Making the daily lives of residents easier, safer, and fuller… That’s the goal of the Pichet Group, a major real estate developer in France for more than 30 years. And daily life has taken on a whole new dimension this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A large part of the population have been kept home, forcing businesses to adapt and innovate like never before.
Interview with Nicolas Oyarbide, Customer Experience Manager at the Pichet Group
What is the Pichet Group’s vision for home automation?
Beyond simply defining a vision, we are focused on the challenges facing tomorrow’s homes. Those challenges don’t change much, but there are increasingly more options, including the internet of things. Our market approach hinges on three main points:
Energy management: For a long time, energy management was strictly a household budget concern. These days, environmental impacts also weigh heavily on people’s minds. The smart management of fluids using sensors, actuators, and algorithms minimizes energy expenses without sacrificing comfort.
Security: Not all of our residents can afford a remotely-monitored security service. That’s why we look for solutions that enhance the integrity of our properties and residents, which we can include in the price of our apartments, at no additional charge. Here too, IoT offers realistic solutions that provide security without breaking the bank.
Comfort: The 2020 pandemic has made it clear to everyone that we are spending more and more time in our homes. Technology has a lot to offer to make our day-to-day lives more comfortable.
When and how did you decide to develop a connected solution?
The Pichet Group is growing steadily and now ranks #5 among residential property developers. This success is the product of many years of effort. Offering new services helps us maintain our standing, particularly as a leader in new uses in group housing.
The Pichet Group is also an integrated developer. In other words, property administration and hotel management is part of what we do in our development business. Service is simply who we are. In a way, our Pichet&Co service is a “premium” service.
The project started in 2017 and was made available to our customers in 2019.
How extensive is the availability of Pichet connected homes today?
In September 2020, about 15 apartment complexes that have already been delivered or will soon be delivered come equipped with our Pichet&Co smart home service.
What mechanisms have been put in place to ensure your digital transformation and what is your innovation policy?
Our IT Department is responsible for digitizing the various areas of our businesses. That’s its top priority right now. Some areas of our business are still lagging behind digitally, especially considering the increased volume we’re experiencing due to our growth.
We also have an innovation team within our IT Department. Their role is to introduce new solutions for parts of our business and to promote digital technology internally. My colleagues talk with the Group’s employees, identify areas for improvement, and analyze their portfolio of partners to find the right solution. They ultimately arrive at a proof of concept. If the proof of concept is finalized, the IT expert for the business area in question takes over so that this best practice is adopted on a wider scale.
How is Overkiz helping you address new applications for connected housing?
Overkiz provides the technological solution that serves as the foundation for our Pichet&Co service. We handle the customer experience and mobile app, and Overkiz is in charge of managing the connected objects.
We wanted to focus on residents and delegate the complexity of radio protocols to a company we could trust. We also needed a strong partner who could deliver on the developer’s commitments over the long term. Overkiz gives us that peace of mind in a continuously evolving market.
6. What are the company’s plans for technological innovation in the coming months and years?
Our plans focus on two major topics:
- greater mastery of the lifecycle of a property program
- a better customer experience through:
- our customer area, which is designed to be as complete and educational as possible, and
- a faster and clearer flow of information within our teams
The Pichet Group in Numbers
12 regional divisions
€1.3 billion in business volume