The True Cost of Smart Technologies to the Real Estate Industry
Demands of investors in the real estate industry are focused on markets that assure stability and growth in the next years. Just like any other industry, real estate also demands the intervention of technology in its system. Technological evolution has an undeniable impact on it. A case in point is e-commerce being used in different transactions such as selling condominiums and riding the wave of condos in key cities, where the demand for such is high and urgent.
Those who will make great names in the real estate industry are those who can balance technology and human resources. It will be an advantage to adapt technological advances. According to Certified Commercial Investment Member’s (CCIM) Senior Director for Retail Brokerage Services, Beverly Keith, and her partner Nelly Shipley, there are different technological trends that affect the commercial real estate industry today, but the most influential are (a) social media, (b) mobile devices and APPS, (c) cloud services, (d) Omni channel, and (e) site selection.
Consumers today seek for opportunities to connect. This is also true in the world of real estate. People nowadays demand for “right now” information. This is where social media comes into play. One of the advantages of using social media is using it as a tool in connecting with customers and partners. It is an “unpaid” medium where you can promote products and services, close transactions, and eventually engage more clients with your business. Social media can aid real estate professionals from marketing listings to reaching and researching about possible clients. A huge slice of the market is also delving into spotting condominiums and property investments online. Generally, social media aids you towards achieving efficiency in business transactions without spending so much for it.
Related to the use of social media is the efficiency bought by smart phones. Mobile devices and APPS make mobility possible while doing business. There are plenty of useful applications you can use to do business on your mobile devices. To name a few, you have Evernote, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Twitter, Adobe Reader, and Voice Memos. You don’t have to be physically present in your office because you can do your tasks in your own “work space”, as long as you have your smart phones with you. For example, architects can send their plans for a development project with the use of Dropbox. Also, attorneys can use Face Time to communicate with all the decision makers involved in their cases. Every day, different APPS are created and developed for the users’ convenience.
Cloud services, on the other hand, transform the transparency of commercial real estate transactions. Cloud service is continually changing the storage capacity, fluidity, and connectivity in different transactions. Cloud service renders real estate firms a closer mobility cycle and easier access to everything. The 2013 ICSC ReCon industry, for case in point, showed how cloud service can positively impact “deal making”. Because of cloud service, retail professionals who used to carry a book of listing flyers and supporting documents for their appointments in ICSC utilized iCloud and iPad, relatively lessening their paraphernalia.
Omni channel retailing helps commercial real estate firms with consistent marketing through maximizing all media channels such as mobile internet services, televisions, and catalogues. The idea of Omni channel retailing is leading your clients towards a specific product the minute they enter your place. This is a marketing strategy that cannot be ignored for it connects holistic retail integration with operational technologies.
With the aid of social media, cloud service, and Omni channel, real estate transactions are getting more efficient and effective. In line with this, as stated in Gensler’s recent report, the need for corporate offices is now decreasing. From an average of 300 square feet, the need for space decreased to an average of 100 square feet for middle managers. Recent floor plans allot more space for conference rooms, bathrooms, and other rooms intended to be shared by the members of an organization. More amenities are built for “Work/Play/Live” requirements. This trend of companies renovating and downsizing their office spaces require less cost and easy financing. Following these are lower costs for occupancy and staffing. This, in general, allows real estate firms to have more choices as to where they should locate their work place.
These technological trends and revolutionary architectural technologies for real estate are just some out of the numerous trends that are continually evolving through time. Embracing technology can do firms great favors. These technological advances are part of the so called e-commerce which can help commercial real estate professionals increase their effectiveness in conducting different transactions and increasing their influence in the real estate industry. In fact, according to the report prepared by Andrew Nelson and Ana Leon in 2012, the ownership of smartphones in the United States has increased in all ages, as shown in this graph.
In order for trends to be patronized, it should be beneficial to the users. The increasing ownership of smartphones in the past two years only shows how technological advancements are beneficial in different aspects of businesses, specifically in different functions of a real estate firm. The challenge for the real estate industry today is to utilize technological advancements to improve relationship with its target market and increase sales, instead of being negatively affected by one of its effects, which is the decrease in demand for space.