Top CRE Tech Trends to Watch in 2017

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Turner Levison | September 20, 2017

In October of last year, Real Estate Tech News published their list of CRE Tech Trends to Watch in 2017. As a CRE tech company, CommissionTrac was interested in what they had to say, and positively flattered to be mentioned when they revisited their predictions recently in How Did We Do? 2017 Trends Mid Year Update. Each article is a fascinating look at the current state of play, as well as where technology is headed (and where it can take your brokerage) in the times ahead.

Mobile Applications

As predictions go, this was likely the easiest of the lot. After close to a decade of encroaching on desktop and laptop use, mobile finally surpassed both this year. That’s a boon for those in residential and commercial real estate, since it keeps you (and your agents) mobile, responsive, and agile. Applications like Vire streamline property inspections, while a standalone application under development by Tenant Tracker promises to cut tenant coordination down to size.

Smart Sensor Technology

With IoT (the Internet of Things) touching on more areas of our everyday lives, it’s only sensible that it would also make inroads into real estate. Tech like Amazon Alexa is currently relegated mostly to the home. However, it’s worth noting that smart home features are a potential draw for multifamily units, whether included as part of new construction or retrofitted as part of a renovation, so it’s a development of which those of us in CRE should be aware.

Data Aggregation and Artificial Intelligence

Although Real Estate Tech News considers these developments separately (and admits that they should have seen AI coming), we feel that they’re better viewed as two sides of the same coin. Data aggregation is improving best practices in areas as diverse as broad market trends and closing individual deals; that trend will only accelerate as the MLS moves toward open architecture.

For its part, artificial intelligence may not have given us sentient machines, but it is beginning to give brokerages new ways to mine, understand, and use the data they’re collecting. Its advantage lies in finding patterns and insights that human intelligence might otherwise miss.

Virtual Reality and 3D

Virtual reality (VR) isn’t limited to gaming; several industries,  including automotive, customer service, and medicine are taking full advantage. If you’re handling property management for a widely-dispersed set of properties and catering to an equally far-flung range of clients, tools like VirtualAPT — which make 360-degree tours and other immersive experiences (like the virtual neighborhood tours offered by a partnership between Matterplain and Google) easier to create — make it more accessible.

The Cloud

We would, of course, be remiss if we didn’t mention another significant development. We disagreed somewhat with the first article’s assessment of the cloud as an emerging trend; after all, it’s been our turf for two years already, and builds on our decades’ worth of experience in CRE as a commission accounting platform. Nor are we alone; as RETN realized, other players — like CRM provider Apto and property management suite Yardi — are also expanding the possibilities of cloud deployment for commercial real estate.

As you’re exploring, it helps to have a knowledgeable guide. When the time comes to navigate and manage your commission accounting (or to determine its place in your brokerage tech stack), CommissionTrac can help.

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