Excerpt from The New #CREcosystem | Download the Full Report Here
MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte’s 2015 Digital Business Global Executive Study identifies strategy, not technology, as the driver of digital transformation. The report notes, “The strength of digital technologies — social, mobile, analytics and cloud — does not lie in the technologies individually. Instead, it stems from how companies integrate them to transform their businesses and how they work.” The same is true for the commercial real estate business ecosystem (#CREcosystem).
Today’s digital consumer is always on, always connected, and rarely makes a decision without first consulting Google. As consumer expectations for increasingly transparent and responsive services continue to rise, applying new technology to legacy business practices will not be sustainable. CRE Influencers at the digital frontier look far beyond the silos of search, social, and mobile to broaden their branded reach and connect with target clients at each point of the customer journey. They demonstrate a willingness to experiment and integrate technology solutions in order to deliver new, unique value to customer relationships. If we empower more professionals with knowledge and tools that complement – not disrupt – daily operations, we will see seismic shifts in industry perception. CRE’s future is now: it is data-driven, customer-centric, and rapidly adapting to modern technology.
In our recent report on The New #CREcosystem, we asked a few of commercial real estate’s rising and influential voices about their thoughts on innovation as a tool to proactively address the challenges and opportunities surrounding an industry that is at the bedrock of our global economy.
How does your organization actively support a culture of innovation?
“Our culture is built around satisfying the client needs and if we don’t have a particular tool that is needed, there is a real spirit of teaming and that fuels innovation!”
“We are constantly working to identify and be on the front end of new technology that we feel is an enhancement to our platform and pivotal to the way the industry behaves in general.”
“The real estate group at UT Austin – McCombs is based on a culture of innovation, always looking for new angles through which to view commercial real estate assets and capital markets.”
Is there a technological innovation or tool that you originally discounted but now rely upon?
“I originally thought that Uber / Lyft was a bad idea because the idea of two strangers going for a ride seemed way too risky on a massive scale. Now, I can’t stop requesting the darn things. The ability to go anywhere for the price of pita chips and hummus is the first version of teleportation humanity has ever seen and continues to have huge potential. On-demand services like co-working and Lyft go hand-in-hand and will only improve productivity in urban centers all over the United States.”
“I would say email is a big one for me as a millennial. Up until I began working I mostly relied on texting/social media messaging as a means of communication. Now that I am working I can see the specific advantages of using email. However, I do expect something similar to texting to replace email in the future.”
“Yes, Twitter. When I first started to use it, I did not get it and nobody was using it, same with LinkedIn. I was using LinkedIn since 2004 so initially it was of no use. The more these tools became populated with #CRE people, the more the tools became useful.”
What technological advancements have you seen in other industries that you suspect will soon pervade CRE?
“Inbound marketing and SEO. You see it here and there in CRE, but there is a great untapped potential there.”
“Virtual Reality and mobility as a service related technologies.”
“Freeware, interactive data visualization for business analytics.”
Bold experimentation and stepwise innovation are fundamental to modern real estate development throughout the world. Businesses that foster innovation recognize failure as an invaluable prerequisite to success and a foundational element of growth. Failure indicates a hunger for continuous improvement and demonstrates that boundaries are being tested. We have the opportunity to come together as a diverse and infinitely resourceful community to proactively address the challenges and opportunities surrounding an industry that is at the bedrock of our global economy.
Ultimately, the question is not if, when, or which technologies will impact commercial real estate, but how are CRE’s emerging voices, market makers, and industry influencers using technology to shape the future of the industry and what can we do to support them?