Technology, Social Media, Co-Working and CRE

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Commercial real estate professionals love to talk about technology- though the industry has a reputation of being late adopters. Regardless, rapid advancements in technology are impacting corporate real estate in many ways. The tools used to serve clients, source off-market properties, how properties and professionals are marketed, how much office space used and how to find property owner details – to mention just a few.

Advancements in technology can help you be of more value to your clients, whether that means a more effective transaction, keeping them better informed or showing them how to create a more effective and profitable workplace.

Technology and Disruption in Commercial Real Estate


New CRE tech companies like Reonomy are giving us great new tools that bring new efficiency to the process of sourcing real estate leads and marketing and managing the process of transacting commercial real estate. However, this doesn’t mean that the fundamentals of CRE have changed.

CRE is complex and the importance of personal relationships is deeply ingrained. Disrupting CRE entirely will require changing consumer habits, but Reonomy and many other CRE tech tools build and create ease within commercial real estate business practices. Commercial real estate professionals should always be looking for better tools that help serve clients and corporations in a more effective and efficient way.

Social Media, Content Marketing and CRE


There is no question that today social media is a more widely accepted tool for commercial real estate brokerage professionals than it was five years ago. The medium should continue to gain more acceptance as a younger generation of brokers establish themselves in the industry. Social media and content marketing can be directly and indirectly responsible for  a significant amount of new business and commission income. However, for most seasoned brokers in the industry today, it never will because the value is not there. In order to be effective with social media you must be consistently creating and sharing interesting and valuable content. The usage of social media will become more and more valuable as Millennial clients become the majority.

Over the last couple of years, the biggest commercial real estate brands have embraced social media and content marketing. These firms have recognized that the commercial real estate media landscape has changed and understand the importance of a strong digital presence. Digital savvy Millennials are now the largest sector of the workforce and it won’t be long before they ascend to the c-suite, if they are not already there. Younger brokers moving up the ranks should be paying attention and think about who is going to be their clients over the next 20 years.

Corporate Real Estate and the Co-Working Model


Every year, more and more individuals are working less from their office and more in any place where they can get an internet connection, at home, in coffee shops or on the go. Technology is changing where and when we work and creating new workplace alternatives such as Co-Working operations.

The Co-Working trend is a fairly new one and first gained popularity in tech-centric markets, but are now popping up regularly in major cities nationwide. Wework, the provider of trendy office space to freelance workers and startups is now estimated to be worth $10 billion after its latest private funding round

Despite all the buss, a Co-Working space is essentially a real-estate company that earns a profit on the margin between what it pays in rent payments to the property owner and what it charges for rent to users/members. Didn’t we used to call these executive suites?

It isn’t unreasonable to question the long-term viability of this financial model, given the inherent slim profit margins of reletting office space. Economies of scale, efficiency and bargaining power with landlords might limit real success in this vertical to a few big players, and what is to prevent commercial property owners from moving into this business.

While Co-Working spaces certainly have a place as an alternative work environment for employees, the long term viability of these operations may very well depend on the extent corporates embrace this workplace option as a perk to employees.


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