4 CRE Technologies We're Watching for 2018


These days, technology is changing faster than ever. Keeping up to date seems like a never ending cycle. It’s easy to forget that the smartphone emerged only ten years ago, and now it is ubiquitous. Here are some of the technologies that you should be keeping your eye on in 2018 and the future.

More and More Data

One of the fastest growing technology fields is big data, and this is only going to accelerate. As computing power increases by leaps and bounds, analysis is possible now that was unthinkable a few years ago. Data analytics can be used throughout the lifecycle of real estate. When researching investments, the amount of information that can be easily found online is expanding exponentially. Software is available to analyze trends and project costs and returns. Building management has been transformed by data collection.

Sensors in a building can be used to track systems such as the HVAC system, collecting continuous records of temperature, fan usage, heating and cooling use, and any faults that may occur. This data can all be accessed remotely, allowing an off site manager to detect problems and fix them even before the tenants will notice.

Mobile is on the Move

Mobile is an ever growing presence in the sector. A full featured mobile CRM suite is becoming vital for real estate professionals who are always on the go. There are more and more apps hitting the marketplace that give you access to all of your data no matter where you are. You can track your deals and follow up on potentials without ever logging onto your office computer. Apps can access market data, sales comparables, and tenant information. Not only can mobile tech manage the rental and sales process, it can help manage the buildings themselves. Access building analytics and maintenance orders instantly. This can all help efficiency and reduce downtime, whether on an airplane or waiting at the doctor’s office.

Crowdfund Your Future

Passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act by Congress in 2012 removed the requirement of being a qualified investor for private investments. Previously, investors needed to have at least one million dollars in assets or incomes of more than $200,000 per year. Now, online investment marketplaces are open to investors for as little as $5,000. These marketplaces make it easy to connect small investors and property managers to provide low cost funding. Crowdfunding can be used to refinance an expiring CMBS loan or to add to your investment base. Crowdfunding is a useful alternative to traditional bank financing.

Attack of the Drones

Remotely piloted aircraft are a growing way to market properties. Drones can take high quality pictures and HD video in areas that are difficult to reach by people and mapping technologies can stitch the images together to provide virtual reality tours, such as a fly over view of a building or neighborhood. Also, drone technology is advancing to allow drones to fly inside a building and create a three dimensional video tour of the building interior.

Other technologies such as driverless cars and 3D printing are on the horizon, but are not likely to have an impact in 2018.