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Navigating the Age of Acceleration in CRE Tech highlights From Realcomm Ibcon 2018

Leaders in technology and commercial real estate converged at Realcomm | IBcon 2018 on June 6-7, 2018, to discuss how they are navigating the age of acceleration in CRE tech. The conference, celebrating its 20th anniversary, discussed the ways tech will help modernize real estate.

Our team welcomed attendees to the expo hall throughout Realcomm | IBCon and joined a number of sessions. Here is the team’s take on major trends in the CRE tech industry.

1. Collaboration is key

Technology in the commercial real estate industry is nothing new; what is new is the willingness of tech companies to collaborate for the betterment of all. Realcomm Founder and CEO, Jim Young, said in a post-conference interview, “The digital transformation – or whatever buzzword you want to throw on it – is real, big, and confusing.” And that’s why there are groups like Realcomm where people come together to tackle these challenges.

Both technology providers and real estate groups are working together to advance innovation and mitigate risk. There’s been a tangible community approach to this, and the results of mutually beneficial collaboration are visible throughout the conference. You can see it through integrations, strategic partnerships, and new joint ventures.

2. It’s all about experience and engagement

Tenant engagement will always be a top priority for landlords. Now, there are even more ways that landlords can engage with their tenants. Think about it – everyone has a mini-computer with them at all times. We all use our phones on the way to the office: maybe we call a Lyft, check the train schedule, find the route with the least traffic, or listen to a podcast on the commute. Why does that interactive experience end when we arrive at a building?

One of our favorite sessions, “High Performance Digital Amenities – Tenant/Guest Engagement and Experience Platforms”, with Jim Whalen from Boston Properties, Mark Hansen from DEXUS, Damien Laigre from Capgemini, Sundar Nagarajan from JLL, Clint Osteen from Granite Properties, and Ilan Zachar from Carr Properties, focused on listening to what your customers – in this case, the tenants – want. Hospitality is a common theme here, comparing the building owners/operators to tenant relationship like that of a restaurant owner to a diner or a hotel manager to a guest. The points were clear – measure what is a priority for the tenants’ experience, don’t be afraid to take some risks, and remember that, for technology to be fully adopted, it needs to serve a purpose.

3. Tech buzzwords aren’t just buzz

The danger of a tech-centric conference is that none of the buzz is actually real. Realcomm | IBCon avoids this pitfall by showcasing the technologies that are having a legitimate impact on the real estate industry.

At the Measurabl booth, we fielded a ton of integration questions: how we push and pull data from our partners, what data our customers actually use, how we determine who we work with. Many of our data partners also attended the conference, and undoubtedly they received the same questions. Integrations through APIs are a great way for technology providers to create a seamless flow of information that improves the user’s experience.

Other “buzzwords” that we heard throughout the conference are becoming tangible: the “disruption” of CRE with autonomous vehicles (attendees could have utilized Lyft’s pilot autonomous vehicles feature to get to the conference center!), blockchain as a digital ledger, IoT and how to utilize “big data” in this industry.

We’re heading to a few more conferences this month: MIPIM Proptech in Paris, BOMA in San Antonio, Green Sports Alliance Summit in Atlanta, and San Diego Startup Week in San Diego. Meet us there! Our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook will be updated with the latest.