It’s no secret that the real estate industry is relatively averse to new technologies. It’s understandable, of course, given the tried and true methods of paper RFP’s, building interpersonal relationships, steak dinners and offline transactions.
Many remain hesitant to fully adopt solutions that are available today for a couple of main reasons. First, they’re just not familiar with the direct value to their bottom line, and second, they’re simply comfortable with the traditional way of doing business.
In recent years, however, many forward-thinking real estate professionals have realized that technological innovation and old-school real estate practices aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, the next generation is fusing the best of both worlds: face-to-face interaction and digital tools that are finally bringing real estate into the 21st century.
Here are some of the factors fueling this evolution:
A Younger Generation–A New Era
Gen Y has always been characterized by its use of technology. The self-professed “digital natives” live and breathe tech and for many it touches almost every aspect of their lives.
In real estate, these same professionals are taking what they know and using it to enhance their business lives. Through our network alone, we’ve seen thousands of professionals use technology for one very simple (yet critical) reason: to build new relationships.
Consider this: with the single click of a button, we can access a vast amount of information to make better-informed decisions. And while this may be starting with Gen Y, it certainly should not end there. Industry professionals of all ages are making this shift.
The Rise in Mobility
Is there an app for that? Nine times out of ten, the answer is yes. As we often hear, we’re operating in a mobile world. What does this mean for the businesses of real estate? Data about buildings, trends, and professionals is at our fingertips and it’s up to us to harness it.
Gone are the days of two-page glossy brochures (which cost thousands of dollars and are usually outdated shortly after they’ve gone to print) to show your work. In our mobile world, you just have to swipe left to show the world what you’re made of.
The Need for Efficiency
At its very core, innovation is about creating efficiencies and using available resources to lead the pack. If Apple has taught us anything, it’s how to take an idea and make it better. The most savvy real estate professionals today are taking the best of what drives business–partnerships to get projects off the ground–and using technology to widen the pool of relevant contacts in their networks.
Real estate–especially commercial real estate–has been long overdue to catch on to this trend, and it’s an exciting process to be a part of.
The Perfect Storm in Real Estate
We are at a crossroads in real estate today. Some very big names in real estate are already making the shift to tech solutions and we’re seeing innovation flourish.
Think long and hard about where you see your business in ten, or even five years from now. If technology isn’t a critical part of your business, then you are truly missing out.
CRE Leaders Say...
James Gillen, Director of Asset Management at Invesco, shares his thoughts on the growing importance of real estate technology.
A version of this article was first published in The Commercial Observer.