Emerging Technologies in Commercial Real Estate


It’s no secret that emerging technologies are enhancing and transforming our everyday lives. Whether it be a Fitbit to track your daily steps and heart rate, or having the luxury to book a private driver from a mobile app, the advancement of technology since the turn of the century has changed nearly every aspect of our day-to-day lives.

In the world of commercial real estate, these technological advances have been increasing in popularity amongst progressive brokers looking to stay ahead in the game. For instance, the use of drones has redefined how landlords, brokers and developers capture images and videos of real estate. From capturing a property at different vantage points, to even counting the number of roof-mounted HVAC units, drones have redefined how industry professionals present assets and market to potential customers. Drones are not the only technology to enhance how business is done in the commercial real estate industry. The use of electronic signatures to execute documents and virtual reality tours are also becoming increasingly popular, amongst many other industry-related technologies.

At MSC Retail, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of emerging technologies and trends. As a young industry professional with a keen interest in modern technology, I came across a free tool offered by Google that allows any user to capture interactive 360 degree images and upload for public viewing via Google Maps. The best part about it is the price tag; it is drastically cheaper than purchasing a drone or virtual reality headset. In fact, it’s free for everyone and can be shot on both Apple and Android smartphones. All you need to do is download the Google Street View application, follow the instructions for taking a 360 degree picture and upload it through the app to the property address.

You may be wondering how 360 degree interactive imagery is beneficial to commercial real estate? Imagine this, a potential tenant or buyer wants to get inside a retail space but you are unable to be there in person due to a prior scheduling conflict. Rather than postponing a showing with an eager client and risk losing their interest, you can direct them to Google Maps where they can virtually step inside the retail space at their convenience thanks to your previous Google Street View upload. Of course, nothing beats face-to-face interaction, but for convenience sake in an industry as busy as commercial real estate, giving a potential tenant unlimited access to tour the interior of your listing from the comfort of their home is a great tool to have in your arsenal.

But MSC Retail doesn’t stop there. We recently rolled out a digital tour book that is displayed directly on a mobile tablet. We reinvented the cumbersome paper tour books with a progressive digital copy that is convenient, interactive and environmentally-friendly. This allows the user to effortlessly scroll through opportunities, take notes electronically, highlight key demographic statistics and save, print and forward the digital tour book directly from the tablet. We have not closed the door on traditional paper tour books, but we have received nothing but positive feedback from our clients regarding the digital versions.

Although it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with emerging technologies, taking advantage of those that elevate both your level of professional expertise and the customer experience are beneficial to a successful career in any industry. The hardworking MSC Retail team is continuously striving to raise the bar of what a full service brokerage firm can accomplish. Come find out what’s in store.