In recent years, new and evolving technologies have impacted the way nearly every industry operates. This is especially true of real estate, where tech has revolutionized everything from property listing databases to signing contracts.
The members of Forbes Real Estate Council have seen a lot of disruptive commercial real estate solutions emerge during their careers, and many of them have leveraged these new products and methods to improve their business. Below, members discuss some of the technologies that have helped them get ahead.
Excluding property listing marketing databases, the most useful CRE technology I have used is Site To Do Business. STDB provides various tools including market analysis, sector-specific prospect lists, multiple overlay maps including drive time specific, and various reports and demographics based on defined territories. – Matthew Douglas Cardente, Cardente Real Estate
2. Investor Portals
The popularization of investor portals will continue to revolutionize the CRE industry. These portals automate everything from the document execution process to the issuance of quarterly reports and tax documents. Additionally, this technology allows firms to provide the type of investor experience which was previously only available via investments in stocks at top-tier brokerage firms. – Hunter Thompson, Cash Flow Connections
3. AI-Powered Commercial Listing Services
There are a couple of new listing services like Crexi that are integrating the use of AI to help you upload and manage your listings. Along with this technology, the platforms are integrating one-stop marketing services to target investors. – Michael O’Mara, Atlantic Retail
It’s not necessarily specific to the real estate industry, but to my knowledge, the majority of real estate companies are integrated with Podio. It’s a versatile platform, yet pretty easy to use. You can track your entire business with it from acquisitions to sales to marketing to rehab to client relations. No matter what real estate practice you work in you can use Podio to your advantage. – Engelo Rumora, List’n Sell Realty
Google has disrupted the industry in many ways. Maps directs traffic to sites with obscured visibility. Searches can render results for local gems that may go unnoticed. Google Street View offers investors, tenants and brokers the opportunity to get a quick, high-level view of a property before spending valuable time driving to a property. – Bethany Babcock, Foresite Commercial Real Estate
6. Virtual Property Tours
Matterport and drones have given my properties a new image. Drones make roof-mounted HVAC units, roofing systems, stacks — all those out-of-sight mechanicals — less mysterious at first sight. Land contours are more prevalent in the birds eye too. Combined with Matterport, which takes clients into the property to walk it (and floor plan it), desk chair property tours are more complete than ever. – Kristin Geenty, The Geenty Group
7. Cloud Computing
The emergence of cloud and mobile computing along with advancements in software has been transformative to the industry. These advancements have created enormous efficiencies in the management of single-family rental homes, so much so that institutional investors, who’ve historically been drawn to CRE, are now able to deploy capital at scale into single-family rentals and boost overall returns. – Gary Beasley, Roofstock
8. Programmable Spaces And Space Optimization Tools
One of the most impressive, disruptive CRE technologies I’ve seen is programmable spaces that allow you to change the function of your living space with the touch of a button. Companies can provide residents the ability to transform their bedroom into a closet and living room with the touch of a button, dramatically improving the efficiency of the living space. – Benjamin Pleat, Cobu (formerly known as Doorbell Communities)
9. Building Information Modeling And Robotics
Building Information Modeling, which uses artificial intelligence, allows for the generation of 3D digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of projects. Robotics is also being deployed more often by large and small firms. Robotics and AI can lead to measurements within two-thousandths of an inch, making the more costly standard of a 1.5 to 2-inch margin of error. – Alex Radosevic, Canon Business Properties Inc
10. Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences
The rise of digital ads has fundamentally changed the marketing industry, but it’s only just getting started in CRE. With Facebook’s lookalike audiences, you can actually upload the attributes of your best residents, geographically constrain to your market area, and target ads for your community to your ideal prospects with machine learning. It has substantially boosted our conversion rates! – Marc Rutzen, Enodo Inc.