REFI Radio: Tech startup takes aim at HVAC industry

Ravti, a commercial real estate technology company that’s aiming to disrupt the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry, is hoping...

Ravti, a commercial real estate technology company that’s aiming to disrupt the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry, is hoping that its software that tracks and manages buildings’ HVAC systems will streamline what’s largely seen as an antiquated part of the commercial real estate market.

“Getting duped on HVAC bills is the industry norm, and replacing HVAC during summer is like surge pricing on a ridesharing app,” said Alex Rangel, co-founder. “Ravti provides information on how often tenants use HVAC, and the size and economy of scale in an online portal with an interactive map. We’re innovating an opaque industry that the internet left behind.”

The startup’s online asset manager tool provides data on the net operating income of properties, serving retail, service, and industrial properties. “Our online portal provides customized reports on the age of the unit, model, and serial number,” said Rangel. “We do the inventory and data input.” Major companies that have already signed up include Regency Centers, Eden, Kushner Real Estate Group, Tishman Speyer, Eastgroup, CREC, and Styles.

Asset managers have very little idea of what the HVAC budget on their properties will be for the next 20 years, said Rangel. “They don’t know what’s in their buildings – their budget focuses on maintenance, repair, and replacing faulty equipment.” Per the status quo in the HVAC industry, all data about a building’s HVAC is often literally written onto the side of a unit using a Sharpie or spray paint, and jobs that cost as much as $10k to $30k are quoted with just a list of three bullet points and no multiple bidders for the job, he added. A simple price estimate can take as much as two weeks to achieve.

Ravti does an initial inventory on all properties which includes the equipment’s nameplate information and size. “Between the retail, industrial and office asset classes, we use drones for 90% of the work,” noted Rangel. “Ravti allows the client to choose their preferred manufacturer and vendor.”

Ravti saves clients between a penny and a half and two cents per square foot per year in HVAC costs. “Our competition is and continues to be the status quo,” added Rangel.  “A client in Nashville reported that the program has already paid for itself, and has only used it on two HVAC replacements.”