5 CRE Tech Trends Transforming the Way We Lease


Technology in commercial real estate has come a long way in the last decade from T1 lines and contact management software to Intranet sites and video conferencing. Today’s the landscape includes big data platforms, mixed reality applications, and other cutting-edge conveniences. Trends in the way CRE professionals approach the leasing process is transforming the landscape even more. Let’s look at some leading trends.

  1. Virtual reality. Yes, it’s not just for gaming anymore. Immersive mixed reality technology is being used in various industries like medicine, construction, and space exploration. For CRE professionals, virtual reality is transforming the way prospective tenants tour facilities and envision how the space will meet their  needs. With easy-to-use and readily accessible VR headsets like Oculus Rift and Google VR, the technology can be harnessed through mobile web applications. For design, building expansion, and new development needed by a prospective tenant, VR moves the process forward quickly, saving time and money during the leasing stage.
  2. 3D Printing. Okay, so this technology is still in its early stages, but buildings are already being erected (or printed) using 3D printing. 3D printing within buildings is certainly a trend to watch. Bob O’Brien, Global Real Estate Sector Leader for Deloitte, forecasts, “I think you’ll see a phased implementation. You’ll see architectural components of buildings using 3D printing within the next decade.”
  3. Smart buildings. The Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is enabling CRE owners to add value inside buildings that are attracting tenants in new ways. While location, location, location has been the standard mantra of CRE for decades, a new trend is breaking through—smart building strategies. Especially for Millennials, the quality of available technology affects where they are willing to work. NREI reports, “Accustomed to on-demand technology, collaborative workspaces, and the sharing economy, this generation has a reputation for caring more about immediacy, flexibility, and customization in the workplace than it does about square feet per person.” The impact on leasing is clear: “Top employers (and desirable anchor tenants) are willing to pay more to lease premium office spaces that feature the cutting-edge tech that their employees are expecting and demanding.” (Source: NREI)
  4. Drones. Offering yet another way to streamline the leasing process, drones can go for less where helicopters used to go for more, much more. Flying cameras can now take high quality photos and 360-degree videos of properties at various heights. Pairing this technology with a virtual reality application can make for a more valuable experience for prospective tenants to tour properties.
  5. Big data. The availability of real-time data on a global scale creates reliable, new opportunities for CRE professionals to find and screen potential tenants. Huge databases changing by the nano-second can be gathered, analyzed, and distributed with little effort.

Leveraging data from a big data application like Motionloft, for example, can help a property owner strengthen a listing and increase the property’s appeal to a tenant looking for real-time statistics and analysis on pedestrian and street traffic.