The Role of Technology in Commercial Real Estate for the Retail and Office Sectors
Technology continues to change the commercial real estate industry. For the retail and office sectors, technology allows brokers to streamline processes and market properties in new and innovative ways. For example, before all of the new advances in the industry, prospective tenants had to drive to a location to tour a space. Today, we are able to virtually access any property listing from the palms of our hands. Being able to see listings online from anywhere in the world has helped globalize the real estate industry.
A New Way of Business
In the past, tenant representatives had binders with printed aerials, graphics and plans of each listing. Today, it is all condensed into a PDF and saved on a tablet for easy viewing. With so many changes in the industry, there has been a major learning curve and challenges in keeping up with the evolving landscape. Since it is important to stay ahead of the curve, we created our own There are many programs, sites and resources that continue to evolve with a strict focus in commercial real estate. Having an accessible website and listing can be a key differentiator for businesses. Platforms such as LoopNet and CoStar also help brokers and potential tenants search and find spaces based on their needs. With interactive maps, drone footage and virtual tours, brokers send listings to prospective tenants to view from the comfort of their home or office.
While smart buildings are not as prevalent in the retail market, this sector of the industry still utilizes different technologies to their advantage. Apps and credit card data are essential for tracking traffic and gaining insight into the customer journey. By creating an app that has a map of the site and special offers such as coupons, retailers can track consumer behavior. Larger shopping and regional lifestyle centers are the ones leading in this technology; most retailers don’t have their own apps and typically tenants will request a buildout package.
Marketing efforts in the commercial real estate industry are also relying on technology. Advertising, social media, design software and website accessibility are integral in securing tenants. Technology is necessary for a solid marketing strategy and brings value to those learning and becoming proficient in different software, which is imperative to marketing a service, asset or company. The people behind the machines are just as important because without those minds and ideas driving the marketing, it’s just a machine.
It’s evident that retail and office real estate and the way they are marketed have been positively impacted by technology, allowing industry players to streamline processes that lead to leasing and sales. It makes deals and communication more efficient by providing easy access to data and information. Technology has stepped into the limelight even more during COVID-19 and is a huge part of what helps keep things running smoothly regardless of outside circumstances. As things continue to go virtual, this opens a new opportunity for tech to continue to advance in this space. Investing in technology for retail and office spaces, and the approach to marketing is a step in the right direction and will pay off in the long run.
By: Chris Lewis, Grant Walker, and Cailee Butler