Commercial real estate technology, or CRE tech for short, is quickly changing the entire landscape of the industry. Just consider how commercial real estate professionals used to analyze datasets about portfolio performance. It was labor-intensive, time-consuming, and the information was far from real-time. It took a lot of effort to gather essential CRE data from various sources in order to make informed decisions, but even then, gaps in the information and delays could negatively impact the results.
Needless to say, the spreadsheets that were used for years to store and analyze big data were also far from efficient. It wasn’t a scalable process that could ever manage the amount of commercial real estate data that’s gathered today. Even the early platforms fell far short of bringing all the datasets together in a usable way.
As has been the case in so many industries already, modern technology is cracking CRE data wide open. Sophisticated tools and software platforms can be used by any and all commercial real estate professionals to gather more information, make big data more accessible, and greatly improve the use of data analytics. All while reducing the manual labor needed to do it all. It’s nothing like the old system, and that will likely prove to be a very good thing for the commercial real estate industry overall.
With so many companies specializing in technology applications and innovations, defining what a CRE tech company is, comes down to the purpose of the products. A CRE tech company is focused on digitizing the commercial real estate industry. More specifically, a CRE tech company exists to provide a solution to a CRE industry problem by leveraging digital technology.
If a CRE tech company isn’t striving to streamline processes, improve decision making and provide valuable insights, it isn’t truly serving the CRE industry. Those companies are more likely to be the disruptors that are looking to change the way the industry operates strictly for their own gain.
RefineRE, for example, exists to improve and streamline existing processes. Like many other CRE tech companies, we’re coming up with creative, tech-driven solutions that improve CRE portfolio performance by giving corporate occupiers better resources to make smarter decisions.
In many ways, data analytics has become just as important as commercial property in the CRE industry. It isn’t surprising that many CRE companies today are Software as a Service (SaaS) companies. CRE software simply refers to any web-based solution that can inform or direct commercial real estate decisions and activities. It’s a very broad tech category that’s set to grow even larger.
CRE tech software is used for many purposes within the industry. Smart devices in buildings tell you how spaces are utilized and how utilization can be improved. There are platforms being built which promise to open the door for new commercial real estate buyers, providing access that didn’t previously exist. And of course, there’s data aggregation and analysis CRE software solutions that do far more than crunch the numbers.
CRE software companies generally fall into one of the categories below:
As much as we hear about the digital disruption, you’d think there’s no way CRE tech and the existing commercial real estate industry could co-exist. But not every piece of CRE tech software or innovation is disruptive. Some tech companies set out to improve the current process by fitting into it.
RefineRE is one of those tech companies. Our CRE software is designed to enhance a corporate occupier’s current processes with higher data quality, better structure, and more insights. The software sets out to leverage existing commercial real estate data resources in order to make the data more useful.
And CRE software developers aren’t done innovating, they’re just getting started. In the coming years, we can expect to see more predictive analytics that aims to identify what will happen in the near future. Self-leasing platforms are also a new fast-growing frontier for CRE tech companies. Machine learning and artificial intelligence that uses commercial real estate data will also play a bigger role in telling corporate occupiers how their CRE portfolio is performing.
More companies in the CRE industry are realizing they need to modernize their processes and take advantage of the insights that CRE tech provides. Fortunately, for those companies, CRE tech developers have made simple onboarding a top priority.
One of the benefits of lagging behind in the tech revolution is that engineers and developers have learned how to build their tools so that even the least tech-savvy client can implement and use them. Jumping into the residential real estate industry first provided tech companies with an even better understanding of what’s needed in the CRE industry.
CRE software platforms offer the simplest and quickest implementation. All the tech is built in so that the end-user has little more to do than set up where data will be pulled from and the data points that should be gathered.
A bundled suite of software is even more convenient for CRE companies that are modernizing their systems. These all-in-one solutions don’t just provide more capabilities. They also ensure that the tools work together intuitively.
Compartmentalized software solutions with programs that are pieced together aren’t guaranteed to work together seamlessly. It can quickly become a management nightmare trying to bring all of the information together for comprehensive analysis.
Customization is a feature that CRE companies should look for when they are choosing tech solutions. Lack of customization was a shortcoming of the earliest, single-purpose CRE software programs. Corporate occupiers need to be able to choose what data they see and how they see it.
No matter what CRE tech solutions you decide you need, it’s always a good idea to invest in innovation. Technology is always changing and improving. You’ll want to futureproof your processes as much as possible with a flexible software platform that gives you the ability to expand your capabilities as CRE tech improves.
RefineRE is the single software solution that can help you update your outdated processes. Our tools have helped create a new type of CRE professional. A professional that has a wealth of data to inform everything from executing last-minute trades to marketing a property to improving the efficiency of a building.
The best part is, this new CRE professional doesn’t have to have special training to act as their own data scientist. Even advanced techniques like benchmarking on a global scale are possible with the right tech.
The RefineRE platform provides innovation, flexibility, and customization in an easy-to-use software suite that integrates seamlessly. It’s a far superior solution to past processes that only gave you a small part of the data picture after hours of research. From dashboards that bring together all the key data points to specialized tools for analyzing flex space opportunities, RefineRE continuously finds new ways to use CRE data analytics for improved portfolio performance.
And that’s what CRE tech is all about. Players in the industry, large and small, are beginning to realize technology isn’t something to be feared as disruptive, but rather a substantial resource that can be leveraged to make commercial real estate more profitable.