22 Feb How Technology is Changing Commercial Real Estate
Until recently, Commercial Real Estate was an industry relatively untouched by technology. Sure, platforms like LoopNet made the process of marketing a listing easier and younger brokers may have spent some time on a social media presence, but the daily ins and outs of brokerage life remained relatively untouched by the long reaching arm of startups and apps. Not anymore. In the past few years, we’ve seen a few key startups slowly, yet surely, get their footing and now it seems that CRE Tech is about to go into hyperdrive in 2017 and the years to come.
Tenant focused technology does not lessen the broker’s role in a commercial real estate transaction, but it does add a level of transparency to the process that was not previously available. Platforms like 42Floors offer space hunters an almost Trulia-like experience – aggregating listings and information and presenting it in an easy to navigate format.
Similar to technology’s influence on the residential real estate industry, commercial real estate marketing has been revolutionized with the advent of a few key platforms. LoopNet is the obvious frontrunner in this group, as it is the standard online commercial real estate marketplace. However Matterport has become the go-to resource for 3D renderings that are so realistic, it’s often hard to tell if you’re looking at a rendering or a photo.
The CRE community was abuzz with merger news at the tail end of 2016. Two of the industry’s most talked-about start ups, Hightower and VTS merged to operate under the VTS name and are now the be all, end all platform for leasing and asset management. (They also run a really great industry blog, if you’re looking for easy to read industry insight.) Whether you’re a landlord, agency leasing broker or a tenant rep, platforms like VTS serve to streamline daily operations, giving you more time to go after deals.
Commercial Real Estate is and will always be a human-driven industry, driven by relationships and expertise. This may be why the industry as a whole has been slow to implement new technology into regular operations. However, as the common opinion shifts from seeing technology as a threat to that humanity, but rather as a way to save time in the less human-driven areas that can then be redirected to building that expertise and fostering those relationships, Commercial Real Estate Technology has begun to flourish. And, when correctly implemented, these technologies can, in turn, help the industry as a whole move towards a bigger and better future.
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