There are inefficiencies in commercial real estate and a new generation of technology startups are here to help. That was the message of the ReTech meeting in New York on October 2. Though held in a shared office space only a few blocks from Wall Street, the event felt like it was in the heart of Silicon Valley. Far more jeans than suits and ties.
Ash Zandieh, founder of ReTech, selected the nine start-ups out of field of 200 applicants. He wanted companies that had solutions relevant to commercial real estate and were ready for prime time.
Jamie Katcher with Cushman & Wakefield got the meeting started. His team at C&W specializes in finding office space for technology startups. Want to catch up on the latest trends in this office market niche? Check out their website: www.cushwaketechbeat.com.
Namek Zu’bi with Silicon Badia was up next. He invests in tech startups in the commercial real estate industry. Why commercial? Residential is too crowded. Here are the key market trends he’s keeping an eye on:
- The rise of BYOD – employees bringing their own device into the office and how to manage a mobile work force.
- Better search and discovery. Residential has done a great job of this with popular apps and web sites, but commercial has a ways to go.
- Higher quality data and more transparent metrics on properties – especially as it relates to their energy efficiency.
- Providing tools FOR brokers – not to REPLACE brokers.
- The sharing economy comes to CRE with short term leases and flexible office space.
- The retail storefront as marketing: Pop up retail spaces to promote a brand and drive online sales.
- The crowdfunding of CRE.
- The rise of the smaller tenant.
The tech companies got up and presented in groups of three – giving attendees a sample of their solutions and taking questions at the end. The standouts of the night:
Honest Buildings: www.honestbuildings.com
They match contractors to developers and property managers in an online marketplace.
CRE crowdfunding website to give everyone the chance to invest in commercial real estate.
They put online and private video feeds to use in order to track how many cars and people go by a property in a given amount of time. Ideal for retail.
View The Space: www.viewthespace.com
A Development ’14 exhibitor, they provide leasing data and the largest library of CRE videos in the world, created by their team.
PivotDesk is creating an online office sharing marketplace. They are in 29 markets to date and have 2.5 million sq. feet on their platform, listing their prices as per person, per month.
Compstak is building a crowd-sourced leasing comps platform. To access a comp, you share one of your own.
Chris Ware is Vice President, Business Development at NAIOP.