It’s no secret that technology is changing the world in which we live in myriad ways. Every industry has been affected, including commercial real estate, which has undergone its own technological revolution in the past few years with more changes expected in the future. As clients become increasingly tech savvy and information becomes more readily available, those in the real estate industry are seeking smarter, more innovative ways to translate that information into meaningful insights.

Perhaps the biggest way in which technology has impacted the industry is in how spaces are being presented to prospective tenants. Recognizing the residential real estate industry’s success with 3D visuals and virtual tours, commercial brokers are adopting and modifying this technology and sharing it with their clients.

Prospective tenants need the ability to visualize their new, modern offices in a specific space, but this can be difficult with only a tour or photos. Tenants may not able to visualize their furnishings and fit out. The company Smarter Listings is a front-runner in bringing interactive technology to the industry. They create visuals of available spaces with panoramic photos taken with a variety of devices, including smartphones. This technology enables brokers and their clients to virtually walk through a space, so that they can see every unique feature as if they were physically there. Using interactive technology saves valuable time for clients, so they can focus on their business rather than spending hours out of the office looking at properties. In addition, it can help brokers shorten the sales or leasing process.

There has also been a shift in regard to data. It’s easier now than ever to find a plethora of information on a property, area, neighboring businesses and more.  Savvy brokers can quickly gather and decipher the data they want and determine how it is pertinent to a prospective tenant. What’s even more exciting is that companies like Enodo Score and others are now taking aggregated data to a new level and compiling predictive analytics, which can help in the decision-making process. These companies also can gather quantitative data showing how a decision to lease or buy one space will pay out over another.

Technology is also changing the ways in which properties are being marketed. In recent years there has been an influx of tech companies that automate the marketing process, making it easy to develop flyers and other collateral materials to showcase properties. Thanks to tools such as Buildout, which CPD uses, marketers are able to update a property’s promotional collateral from any location and at any time using the online portal.  A company’s branding is automatically incorporated into every document, and those updates are instantly available on its website.  Through the back-end software, any updates to the listing services, such as CoStar and LoopNet, can be made with just a few clicks of the mouse.

CRE is definitely experiencing a tech moment, which is not expected to end anytime soon.  These client-facing services are just the tip of the iceberg.  Some brokerages already have begun to develop proprietary software to better serve their clients, and over the next several years there will be even more innovations in all aspects of CRE.

What technology changes are you seeing?  Are you using any of the technology mentioned here?  We are excited to hear about your favorite tech tools and look forward to learning about new innovations that will enhance the CRE industry in years to come.

Corporate Property Dispositions, a leading real estate advisory firm founded in 2003, works in partnership with companies to divest their surplus commercial properties. With over 200 years of combined real estate experience, our skilled professionals provide clients with the knowledge, key information and guidance needed to make informed decisions regarding their real estate portfolio. Our strategic counsel and results-driven approach converts our clients’ potential property value into delivered value.

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