprise side. I do, yes. I also though think it’s going to be a little bit confusing because I think there’s going to be so much more of companies that it may not look like consolidation is happening, but you started to see it to where companies are starting to recognize that access control is a fundamental part of how their systems are going to work, plus the stickiness of our industry ’cause it’s installed and it’s there and it’s a need is that more people that come from maybe the data side of it are starting to take a look at it as something and also the our industry looking at it also going up upward into the enterprise. That’s why I think the biggest impact that’s happening in our industry is not IT convergence, I think it’s the introduction of enterprise software. And with enterprise software brings a lot of things that come from the enterprise software where like new channels, new ways of thinking, new expectations, like we’re having more conversations as an industry around interoperability. We did a survey with the PropTech Advisory Board within the Security Industry Association that worked with CREtech and surveyed thousands of owner operators. And the thing that they, it was a negative, 86% of the respondent, I think it was 86 or 83 going off the top of my head, call it 80 that said that the interoperability within our industry is negative, poor, bad, like not good, 86, 80, 84, whatever, right? Which is when in the enterprise software world, you see a lot more interoperability, you see a lot more openness like, so we’re starting to have more conversations ’cause external forces are coming in saying, yeah, send me your APIs, your SDKs, what open source. And we’re all like, “Yeah, yeah, we don’t do any of that stuff.” But now you’re starting to see everybody do it. All the hardware companies need the software companies now and all the software companies need the hardware, whether they all like it or not, they’re all having to get in a room and work together.

DA: They all got to play together. And I think that’s a great way to sort of wrap up this part of the conversation. Definitely, definitely important. And, Lee, thanks so much for sharing not only your recent experience in London, but also just everything that you’re doing in the industry. It’s always informative for me and I’m sure it will be for our listeners. Before we wind up our closing speed round, an opportunity to, again, to get to know you a little bit better. So when you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

LO: I enjoy spending time with my family and running.

DA: And running. Good for you. Favorite beverage of choice? Hot, cold, alcoholic?

LO: Yeah, I would say hot and I do like coffee.

DA: Okay. Any favorite movie or current TV series that’s capturing your nighttime entertaining attention?

LO: We just finished up, “Ted Lasso,” so I would say that that took up a good amount of my time.

DA: Yeah, we did as well. We just watched the last episode the end of last week, and it was awesome.

LO: Yeah, and maybe ’cause I’m spending more time in London, I just started watching, “Peaky Blinders.”

DA: Right. Okay.

LO: Yeah.

DA: Name one way in which technology has improved how you live your life or work-life as well.

LO: Yeah, I mean I think in my life was the relationship that my children have with my parents, their grandparents.

DA: Right.

LO: Like I think about the relationship I had with mine and it was phone calls and trips. Now I look at the relationship that my kids have with their grandparents and it’s far richer, far deeper. And I have to remember the stories of the past. And they, it’s like a living color with them every single day.

DA: Right. You’re working on your own, so maybe this question isn’t as relevant, but in terms of a personal choice for day spent in person working with colleagues or working from anywhere, you’re probably more so working on the from the anywhere camp, but any thoughts on that what you either personally or what you’re seeing?

LO: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s anywhere. And even, a single solo entrepreneur like myself, there’s still community, and I need those common connections with people. I don’t do this all by myself. Like, even though, I may be the only person that is on the payroll, but I’ve got an informal board of directors if you would, being the community of people I represent in the community in a lot of ways as well as there’s people that I’m invested in just personally that help me and I help them. And so, it’s a combination of all of that. And I think that’s the, you know what the biggest thing that I would summarize it is, it’s called choice.

DA: Right. I’m with you on that. I don’t think, again, personally, I take a more mainstream approach, and I think choice is a good word. I don’t think we should be mandated to come back. I don’t think those that suggest we should never come back doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. And I think choice does give everyone the best of all worlds and that’s exciting for our industry.

LO: It is.

DA: Lee, thank you so much for coming back and having another conversation on the program. Clearly there’s still a lot to talk about and we enjoy doing so. I look forward to episode three and I guess we could plan maybe two or three years from now. I imagine the world will still look a little bit different than it does today, and we’ll see what that looks like.

LO: Yeah, I think we can count on the fact that things will always be a little bit different than they were yesterday.

DA: Right, right. No doubt.

LO: Thank you for doing this.

DA: My pleasure. And we’ll talk soon. Thanks so much.

LO: Thank you.

DA: Bye now. I want to thank Lee Odess for joining me on this episode of, TEN and for contributing to the global conversation around buildings being part of a robust ecosystem, helping to build great companies and that they’re vital in the effort to cultivate and support great people and teams. The future of the workplace will likely take many forms and we’ll continue to explore what that looks like together. Subscribe to, TEN for more conversations with leading CRE industry professionals and experts who all have something to say about tenant experience and the future of the workplace. We love hearing from you, so if you enjoyed this episode of, TEN, please share, add your rating and review us through your preferred podcast provider. 

If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on a future episode, please reach out to me directly at david@hiloapp.com. And until our next episode, I wish you all continued success in building community where you work and live, thank you.

Ryan Speers | Partner & COO | Workhaus | The future of work is flexible

Season 5 / Episode 7 / 41:20
In this episode, we learn that Ryan’s business is at the forefront of the hospitality and customer experience conversations that are happening as CRE continues to up its game on this front by offering essential amenities to help drive user engagement and enjoyment. Tune in to learn more about Ryan’s perspective on Workhaus being a tech-enabled business versus a technology business.

Lisa Davidson | Vice Chairman | Savills North America | An inspiring journey from Tenant Rep to Proptech investor

Season 5 / Episode 5 / 46:17
In this episode, Lisa sheds light on key market drivers influencing real estate decisions, such as the rise of amenities and spec suites. She describes the future of work as “accommodating employees with great space.” The impact that unique community spaces have on potential tenants as they are touring prospective spaces is something else she sees in the market.

Ryan Speers | Partner & COO | Workhaus | The future of work is flexible

Season 5 / Episode 7 / 41:20
In this episode, we learn that Ryan’s business is at the forefront of the hospitality and customer experience conversations that are happening as CRE continues to up its game on this front by offering essential amenities to help drive user engagement and enjoyment. Tune in to learn more about Ryan’s perspective on Workhaus being a tech-enabled business versus a technology business.

Lisa Davidson | Vice Chairman | Savills North America | An inspiring journey from Tenant Rep to Proptech investor

Season 5 / Episode 5 / 46:17
In this episode, Lisa sheds light on key market drivers influencing real estate decisions, such as the rise of amenities and spec suites. She describes the future of work as “accommodating employees with great space.” The impact that unique community spaces have on potential tenants as they are touring prospective spaces is something else she sees in the market.