In the last two decades, the residential real estate industry has undergone a radical transformation. Innovations like mobile technology and big data have changed and refined the sales, marketing, financial, and communications methods used to buy and sell homes. Despite these transformations, the commercial real estate sector has remained comparatively unchanged – with many brokers and companies relying on old-school tech like phone calls and spreadsheets to get the job done.
However, the commercial real estate industry is now beginning to evolve quickly; a series of new practices and technologies are saving time and increasing the efficiency of brokers, firms, investors, and other industry stakeholders.
The interest of institutional investors and large companies in diversifying their portfolios by acquiring or managing commercial real estate assets has been one of the most impactful changes to the industry in recent years. Commercial real estate, long the domain of tightly-knit family, and localized companies, has truly started to go global – and that means more demand, more competition, and new perspectives from corporate investors. It also means a new group of talent is flooding the industry – with entrepreneurs, business school grads, tech experts, marketing gurus and others now contributing to commercial real estate projects and transactions.
Additionally, this interest in commercial real estate has led to a proliferation in different investment methods and vehicles. REITs are becoming more sought after as an investment for everyone from individuals to institutional investors, while commercial real estate crowdfunding is growing more popular after the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012.
Until the last few years, the cloistered, familial nature of many of the largest companies in the commercial real estate sector also meant that it was often insulated from many technological innovations that revolutionized residential, as well as some of the broader shifts that affected the economy as a whole. That translated into less interest in apps and data analysis methods – but revolutionary change is now taking place as a result of new technology.
Some of the biggest changes are coming in the form of the increasing amount of mobile applications available for commercial real estate brokers and other CRE professionals. Apps like the Angus Mobility Platform, Visual Lease, CoStarGo, and Property Capsule are catching on quickly, allowing professionals to manage leases, compare sales, access tenant information, review portfolios, manage building control and monitoring systems, and conduct other business on-the-go.
This capability is essential, considering that brokers are usually mobile – constantly meeting with potential stakeholders owners to arrange deals.
Big data is also having a major effect on the commercial real estate decision-making process. With recent drops in the price of data analysis and innovative new software being developed regularly, companies like LoopNet, Real Capital Analytics, and CompStak, among others, are offering tools to help brokers better understand the short- and long-term risks and costs of various transactions. New tools also allow companies to analyze unstructured data that doesn’t fit well into spreadsheets, like search analytics, social media postings, and other digital sales and marketing metrics.
According to the CCIM institute, a professional organization for the commercial real estate industry, the percentage of commercial real estate companies that expect to be “data-driven” in the next three years will double to 56 percent – and it looks like this emphasis and reliance on data will only increase in the years to come.
Recent changes are making the CRE industry more mobile, more data-driven, and more competitive. If firms want to stay relevant, they’ll need to invest in the technologies and employees that can help them make smarter decisions faster – helping them create value for and better understand the needs of their clients.
To learn more about some of innovations that are rapidly transforming the commercial real estate industry, contact our team today at 954.474.1776, reach Ken Morris on his cell at 954.240.4400, or email email@example.com for a free consultation.
In a recent blog post, we showcased five smartphone and tablet apps that have drastically changed the commercial real estate industry. But those are by no means all of the technological innovations geared toward CRE; here are 5 additional apps that are also making an impact:
1. CoStarGo – This tool is a free iPad and iPhone app, but requires a CoStar subscription. Users are able to easily search nearby listings and have results shown on a dynamically updated Google map. CoStarGo also includes handy features such as local market data and even a financial calculator to help investors and agents understand the true cost of a certain property.
2. RCA Commercial Property Search – Real Capital Analytics is a global provider of commercial real estate data. This iPhone and iPad app offers subscribers of RCAnalytics.com data access to commercial property transactions from around the world. Easily analyze comparables across the following property types: Office, Industrial, Retail, Multifamily, Hotels, Senior Living Properties, and sites that are under development.
3. Catylist – With Catylist, commercial agents gain access to a large database of sale/lease listings as well as interactive tools for listing syndication, email communication, reporting, and much more. Catylist PropFeed allows agents to create a private database for listings and completed transactions which can all be easily accessed from a mobile device.
4. 10bii Financial Calculator – In today’s fast-paced industry, the last thing that commercial agents want to tote around is a dedicated calculator. Most agents already have their smartphone, possibly a tablet and a slew of other tools to make their clients’ job easier. The 10bii Financial Calculator, which is available for both Android and iOS devices, allows agents to use an app that has a close resemblance to the HP 10BII, which is used in most CCIM courses. This includes all of the familiar calculations that are necessary to run a successful commercial real estate business.
5. TAS Mobile – If you’re in the retail space, TAS Mobile should likely be high on your list of apps to download. Currently available for iOS devices, it allows agents to quickly access retail data to assess the viability of certain locations based on the competitive landscape of the area. This tool offers a free version that offers access to some local data, but the premium version is much more robust and requires a subscription.
There’s little doubt that mobile apps have allowed commercial real estate agents to be much more efficient and accurate when providing information to their clients. What once took hours to compile can now all be done out in the field, in a matter of minutes. At Morris Southeast Group, we’re constantly looking at the latest commercial real estate innovations to ensure we’re providing optimum service for our clients.
If you’re looking for your next commercial real estate investment or hunting for the perfect office space in South Florida, reach out to our team today. We’d be happy to sit down with you to assess your needs, plus show you how mobile tools can cut a lot of the guess work out of choosing your next space.
To set up an appointment for a free consultation, reach out to our team at 954-474-1776 or email Ken Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.