In your opinion, does the                                                                                            comme...
TECH-DRIVEN TR ANSFORMATION                                                Which of the following devices do you use in yo...
TECH-DRIVEN TR ANSFORMATION“If you were to ask the typical com-mercial real estate guy what the                           ...
TECH-DRIVEN TR ANSFORMATION     effectively, you’re providing the cred-     ibility and confidence for decision           ...
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Tech-Driven Transformation: Technology Usage & Investment Grows in Commercial Real Estate


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Coldwell Banker Commercial, in partnership with National Real Estate Investor (NREI) and Retail Traffic, have released this whitepaper showcasing how technology is changing the commercial real estate industry. The white paper is based on a survey CBC and NREI conducted earlier this year of developers, owners, and managers across the country and includes quotes from Fred Schmidt and other industry professionals.

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Tech-Driven Transformation: Technology Usage & Investment Grows in Commercial Real Estate

  1. 1. In your opinion, does the commercial real estate industry in general need to make investments in technology (both financial investments and investments in time) moreTech-Driven of a priority, when compared to other investments? 51% Yes, there is aTransformation great need for investments in technology, as the commercial real estate industry currently lags behind other industries. 34% The industry is currently asTECHNOLOGY USAGE & INVESTMENT GROWS technologically savvy as other industries, but needs to continue its investments in technology to remain at the same level. 9%W Unsure hen it comes to tech- in its adoption and usage of technol- nolog y adopt ion a nd ogy. Another 34% say the industry 3% The commercial real usage, the commercial is on par with other industries, but estate industry lags behind other industriesreal estate industry is at a turning needs to continue to invest in tech- in terms of technology, but there is no need for additional investments.point. After several years of little or nology to stay current. 1% No, the industryno investment in new hardware or “Are we behind as an industry? The currently stays ahead of other industriessoftware, there’s plenty of pent-up answer is yes,” says Jim Young, CEO in terms of technology. 1%demand for new tech tools. of Realcomm, a worldwide research No reply From hardware such as smart- firm that studies the intersectionphones and tablets to software that of technology, innovation and realcollects and analyzes data, com- estate operations. “We’re in the exact Source: NREImercial real estate professionals are same place the financial servicesfinding significant value in technol- industry was 20 years ago. However, Additional survey findings:ogy. Yet most professionals feel more we are moving forward and closing • 88% of respondents use smart-investment is necessary for the com- the gap. Technology usage on a per- phonesmercial real estate industry to move sonal and consumer basis is spilling • 84% of respondents use laptopforward and shed its laggard status over and helping the industry.” computerscompared to other industries that The NREI/Retail Traffic/Coldwell • The top three reasons why respon-embrace technology more quickly. Banker Commercial survey collected dents use software are financial “As an industry, we continue to data from 284 commercial real estate analysis, contact management andmake strides in our use of technol- professionals from Sept. 6, 2012, to client presentationsogy,” says Fred Schmidt, president & Sept. 25, 2012. Brokerage and service • 76% of respondents use technologyCOO of Coldwell Banker Commercial providers accounted for more than to be more efficientAffiliates. “However, there are signifi- half of the respondents, and 31% of thecant opportunities to use technology respondents were property owners/ INVESTING IN TECHNOLOGYmore effectively. Fortunately, we can managers or developers. The average Becoming a technology innovator istake our cues from other forward- age of respondents was 52 years old. costly and requires significant invest-t h i n k i ng sec tors l i ke f i na ncia l The survey questioned commercial ment. During the Great Recession,services. And, we can also rely on con- real estate professionals about their investment in technology was mutedsumers, who are increasingly adept technology compared to other busi- across all industries as companiesand comfortable with technology, to ness professionals, and their clients conserved their cash to get throughprovide us with new ideas.” and respondents say their usage of the downturn. In the commercial In a recent sur vey conducted technology is above average com- real estate sector, investment in tech-exclusively for National Real Estate pared to other business professionals. nology was focused primarily onInvestor (NREI), Retail Traffic and Younger respondents rate their use maintenance rather than innovation.Coldwell Banker Commercial, 51% of and expertise higher than older “Over the past couple of years,respondents say the commercial real respondents. Notably, they rate their there’s been a level of underinvest-estate industry lags other industries clients’ use and expertise as average. ment in technology,” notes Ken Meyer, Tech-Driven Transformation C1
  2. 2. TECH-DRIVEN TR ANSFORMATION Which of the following devices do you use in your work? a principal with Deloitte Consulting Smartphone 88% LLP who specializes in commercial real estate. The global consulting firm Laptop computer 84% ranks technology as one of the top Scanner/fax 82% 10 issues facing the commercial real Network or wired printer 73% estate industry in 2013. Desktop computer 67% “The lack of investment has pro- Tablet computer 47% vided an opportunity to invest at Wireless printer 46% Source: NREI a higher level – CFOs are willing to Traditional cell phone 19% make larger investments in technol- ogy than they would have because they Other 4% recognize they underinvested,” Meyer says. “We’re to the point now where The shift in business models to the race, vendors are in a position companies realize that the only way focus on ancillary offerings and plug- to become stronger and make even to achieve their technology goals is to in programs such as utility billing for greater investments in their own buy and implement new technology.” an apartment owner user is a double- companies and the development of Surprisingly, there’s a silver lin- edged sword, Malinoff contends. “On tools for the industry,” he explains, ing to the lack of investment: at the the one side, users have an opportu- adding that having a few market- same time the appetite for technology nity to squeeze more efficiency out dominant players works to reduce investment has increased, technology of their base platform by adding new any fear on behalf of CFOs and CIOs offerings also have improved, Meyer programs,” he explains. “On the other that they’re making the right choice. notes. To illustrate the situation – commercial real estate companies STORING & USING DATA have been starving for two or more At the same time the The decision to adopt new technol- years, and now that they’re able to eat appetite for technology ogy is driven primarily by the need again, the food quality and variety is investment has increased, to be more efficient, according to the actually better. technology offerings NREI/Retail Traffic/Coldwell Banker “We’ve seen technology providers also have improved. Commercial survey. – both on the hardware and software The survey found that only a small side – introduce new tools that will percentage of respondents indicated have a much bigger impact than their hand, vendors are making it more dif- that their companies encouraged previous offerings,” Meyer says, not- ficult to integrate with other vendors, and/or demanded the use of tech- ing that there are fewer technology and the quality of the individual pro- nology. Moreover, only a handful of providers active in the commercial grams may suffer.” professionals adopt new technology real estate space. Think of it this way: if the core because clients and customers ask Historica lly, commercia l rea l technology platform is a hamburger, for it. In fact, only 21% of respon- estate professionals used a wide the ancillary offerings are the top- dents said clients compelled them to variety of sof tware programs to pi ngs – let tuce, onion, tomato, embrace new technology. handle different tasks, primarily pick le… you get the idea. In the “CRE professionals have an oppor- because a single technology vendor older model, users were forced to tunity to shape the way their clients/ did not have a suite of offerings that buy their toppings from different customers use technology by intro- met all the needs of the industry. stores because they couldn’t find ducing new tools to them,” Schmidt Recently, however, technology pro- them all in one place. Today, ven- says. “Ultimately, it makes for a bet- viders have begun to build on their dors make all the toppings available ter relationship because it creates a core platforms to fill in gaps in their in one store. While this may be more partnership where both parties are offerings so users won’t be forced to convenient for users, the quality of not only working toward the same utilize multiple vendors, according each individual topping might not goal, but they’re using the same tools to Josh Malinoff, a principal with be equal, and users are locked into a so sharing information is much easier Redirect, a New York City-based single-vendor relationship. and decision-making is improved.” technolog y consulting f irm that Meyer contends that the emergence Indeed, access to information is focuses exclusively on the commer- of a handful of players actually helps a key driver for technology usage, cial real estate industry. the industry. “With fewer people in according to Realcomm’s Young. C2 Tech-Driven Transformation
  3. 3. TECH-DRIVEN TR ANSFORMATION“If you were to ask the typical com-mercial real estate guy what the Impact of Social Media Unclear Social media is slowly making its way into theindustry is all about, he’d tell you business-to-business arena, and as it doesit’s about buildings, but it’s really so, more commercial real estate professionalsabout information – gathering, ana- are embracing LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.lyzing, transmitting and sharing Typically, industry players use social mediainformation,” he contends. “We’re a to improve tenant engagement, increase lead generation/sales and build brand awareness.very intensive information manage-ment industry, but most people just Despite the increased adoption, however, few professionals are actuallydon’t know it!” winning clients through social media, making its true value hard to Cou ld it be t he f utu re of t he discern. The inability to calculate a true return on investment is acommercial real estate business is roadblock to increased investment in social media efforts, whether that investment is time or money.dependent on data? Other indus-tries live and die by the quantity and In fact, the applicability, appropriateness and adoption of social media isquality of the data they collect so highly dependent on property type, according to Ken Meyer, a principalwhy should commercial real estate with Deloitte Consulting LLP who specializes in commercial real estate. For example, consumer-facing sectors such as retail and multifamily maybe any different? find more value in social media at this point in time, experts note. “Data ma nagement is a hugeconcern for corporate real estate exec- The NREI/Retail Traffic/Coldwell Banker Commercial survey found thatutives and their service providers,” 65% of respondents currently use social media and another 11% plansays CoreNet Global Vice President to do so in the near future. Usage is noticeably higher among younger respondents – 71% compared to 51%.of Communications Richard Kadzis.“We’ve become a data-driven culture, The survey clearly illustrates differing attitudes towardand we’re at a point where multiple social media: half say it’s important or very important andstreams of information are converg- the other half say it’s not important. Most professionals use social media to network, preferring LinkedIn overing. How can we use that data to Facebook and Twitter. Of those who use social media, only 28% havereach our business objectives?” landed clients as a result of social media efforts. Kadzis points to the book-turned-movie Moneyball, which chronicles Social media usage in the commercial real estate industry lags behindOakland A’s General Manager Billy other industries. According to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 94% of businesses indicated they employ social media forBeane’s efforts to use player statis- marketing purposes.tics to create a winning team. “That’sthe opportunity the commercial Conducted by the Social Media Examiner, the survey questionedreal estate industry has,” he asserts. 3,813 professionals. Participants ranked building brand awareness as the main benefit of social media, followed by increased traffic and“There’s a Moneyball play here.” marketplace insight. CoreNet Global predicted theimportance of data management in More than eight out of 10 participants said social media is important forits 2020 research initiative. “When their business, with professionals operating in business-to-consumeryou manage your data and analyze it industries more focused on Facebook and those in business-to-business industries more focused on LinkedIn and Twitter. The survey predicts that video marketing will be the focus in the future. Seventy-six percent of participants plan on increasing their use of Do you currently YouTube and video marketing. use social media (including networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, as well as n Yes All respondents 65% / 11% / 5% / 19% blogs – does not include n Not currently, email) for business but I plan to Under 45 70% / 12% / 0% / 18% purposes? n No, I don’t know how to use them 45 to 64 67% / 13% / 5% / 15% Source: NREI n No, and have no plans to 65 or older 51% / 6% / 12% / 31% Tech-Driven Transformation C3
  4. 4. TECH-DRIVEN TR ANSFORMATION effectively, you’re providing the cred- ibility and confidence for decision In general, what typically compels you to use making,” Kadzis says. new business technology tools or software? Deloitte ranked data analytics as one of its key issues for the commer- General need to be more efficient 76% cial real estate industry in 2013. It says General need to update tools/equipment 45% many players are in the initial stages of implementing analytics across key Colleagues/peers recommend tools or software 37% operational areas such as leasing, My company encourages/requires the use 34% property management, budgeting Clients encourage/recommend tools or software 21% and tenant servicing. At this point, some property types Other 3% Source: NREI are more data-intensive due to their need to analyze customer data – mul- potential of mobility in their business.” that are consumed via these devices. tifamily, retail and hospitality, for Te ch-s av v y com merc ia l re a l This amounts to a $114 billion global example. Yet the office and industrial estate firms are rolling out apps increase compared with 2011, and sectors are finding that data is the and websites that accommodate spending will continue to grow at a key to managing property portfolios mobile communications. Coldwell faster rate than in the past, at around more effectively, especially when it Banker Commercial, for example, $130 billion a year, to reach $2.7 tril- comes to building automation and recently launched a mobile app for lion by the end of 2016. energy usage. both Android and iPhones for its The NREI/Retail Traffic/Coldwell national organization, as well as its Banker Commercial survey found MOBILITY A “GAME-CHANGER” 200 affiliates. Moreover, the firm also that smartphones and laptop com- The need to access information, any- created a mobile-friendly website, puters a re t he most ubiqu itous time and anywhere, is a key driver to technology used in the commercial technology usage within the commer- Social media is a large part of the real estate industry, with nearly nine cial real estate market. This concept mobility trend, and while many other out of 10 professionals using a smart- – known as mobility – encompasses industries have found that social phone. Tablet usage is not nearly as a variety of tech tools such as smart- media wins new business and builds common, but still impressive given phones, tablets, laptop computers and new client relationships, the impact the newness – roughly 50% of respon- mobile applications (apps). of social media efforts in commercial dents use a tablet. “Mobility is emerging as a game- real estate is still somewhat uncertain. “Leading organizations are fully uti- changer in the CRE industry, with [See social media sidebar on page C3.] lizing the capabilities of smartphones various stakeholders (e.g., consumers, Gartner says consumers will spend and tablets,” Schmidt says, adding that tenants, renters, investors) expecting $2.1 trillion worldwide on digi- Coldwell Banker Commercial recently to interact with each other directly tal information and entertainment launched a tech tool called Prezenter, from their mobile devices,” accord- products and services in 2012. The which allows the firm’s affiliates to ing to the Deloitte forecast report. $2.1 trillion consists of what the con- build iPad presentations in just five “This trend comes as no surprise, as sumers will spend on mobile phones, easy steps. “Many professionals really consumer interest in smartphones, computing and entertainment, media have a need for them – those who do tablets, video games and embedded and other smart devices, the services most of their work out in the field or apps is growing by the day. Companies that are required to connect these those who connect with clients and big and small, across virtually every devices to the appropriate network, customers in various settings other industry, are clamoring to unlock the and software and media content than an office.” l ABOUT COLDWELL BANKER COMMERCIAL A subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), the Coldwell Banker Commercial® (CBC®) organization is a worldwide leader in the commercial real estate industry. Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, the company is the franchisor of a collaborative global network of independently owned and operated affiliates. In fact, the Coldwell Banker Commercial sytem has one of the largest geographic footprints in commercial real estate with nearly 200 companies and more than– 2,000 professionals throughout the U.S. and internationally. CBC professionals offer a comprehensive portfolio of Service Lines for most major property types. Visit their website at for more information. C4 Tech-Driven Transformation