The age of technology that is. The word “technology” can spur drastically different feelings in various sorts of people. Some hear it and cringe due to frustration or lack of confidence or understanding. Others thrive on it to the point of addiction. You know who you are, my commercial real estate professional friend. Regardless, technology keeps moving forward at light speed all around us.
Yes, all AROUND us…up until now. I have personally observed that commercial real estate and the construction industry as a whole have been very slow to embrace new technology. Now, the #CRE professionals are not solely to blame. No, on the contrary, state and federal regulations have also had a role in this as well. Instead of an engaging dance it has looked more like a tug-of-war session. By the way…who’s winning?
Moving on, this past year has been a watershed year for commercial real estate tech. LoopNet and CoStar have steadily moved into mobile applications and Docusign acquired Cartavi, creating a one-stop-shop for transaction management. REIWise deserves props for their Power Broker, Investment Analysis and Commercial Lease Analysis systems. The detail and capabilities are off the charts. Let’s not neglect to mention the social media bandwagon that the real estate industry as a whole finally jumped on…after it passed by us several times begging us to get on board with the rest of the planet.
The real movers and shakers of late are the venture capital companies, feverishly raising funds to implement their technology in the CRE industry. Notable mentions include 42 Floors, View The Space, Floored and Compstak. These guys are raising boku bucks and bringing innovative, diverse and desperately desired technology to the land of commercial real estate pros. An interesting observation is that most are a product of millenials, but the solutions are geared toward the up-and-coming GenY and their demand for automated fix.
The warm handshake hasn’t been laid to rest. It still has its place in the game. Communication and interaction is what we do. We are wired for it. We also are driven to achieve. We are motivated and ambitious. The bottom line is that enough people took notice of the big elephant in the room and decided to do something about it, correlating efficiencies with success, cutting-edge with closing deals. Buckle-up buttercup…more twists and turns ahead.