Increased access to data has fundamentally changed the way the world works. Industries like finance and newspapers have had to make huge adaptations since the advent of the internet. Where once people needed specialists who had access to key information, today they have most of what they need at their fingertips. With a smartphone, anyone can look up facts, get stock information and read news.
One industry that has remained stubbornly unchanged, however, is commercial real estate. It’s a huge industry, generating up to $12 billion per year. But in spite of its importance, it has remained fairly stagnant. In commercial real estate, brokers still have a very face-to-face way of doing business. Brokers take meetings in person and travel a lot.
The CRE industry is also still a heavily local game. Brokers work in small geographical areas, in a single city or even a single neighborhood. It’s also a very relationship-based business. Recent innovations have made it possible to shift the focus to a data-driven model, not one centered on local specialists.
According to many analysts, this is an industry ripe for disruption. New digital commercial real estate platforms like Ten-X hope to get in on the ground floor of the changes. Lots of people are aiming to make big changes to the world of CRE.
There are plenty of new commercial real estate platforms popping up. Billions of dollars have been invested in the commercial real estate industry recently. In 2017 alone, the figure was over $5 billion. This is a big change from 2010, when the number was a comparatively small $33 million. People have started to see that the internet may well change everything for real estate.
For successful CRE brokers, technological advances may well help them expand their networks. Instead of operating in one neighborhood or city, individuals and organizations will be able to scale up. Technology will also make it easier than ever before to manage customer relationships. New databases will be able to hold information about hundreds of thousands of potential buyers.