Commercial Real Estate Technology: Transforming A Traditional Industry

Commercial Real Estate Industries

Commercial Real Estate Technology: Transforming A Traditional Industry

It’s not newsworthy that Covid has transformed our world in record time and altered the way we live and work in every way. There will be Before Covid (BC) and hopefully an After Covid (AC) when we discuss and analyze business, tech, science, travel, education and beyond within the timeframe of before or after. Having spared no industry or individual, Commercial Real Estate (CRE) has also been impacted and the way tech has helped to accelerate this field in the midst of a global pandemic is compelling.

What is noteworthy about Commercial Real Estate technology is that this is an industry that was relatively late to the tech game, but may actually have timed it perfectly as so many of our interactions are forever changed now.  

In the age of virtual showings within a global marketplace CRE is a non-negotiable for not only top firms and their brokers, but for everyone in real estate from owners to renters, prospective buyers to sophisticated investors. The effective use of software is simultaneously disrupting and redefining industry standards, best practices and expectations.

Technology with its secure and trustworthy data process has an enormous capacity for storage and management and is changing the way we capture, show, and market listings, make informed recommendations and keep our properties safe and efficient. Tech trends in CRE indicate an industry that is rapidly becoming savvy in the virtual space and one that will continue to utilize top innovations to maximize profits, buyer experiences and the market as a whole. 

So what exactly are those trends and how is technology improving CRE businesses? In this post we’ll highlight the top 8 tech trends in CRE at the moment and provide you with the insight and edge to navigate CRE in the now, between BC and AC. Here’s our selection of top CRE trends in tech: 

 1. AI-Driven Marketing and Machine Learning

Those who aren’t already incorporating data gathering and AI informed marketing campaigns are already behind. Artificial Intelligence is perfectly precise and razor sharp in verification and accuracy and transcends collected data into well informed action and execution via pattern recognition. There’s still time to hop on board, but you better hop quickly. Artificial Intelligence in real estate algorithms partnered with powerful IoT device frameworks will enable next level property management effecting everything from lighting control to security systems.

With personalization powered by AI within a virtual real estate marketplace prospective buyers can search for properties with precision. Agents who now feed big data into ML algorithms after ditching time consuming and prone to human error spreadsheets provide clients with more reliable estimates and expert recommendations, advising investors with the confidence of accuracy, not just salesmanship. 

 2. IoT and Remote Access

As mentioned above, management of everything from heat to light switches and appliances can be simplified and streamlined via sensors and connected devices. IoT is the future of smart home technology and will be further shaped by Covid standards making buildings cleaner and safer with filters, contactless entry and sanitation measures.

Remote access control makes properties infinitely more efficient, especially valuable for owners and property managers navigating restrictions and mandates that change with the day and vary widely across cities, countries and continents. Short term rental occupants, longer-term tenants and property managers around the world are relying on this to keep properties accessible, safe and inhabited.

3. Blockchain

It may be too soon to call this an industry trend, but the potential power of blockchain demands our attention and a spot on the list. Data is vital to most industries, but not every field is as defined by personal relationships or equally bound by them as CRE. Given the margin of inevitable human error, as well as our own propensity for subjectivity, favoritism or even prejudice, blockchain, the digital blocks of transaction data timestamped and connected to the previous block via secure programming, provides the objective truth that this industry, like any other, owes professionals and clientele alike. 

4. Live video 

And we’re live! The rapid and impressive adaptation of live video tours has smoothed what could have been an otherwise industry implosion when Covid hit and shut downs happened (and may continue to). Instead, it has only broadened access. Whether in marketing, tours, sales or management, this media in live form especially has all of the raw truths that we humans crave for authenticity, void of photoshop. We’re here for it. 

5. Drones

Likewise, drones are the virtual experience we have come to expect, providing ariel images at a very reasonable cost. This heightened visual offering allows us to see a place in environmental context, and can even capture places that are otherwise inaccessible. Drone images used in marketing campaigns have the visual impact we crave but also have more practical usage when combined with Geolocation, indicating parameters such as zone maps and landscapes. 

6. Robots

Who doesn’t love robots? These machines are acting as agents showing properties to clients and also serving as voice bots and chatbots. This means clients get information faster and in the competitive world of real estate faster means better. Immediate responses can have huge implications. Keeping the flow of communication as well as showings ongoing means the industry is not restricted by travel bans, Covid measures, or even ordinary and common delays. More and more property managers are using technology like robots in proactive and visionary ways to ensure communication between buyers and agents is ongoing. 

7. Virtual Reality

As good as being there in person and sometimes even better when you save on jet lag, travel hassles, Covid screenings and other requirements. Virtual reality makes for compelling search and buying experiences providing virtual tours that consumers can access remotely in the comfort of their soon to be former homes. Virtual reality is also a great screening tool for buyers and sellers alike, quickly eliminating undesirable options or elevating desirable ones. VR is more widely recognized, understood and accepted than ever before and today the concept of closing deals without ever having met is no longer foreign. 

8. Mobile applications and Texting

If you lived overseas a couple of decades ago you may have wondered why Americans didn’t text more often. While we were late to the game we have caught up and then some and most people these days consider themselves naked without their mobile device. Text-based engagement is unparalleled in terms of volume capacity and response time, and while in person is still valued in the industry, texting is without question an essential tool for keeping the conversation moving. Mobile applications enable you to find an agent, view properties and even buy and sell.  

And there you have it, the CRE tech trends that stood out the most for us. Their impact on the industry and potential for future disruption and impact is unarguable. If trends are a snapshot that represent the momentum of an industry, the acceleration points indicating the next level, than these trends prove CRE is well positioned for the future. Hopefully that future has an AC in store for all of us, but until then, may every industry adapt via tech as rapidly and successfully as this one.

Elizabeth Montoya

Elizabeth Montoya

Liz Montoya is the co-founder and CEO of Monarch Software Inc. As an international educator and writer, she has worked with students and communities on five continents and is deeply committed to women in tech, international engagement and cultural intelligence. She is inspired daily by the interconnection of people, places and ideas and the impact cross cultural experiences and technology have on individuals, companies and the environment. She has worked for over five years as a copyeditor and UX writer for companies including Uruit. Prior to that she worked in international education for Grand Valley State University and the University of Texas at Austin. She is a newer contributor to the blogosphere.

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