By: Edwin Moss, executive vice president
It should come as no surprise to hear that technology is one of the biggest driving forces shaping today’s commercial real estate industry. According to Forbes, in 2017 venture investors financed over $5 billion in real estate technology – that’s more than 150 times the $33 million invested in 2010. The integration of technology throughout commercial real estate has become vital for industry growth. We explore a few of the latest technology trends and how they’re impacting the industry:
Blockchain is a digitized recording system that many commercial real estate firms are using to cut back on resources when recording transactions. Standard processes that would typically take multiple steps can now be completed more efficiently. Blockchain is making an impact in the industry with the potential to save time and money within the core operations of commercial real estate firms.
Distributed Antenna System, DAS, was created to enhance wireless signals within buildings. As companies become more dependent on technology, the need for strong wireless signals grows. DAS is benefiting tenants by creating better cell phone service and increased Wi-Fi capabilities. DAS helps properties stand out by exceeding current needs and meeting the market’s future desires.
While artificial intelligence technology is not new, its role in the commercial real estate industry has recently transformed. Today, many firms spend a lot of time researching new investment opportunities. With AI, manual search processes can be replaced by computer programming. AI has the capability to sort through listings by customized searches that account for a variety of characteristics. The impact of this technology lies in the productivity and depth of resources it brings to firms searching for new opportunities.
Virtual reality and augmented reality capabilities have recently become more readily available and affordable. Adding a layer of information to a screen for more engaging interaction, augmented reality gives users the unique ability to access information within their current visual. Similarly, virtual reality is a computer-generated scenario that creates a realistic experience. These technologies can be useful in commercial real estate when marketing properties and creating ways for listings to stand out. Some brokers are utilizing advanced VR tools in virtual tours by allowing prospective tenants to explore a building without physically being there.
Businesses in the market for a new office are looking for more than an empty building to house employees and equipment. As technology use continues to enhance, tenants are looking for adaptable office spaces that meet their technological needs. Smart buildings are structures that use computerized processes to automatically control the building’s most basic operations like security systems or air conditioning. Smart buildings create modernized solutions for running these systems within one program – creating ease and efficiency for its tenants.
It’s clear that technology is shaping commercial real estate in a variety of ways. New advances are making once-tedious practices more efficient which is allowing firms to reallocate and prioritize resources. Once adapted, properties are standing out in markets and becoming more appealing for sophisticated and innovative buyers.