Change Isn’t a Dirty Word When It Comes to CRE Technology
Daniel Levison | February 6, 2019
It’s no secret that the commercial real estate industry has a widespread reputation for being slow to embrace new strategies and technologies. In fact, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard the industry referred to as being “set in its way,” “old-fashioned,” or even, “stodgy.”
However, as technology continues to expand and impact more and more of our everyday lives, there has been an exciting wave of change in commercial real estate professionals’ willingness and, dare we say it, enthusiasm for all things new.
So why the change? Some would argue that it’s (at least partly) because the stereotype of the industry was never really that true or accurate in the first place. After all, commercial buildings are much more complex and rich in technology than many people even realize. And others would argue that it’s simply because of the new technology that is coming to market with applications that can be applied to help CRE professionals work more efficiently, productively and more profitably.
Commercial Real Estate Technology You Should be Using
As with every technology, there are innovators, early adopters, and late adopters. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the ways technology is changing commercial real estate… are you utilizing these technologies yet?
Anyone who has ever worked in an office can tell you that the thermostat is probably one of the biggest battles in any commercial building. Not only do people have different internal preferences for how hot or cold their space is, but different sections of the building have different ranges in temperature, due to everything from shade, sun exposure, the efficiency of the building’s heating and AC system, and more.
Smart building technology removes the need for manual control of a building’s heating and cooling and, instead, automates the processes for even temperature control that can be enjoyed by everyone — shaping the future of building management. Smart building technology is also made significant advances in interpreting and analyzing data to give building owners and business owners information on how to improve workforce productivity.
It’s hard to have a conversation about technology without hearing the term “artificial intelligence.” After all, AI is exciting and its possibilities for making life easier seem endless. But what does it mean for the commercial real estate industry?
Simple. Two words: chatbots. If you think you’ve never interacted with a chatbot, you are almost certainly mistaken. This platform, which is likely most well known to consumers in the form of Apple’s Siri, can help CRE professionals more efficiently set appointments, assist in basic customer service needs and questions, and give suggestions on properties to potential buyers or lessors.
Drones are, seemingly, everywhere today. It’s hard to miss them in the news, and it no longer catches you off guard or by surprise to see them at a big concert or hanging out over your neighbor’s backyard. While these remote-controlled cameras play a big role in many industries, commercial real estate may be one of the ones where they have the biggest impact. Drones are one of the most effective methods of marketing a property, they make inspections easier, and they can help you efficiently map a large property and its surrounding environment.
For more information, be sure to check out our blog on 5 ways drones are changing commercial real estate.
The world of CRM has not only changed real estate, but it’s also changed business as a whole. No longer do we have to rely on spreadsheets and our trusty Rolodex to manage lead follow-up, nurturing and after-sale opportunities. That said, four commercially focused real estate CRMs which are dominating the space are Apto, ReThink, RealNex, and ClientLook —many of which have integrations that work seamlessly with other products.
Technology is also making the “business” of doing business easier. Back-office automation software makes streamlining everything from commission tracking and billables easier than ever before. While there are not nearly as many back-office automation software tools designed specifically for real estate, along Delius, BrokerSumo and several others provide back office automation. CommissionTrac, an Atlanta based company, has positioned itself as a leader in this space.
WS complies with ISO 27018, a code of practice that focuses on the protection of personal data in the cloud. It is based on ISO information security standard 27002 and provides implementation guidance about ISO 27002 controls that are applicable to personally identifiable information (PII) processed by public cloud service providers.
In addition to AWS security, we encrypt all of our customer data, which means that even if someone was able to hack the most secure data centers in the world, they would still NOT be able to view our customer data.
Technology is continuing to disrupt every industry, completely reshaping the status quo in the process. And commercial real estate is no exception — from smart buildings to robots, technology is completely transforming the way the industry builds and maintains the place where people live, work, and learn. To put it simply, if you aren’t moving forward in this industry, you are moving backward.
In their 2018 annually released study, “The DNA of CRE Brokerage Report”, Buildout, one of true successes in CRE technology stated that 84% of the 400 brokerage companies, representing over 10,000 CRE agents stated, stated they plan to start embracing new technologies in a significant way in 2018.
In the same study, 81% stated the will be recruiting and adding staff over the next several years and their technology platform will play a role in their ability to be successful.
Consult a CRE Company
To find out how you can use technology to manage your individual receivables, commission plans, invoicing and distributions, please sign up for our blog at and learn why Techstars Atlanta selected CommissionTrac as their first CRE application for their intense 90-day mentorship program joint-ventured with Cox Communications.