As Chris Clark pointed out in her post today, this is the time of year bloggers recap the top stories and trends in their niche for the previous twelve months. This is probably the first of several for me which will likely include topics such as Corporate Real Estate Trends, the Houston Office Market, Healthcare Real Estate and Social Media. However, I will begin with the geeky side of me and look at what transpired in terms of new technology start-ups in the CRE space.
The Applification of CRE
One of the highlights of my year was traveling to Atlanta to speak at an Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtor’s event to speak about social media and finally meeting up face-to-face with my good friend and former Colliers colleague Patrick Braswell, the co-founder of perhaps my favorite new CRE technology start-up, TenEight. Ten Eight has developed the first ever virtual and interactive tour booklet app that allows brokers and their clients the ability to store floor plans and flyers, rate commercial properties, take pictures, take notes, and evaluate building options side by side.
Nobody made a bigger splash in the CRE-Tech start-up scene this year than the team at 42 Floors who has entered the commercial real estate search space starting in the San Francisco Bay Area Market and recently expanded into the Big Apple. My friend, Justin Bedecarre one of my early social media contacts in CRE recently left his position at Cushman & Wakefield to join the 42 Floors team. Justin had a bright future in real estate brokerage, so I know he expects huge things at 42 Floors.
Right here in my backyard, a group of young and talented entrepreneurs also entered the commercial real estate search space with the launch of TheSquareFoot and OfficeSpace.com based in Seattle is attempting to capture market share in the same vertical.
While I am not real active in the retail real estate sector unless it involves a healthcare user site, another Bay Area based start-up is making waves in the CRE tech scene. MotionLoft whose investors include Mark Cuban offers comprehensive real-time activity data for site selection in retail.
What is interesting about many of the new tech start-ups in the CRE space is many are offering products and services geared toward tenant representatives and office leasing professionals. CompStak a New York City based start-up is tackling the industry practice among office leasing agents of trading details of completed lease transactions. In the lease and financial analysis vertical, ventures such as REIWise a product I use, as well as LeaseMatrix are offering some exciting new technology tools in the cloud.
There have been so many new technology start-ups enter the CRE space that it is becoming difficult to keep up with all the new offerings. I know I have failed to mentioned all the new CRE Tech start-ups. The previously mentioned CREOutsider and CRE Apps are great sites to keep up with the latest in CRE-Tech and of course nothing sneaks by Duke Long in this space.
We all recognize that technology is rapidly changing the way business is done in many industries. CRE’s reputation as a slow adopter of technology probably still persists. Hey, most CRE brokers are still using Internet Explorer as their web browser. However, a new crop of entrepreneurs, some from outside the industry and some from within view CRE as ripe for innovation. We have come a long ways in a short time, from the days of figuring out which new iPad apps to use in our business. Yes, the Applification of CRE is in full swing.