If you are reading this, you are aware that the design business can be cyclical. NTI is active in many industries so as one slows, another hopefully accelerates. Scott Dupuis, NTI’s Managing Principal, expects healthy growth in 2024. “Our year has started strong with several new opportunities including larger scale projects which have been lacking in the last 18 months."
As Managing Principal, Scott hears from architects, owners, MEPs, vendors, and others. And Scott relayed, "Our resources tell us the hospitality industry will continue to rebound with significant capital that was dormant from the pandemic years being put back to use in brand conversions and renovations. New hotel developments in the pipeline are expected to continue year over year growth of total rooms added. Hospitality is a strong vertical for us so we expect to capitalize on the strength in that market."
A 2024 Outlook for Selected Industries
For NTI, 2023 was a good year. As for 2024, the AIA predicts that contractors should brace for weaker conditions. At NTI, we will be hoping that investors who put new builds on the back burner will become active with renovations and expansions. In Q4 of 2023, NTI witnessed an increase of activity with ‘on-hold’ projects (often Covid related). Some of these projects had stopped at 100% DD. Some stopped before a design team was ever released. How many of these projects move forward in 2024 is unclear in the NTI crystal ball, but the activity is a positive sign.
The Multifamily sector remained strong in 2023, with consensus optimism about positive growth. If you serve this market, you may have experienced growth that began before 2023. You may have also seen a slow down in late 2023, as did NTI. The Freddie Mac Multifamily 2024 Market Trends discusses multiple variables affecting the health of multifamily development. They expect “the multifamily market to remain sluggish as it works through what will likely be peak deliveries of new supply for this cycle in 2024.”
The Office sector was not robust at NTI in 2023. NTI worked on tenant fit outs and renovations, but the new build activity was far less than stellar. Fortune’s Sydney Lake reports, “Commercial real estate has a ‘muted’ outlook after a near-death experience in 2023.”
For NTI, Senior Living was active in 2023 and could thrive in 2024. It’s very early days and as with many industries there are conflicting opinions. The article, What to Expect for Senior Housing in 2024 is informative and provides reason for cautious optimism for 2024.
Mixed Use project RFPs increased over the last year here at NTI. Many of you may have experienced this as well. For an expert opinion on the broader market, we offer UrbanLand's outlook for mixed-use developments.
According to Commercial Property Executive, “the Retail sector embarked on a trajectory of robust performance throughout 2023, witnessing reduced vacancies and a notable surge in rents.” And in the same article they declare, “the retail sector stands at the cusp of continued evolution, building upon the strengths and lessons of previous years.” The perspective from our technology oriented company, the retail industry is taking advantage of innovative technologies.
What Our Clients Are Asking Our Experts
Ilya Rapoport is an NTI Associate Principal who has been with NTI since 2005. Looking back at 2023, Ilya reported that, “architects and other stakeholders often asked me to help them understand the necessity and function of WiFi, Emergency Responders Radio Communications (ERRCS) and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS).”
Ilya says he speaks with clients often about wireless systems. Perhaps the question most often heard is, what are the differences between ERRCS and DAS? All 3 wireless systems are important. One of them comes with a legal requirement.
- The Emergency Responders Radio Communications System (ERRCS) is required. That is because the ERRCS is the guaranteed connectivity for emergency on-site teams to communicate during an emergency, such as a fire. This is why inspection of an ERRCS is most often mandated by an AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction).
- Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) enhances the cellular system to achieve resident, guest, employee, and customer satisfaction. This system is intended to provide excellent signal, but it is not called upon to guarantee first responders the ability to communicate with each other during an emergency.
- WiFi systems are for wireless data transfer and WiFi calling. WiFi is the tried and true communication for your PCs, tablets and more. WiFi speed has grown exponentially over time. The question heard the most is, how do we make sure we have robust coverage?
- Ilya is looking forward to a healthy 2024 because after 18 years at NTI, his collective client base in multiple industries are remaining active. Success will come from multiple industries.
James Lingle, NTI Associate Principal joined NTI in 2019 with a very strong hospitality background. Before joining NTI, James had founded James Lingle Consulting after having become a seasoned hospitality technology expert. He has served on several major hotel brand and organizational advisory boards, including at Marriott, Starwood, and the national HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals). James most recently spoke as a hotel technology subject matter expert at HITEC 2023 in Toronto.
James believes there is much opportunity in the hospitality industry. "I see a very strong push by properties of all shapes and sizes to implement technology upgrades that were long paused during the Covid pandemic. I also see a lot of work on the infrastructure upgrades necessary to deliver the latest guest experiences mandated by the brand."
A few of these systems are WiFi, guestroom entertainment, and guest touch areas such as food and beverage outlets self service technologies. James also sees, " a lot of large renovation projects that are taking serious aim at upgrading the AV in the meeting experience at hotels."
In addition to a positive outlook for 2024 business growth, Scott Dupuis also believes NTI will benefit from being an independent subsidiary of ASD, Inc. in other ways. As a larger organization, ASD provides access to resources we did not have 6 years ago. Examples include their credentialed staff of engineers, who improve employee education, and provide additional project expertise, where beneficial. Plus, NTI can now offer new services that our clients need. A tangible example of one such desired service is ASD’s heat mapping service. Nearly every project on which we are tasked with designing wireless systems will require a heat mapping site visit during construction. And unlike 6 years ago, NTI can offer the service to clients, as needed.
NTI has earned thought leader status the old fashioned way. We have provided our services for over 25 years of whirlwind technology change. We have witnessed a generation of technological breakthroughs since 1998. In some cases the advances were by companies remembered by few. Some of the other companies became household names. Consider…NTI is the same age as Google. We are older than Facebook (2004), Twitter (2006), and Instagram (2010).
NTI was founded by Jeff Cook and his partners to provide professional commercial technology consultation services. NTI has grown into a thought leader in the low voltage industry having expertise in multiple industries. Our company is led by seasoned professionals who carry industry designations such as RCDD, RCDD/NTS, CTS, CTS-D, and PMP. The NTI family and our portfolio continue to grow with projects in 48 states across the United States, Washington DC, Canada, the Caribbean, and overseas.
About the author
John has been NTI’s Director of Business Development for 16 years. John began his career in technology sales (hardware, software), elevating to sales & marketing management, and business management over 20 years before joining NTI in 2008.