How is Technology Affecting Commercial Real Estate?
Say the word “technology” and most people think of computers, tablets, smartphones, cars, a Fitbit, a microwave oven—the list goes on and on. The truth is that technology is present in almost every aspect of living and commercial real estate is no exception. If you’ve been active in the industry for a while, then you can probably remember back to when selling, buying, leasing or investing in real estate involved a lot of legwork and paperwork. Those are still around, of course, but with technology the process has become easier and more efficient. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways technology is affecting commercial real estate.
More Available Information for Tenants
Whether you are a tenant, property owner or real estate professional, the instant availability of information online has influenced every aspect of doing business. Online real estate marketers such as CoStar and LoopNet publish property information to help tenants narrow down a search to locations that fit their business needs. In addition, tenants can do their own market research in order to find comparable rental rates and learn about the demographics and traffic counts near a location.
Better Marketing Methods for Property Owners
Property owners can offer better visuals of a space that is for lease. Countless photographs can be shown on a website. Even better, technology that is as close as a smartphone makes a 360-degree virtual tour almost as good as showing a potential renter through a space. And when a building is under construction, 3D printers can create models showing important details so the finished space is more accurately represented.
Enhanced Customer Service from Real Estate Professionals
The advance of mobile technology in particular allows agents and brokers to communicate while on the go with emails and text and voice messages. By storing data in the cloud, documents can be reviewed from a computer or mobile device and any necessary changes can be done quickly in order not to delay a transaction.
Similarly, electronic signatures can make completing lease agreements, applications and even closings simpler. In fact, many professionals find that sticking to business via paper is far less efficient and more costly than electronic communication.
Thanks to technology, working with a real estate professional is more productive and profitable. However, the reality of a market is often literally on the ground and not in the cloud. So despite the benefits of technology, commercial real estate will always be a people-centered business. Industry professionals offer personal service and market knowledge beyond information that is only a click away.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and should not be construed as financial, tax or legal advice. As with any financial or legal matter, consult your tax advisor and legal counsel.