Aug 26, 2015

3 Ways Technology is Disrupting CRE

By Don Catalano



There's no doubt that technology is moving at a lightning fast pace today, and naturally, the quick pace of advancement is having a major impact on how companies across all industries do business.


But what impact is the ever-changing nature of the technological landscape having on the way that the office spaces and buildings that companies build, rent and purchase are being marketed, sold and leased?


New technologies and shifts in how companies and consumers are using tech are reshaping the world of commercial real estate. Those who have been in the business for decades are noticing the start of what promises to be major disruptions to the industry.


Here are the three ways that technology is changing CRE:


1. Models Are Moving Into the 3rd Dimension.

How do you sell a client on space in a building that isn't even close to completion yet? New technologies are now making it possible for brokers to let clients wander the halls of yet-to-be-constructed spaces. 3D printers now make it possible to produce full-scale models of entire buildings and individual units from basic building plans, giving clients a much more tangible way to envision how they could utilize the space. Virtually reality is even allowing prospective tenants to go on highly realistic tours. While these technologies are still expensive and only sporadically used, clients will begin demanding them as more firms make use of them.


2. Marketing Is Growing More Social and Media-Driven.

As the Baby Boomer generation retires and millennials move into more key decision making roles, more tech-savvy methods of marketing are becoming necessities. Firms that aren't yet relying heavily on social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook will need to begin to do so over the next 5 to 10 years to remain competitive. Content marketing using YouTube videos, Vines, infographics and podcasts are also becoming more commonplace, leaving firms seeking experts in Internet and media marketing to stay ahead.


3. Information Is Becoming More and More Accessible.

Speed has always been vital to ensuring successful CRE transactions, but technology is changing what it means to be fast. Now, information aggregators allow brokers to access sales history, leasing information, available space, current tenant information about properties within seconds, and the information retrieved is presented in real time. Cloud-based file storage systems are also making it possible for firms to share information in real time internally just as quickly.


When prospective buyers or tenants can get an answer to a question from one firm in a single phone call, will they wait hours for a call back from another? Not likely. Companies who have yet to make use of faster, more efficient property information systems and information management systems won't have a choice but to invest in these technologies soon.


While technology is disrupting CRE and requiring firms to take a huge leap forward into the 21st century, these changes will make for a better experience for clients and allow brokers to do their jobs more efficiently. It's an exciting time to be in CRE. Who knows what disruptions technology has in store for us next.


View other Commercial Real Estate Technology articles:

Technology and Commercial Real Estate

Simplifying Site Selection with Technology

Using Drones in Commercial Real Estate


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Don Catalano

Don Catalano