Google Glass for #CRE

With the emerging tech eye candy that is finally making its way into the Commercial Real Estate Industry, there is a unusually balanced amount of excitement versus concern. Sites such as View the Space give you the try before you buy realistic experience before you even bother to make the appointment with the listing agent.  With all the available data flooding the consumer base, most of which we as Commercial Brokerages are willingly supplying to the CRE data storehouses such as CoStar and LoopNet, you have to wonder if you really need to show up in person ever again, right? Boy, that’s really going to cut down on that tax break for the dry cleaning, huh?

Enter, stage right….Google Glass, Google Tango. If you didn’t have to actually wear it or carry it you would be having eery flashbacks to the Matrix wondering if reality is overrated. From all of the reviews we’ve watched, comments included “efficient”, “time-saver”, “get more deals done quicker”, etc. Google Glass allows you to video tour the property for your client who may just happen to be on the other side of the hemisphere, virtually interacting while providing a more “personalized” experience.

But wait, behind door number three…Google Tango materializes, furnishing mobile devices a “human-scale understanding of space and motion”{1} .  The possible applications are endless in regards to Google Tango, because a user can be impaired and be empowered to navigate in a way they never thought possible. The application for the retail environment could be epic. Instead of the individual store apps, Google Glass could direct you to that much desired item through a captivating virtual and realistic experience combined without proprietorially taking up more memory on your tablet or your mobile.

For the Commercial Real Estate Industry, virtual tours are not the only tool in its belt folks. Google Glass can create 3D advertising images such as “For Sale” and “Office Space Available for Lease”. Google Glass Real Estate Layer App Tenant improvements could be visualized in that same 3D format, bringing vision to reality in a potentially shorter time frame. For Property Manager, this technology could prove helpful in maintenance, security and construction on-site.

Keep your camera button on your smartphone on the ready for now. With a limited quantity of glass users and Project Tango still in the incubation stages, you, our Commercial Realtor friend, and your camera app are still needed. Uneasiness lies in the guts of more than one industry, let alone governmental authorities regarding safety, security and privacy concerns.  How many times do pass people on the highway who are texting away while holding 70+.  The Department of Transport in the UK has deemed using Google Glass while driving as careless driving and is a penalty offense. West Virginia’s Gary Howell proposed an amendment to their state’s law including bans against any wearable computer  out of concern for safety. Video capture is not welcome everywhere, people. I know the minute you finally got your turn when the I-Phone came out you felt an empowerment to share EVERYTHING. However, companies hold proprietary information, private records, personal data, codes, strategies…the list goes on.  The cyber-crime units see the vast buffet of new ways to commit felony “virtually”. And lest we forget, Big Brother Google is able to track your every movement while utilizing Glass or Tango. This gives new meaning to “personalized ads”, doesn’t it?

References: {1} Project Tango

#CRE’s Coming of Age

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. EMarketeer

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 cre techCommercial 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.  person on pc

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. coaster1