Apps, Data Mining and Smart Buildings: New Tools for CRE

Technology is supposed to make our lives a little easier, right? Let’s be honest: sometimes it does, like apps that let us order carryout or anything-Amazon. And sometimes it’s just a hassle. First gen Apple Maps, anyone?

Maria Sicola, head of research for the Americas with Cushman & Wakefield, recently penned an article for the NAIOP Research Foundation on tech tools that are yielding positive benefits for CRE. Read on to see Maria’s tech round-up.

  • Comfy – Have an office neighbor who likes it cool? Too hot in your cube? The Comfy app connects to heating and cooling systems to allow employees to adjust the temperature in their office space. The best part is that it learns your preferences, so it can dynamically adjust to make everyone happier.
  • My Cushman & Wakefield Research – View and download C&W’s vast collection of reports, filtering by geography, topic or sector. Users will get an alert when a new report is published, and it’s easy to share content directly to social media.
  • AngelList – This virtual business matchmaking service connects angel investors and job-seekers who want to take the plunge into startups. Startups can attract seed capital and hire talent all in one location.
  • KISI – Being latched to a keycard has gone by the wayside with a smartphone app that is a fast pass to office, building, elevator and interior doors. Building owners and managers use it to track space usage, and employees enjoy the freedom of not keeping up with various access cards.

Beyond Technology
Technology’s surge, along with the dominant millennial workforce and their preferred work styles, has been transformative, says Sicola. In response, commercial real estate is incorporating more open-floor space and collaborative environments that allow multiple places to spend their time at work.

Workplace location preferences are changing too, as the millennials seek neighborhoods where they can have it all: work, residences and entertainment. As such, updated office environments complement that lifestyle: the employees are working to live, not living to work.

Developers and real estate professionals have to be ready to renovate older spaces to remain competitive in attracting a workforce seeking these amenities. Owners and property managers have to accommodate the design and the workout, and brokers have to find that space for clients.

Moving forward, the industry will continue to be shaped by innovation. What’s changed already will continue to be influenced by more advanced technologies, and the next generation of successful real estate professionals are entering the industry with a unique mix of business and technology aptitudes.

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