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Investor's Guide: The Impact of Technology on Commercial Real Estate

Litan Yahav
Litan Yahav
August 8th, 2023
Cityscape with digital symbols representing technology in commercial real estate

Investing in commercial real estate has long been considered a cornerstone of a robust and diverse portfolio. Yet, like every other sector, the real estate market is being profoundly reshaped by technological innovation. With emerging digital tools, platforms, and data analytics capabilities, the traditional approaches to commercial real estate investment are evolving, creating new opportunities and challenges for investors.

As we survey the landscape in 2023, a pivotal time in our global economic recovery, the trends are evolving across the different asset classes within commercial real estate. A recent midyear outlook by J.P. Morgan illustrates a split scenario, between high-demand and low-demand sectors and between core and non-core markets. As multifamily and industrial sectors flourish, the office and retail sectors face challenging disruptions and transformation in the aftermath of the pandemic.

While macroeconomic factors such as market disruptions, interest rates, and inflation undoubtedly influence the landscape, the transformative impact of technology is carving its own path, shaping the dynamics and offering fresh avenues. Technology introduces innovative solutions that are reshaping the terrain of investing in the commercial real estate sector.

In this guide, we'll navigate these developments, helping you, the investor, to leverage technology effectively in this new commercial real estate landscape. We'll explore how technology is refining the process of discovering, evaluating, and managing investments, and opening up accessible passive investing opportunities. We'll also look at how platforms like Vyzer can help you stay ahead of the curve in this dynamic marketplace. After all, equipping yourself with the right resources is key to successful investing.

Cityscape and digital interface symbolizing technology's influence on real estate investing

The technological revolution in commercial real estate

Today, technology is significantly altering the way we conduct business, manage finances, and even invest. The commercial real estate market is no exception to this wave of change. From machine learning algorithms predicting market trends to blockchain facilitating seamless transactions, the technological revolution is here, and it's altering the investment landscape dramatically.

Let's delve into how these technological advancements are redefining traditional processes within commercial real estate.

Market Discovery and Evaluation: Ai The Efficiency Booster:

In today's digital age, data is the new gold, and this couldn't be truer for the commercial real estate (CRE) sector. In the past, discovering viable commercial real estate opportunities often required a network of industry connections and insider knowledge. It was time-consuming and potentially biased. Now, digital platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) are democratizing market discovery. AI-powered platforms sift through vast amounts of data, identifying and evaluating potential investments with a speed and precision human investors could never achieve alone, revealing patterns, correlations, and trends that can be used to inform strategic decisions. This technology also improves accessibility, opening up commercial real estate investing to a wider pool of investors.

Efficient Transaction Processes:

Technology is simplifying the often complex and lengthy transaction processes associated with commercial real estate. Blockchain, for instance, is increasingly used to conduct secure, transparent transactions quickly and efficiently. Additionally, smart contracts eliminate the need for intermediaries, reduce paperwork, and ensure accurate, timely completion of contractual obligations.

Portfolio Management and Analytics:

Managing a portfolio of diverse real estate assets can be complex and challenging. However, technology offers a solution. With advanced data analytics and dashboard tools, investors can monitor their portfolio in real-time, gaining a clear, comprehensive overview of their investments' current and historical performance. By analyzing historical data and market trends, investors can identify potential risks and make informed decisions to mitigate them.

As we navigate through these changes, it's essential for investors to understand and embrace these technological advancements. The intelligent use of these modern tools and insights can help investors adapt to this evolving environment with confidence, and more importantly, utilize these changes to achieve success.

How Technology is Shaping the Future of CRE:

The evolution of technology is set to dramatically impact the future of commercial real estate (CRE). We're moving towards a tech-centric model where various facets of the industry, from property discovery to increasing operational efficiency and investment management, will experience a digital transformation.

The Emergence of PropTech:

One of the major game-changers for CRE is the emergence of PropTech – a term that encapsulates the wave of startups offering innovative technological solutions specifically tailored for the property market. PropTech covers a broad spectrum of applications, including big data analytics, virtual reality, blockchain, and IoT. These technologies streamline operations, improve efficiency, and enhance the overall experience for all stakeholders involved.

Smart Buildings: A Glimpse into the Future:

A perfect example of the future is smart buildings. These structures are integrated with advanced technology systems for automation, control, and optimization of building operations. They're able to autonomously manage energy consumption, control HVAC systems, and even monitor building health, resulting in significant operational cost savings, enhanced tenant satisfaction, and improved sustainability.

Investment in these future-focused assets could be a game-changer. Investors who seize these opportunities can reap the rewards of increased efficiency, potential rent premiums and enhanced property value in the long run, making smart buildings a promising addition to a forward-thinking investment portfolio.

Digital Twins: Simulating Realities:

Another fascinating advancement is the concept of digital twins. This technology involves creating a digital replica of a physical building. This pairing of the virtual and physical worlds allows analysis of data and monitoring of systems to head off problems before they even occur, prevent downtime, develop new opportunities and even plan for the future by using simulations.

In the context of CRE, a digital twin is a dynamic, virtual representation of a building, or a portfolio of buildings, and the interactions occurring within it. By collecting data from various sources including IoT sensors, software systems, and external databases, a digital twin can reflect the real-time status, working condition, or position of a building. Such technology can be leveraged to simulate various scenarios, including changes in market conditions, tenancy issues, or maintenance requirements.

Working with funds or syndications that implement this technology, or using it yourself, can improve risk management, maximize efficiency, and improve investment returns.

Blockchain: More Than Just Transactions:

Finally, we can't overlook the potential of blockchain technology in CRE. Blockchain can democratize ownership by tokenizing assets, significantly reducing initial investment thresholds and broadening access to a wider pool of investors. Simultaneously, blockchain can streamline property transactions, bypassing traditional intermediaries such as brokers, lawyers, and banks, and enabling faster, cost-effective peer-to-peer transactions. Furthermore, blockchain can enhance security and efficiency in property exchanges, creating immutable, verifiable records for titles, deeds, and other documents. This technology's potential to reduce fraud, errors, and disputes fosters trust and transparency in the real estate market.

As we venture into this new era, it's clear that the future of CRE will be shaped by those who are willing to embrace these technological advancements and adapt to the changing landscape. For investors, this means staying informed about the latest trends and being open to new methods of investing.

Opportunities for Real Estate Investors

3d building over Laptop with Project Blueprint representing new opportunities in real estate investing

Technology opens up new opportunities for real estate investors

With the ongoing digital transformation in the CRE market, investors have a plethora of opportunities at their fingertips. Tech-enabled property discovery, due diligence, transaction processes, and property management are creating more efficient and accessible paths to investment. Here's how:

Democratization of Commercial Real Estate Investing

Through technology, the world of commercial real estate investing has become more democratic. Digital platforms now offer fractional ownership opportunities, allowing individual investors to gain exposure to high-value commercial properties that were previously only accessible to institutional investors.

Embracing Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

The advent of VR and AR technology is revolutionizing the way investors explore potential investments. Virtual tours, for instance, allow investors to examine properties remotely and make informed decisions without the need for physical visits. In the multifamily sector, these technologies are not only enhancing the marketing experience but are also streamlining property management and improving tenant satisfaction.

Remote Investing:

Technological advancements have removed geographical boundaries, enabling investors to diversify their portfolios far beyond their local markets. It is now possible to identify, analyze, acquire, and manage properties in different cities or even countries, all from the comfort of your own home.

Data-Driven Investments

With data and analytics, investors can make more informed decisions. Tools that aggregate real estate data, analyze market trends, and provide actionable insights are proving invaluable in identifying promising investment opportunities.

Remember, it's not about completely replacing traditional investment methods, but rather enhancing them with technology to make smarter, faster, and more efficient investment decisions. Platforms like Vyzer are instrumental in this process, providing intuitive and robust solutions to simplify the complex, evolving world of real estate investment.

Vyzer: Pioneering Change in Investment Management

Screenshot of the Vyzer platform with various features displayed, representing digital wealth management

A comprehensive digital wealth management platform

As passive investors begin to leverage these tech advancements in commercial real estate, companies like Vyzer are emerging to simplify the management of complex investment strategies. By automating and streamlining complex investment processes, investors can benefit from passive management without sacrificing control or returns.

One-Stop Solution for Diverse Investments

Handling a diversified portfolio, especially one that includes alternative assets such as real estate and private equity, can be daunting. Vyzer addresses this by offering an all-in-one platform that refines your investment management. With Vyzer, you can integrate all your investment accounts, analyze financial documents, track transactions, and optimize passive investments. It presents a transparent, holistic view of all your holdings within a single, intuitive dashboard.

Data-Driven Wealth Management

Vyzer not only consolidates your investments but also leverages data to guide your wealth growth. Its automated performance tracking system accurately monitors the performance of your investments in real time and provides regular insightful reports.It also offers advanced financial planning tools, data-driven projections, peer benchmarking and a sophisticated alert system keeps you informed about upcoming capital calls or significant changes in your financial status. This comprehensive approach provides you with the resources to make informed decisions and effectively manage your financial life.

In this dynamic and evolving commercial real estate market, Vyzer is not just a platform; it's a partner that empowers investors to adapt, make informed decisions, and maximize their wealth growth.

Conclusion: Leveraging Technology for Success in Commercial Real Estate Investing

The landscape of commercial real estate is being fundamentally reshaped by technology. Big data, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and the Internet of Things are not just buzzwords; they are powerful forces driving change and creating new opportunities in the sector.

Big data is transforming the way we understand markets and make investment decisions. Artificial intelligence is streamlining operations and providing predictive insights that were previously out of reach. Virtual and augmented reality are redefining the way we experience and interact with properties, while the Internet of Things is making buildings smarter and more efficient.

As an investor, these technologies offer a wealth of opportunities. They can provide a competitive advantage, enhance operational efficiency, and open up new avenues for growth. Yet, amidst this wave of innovation, it's essential to understand that technology isn't replacing the fundamentals of good investment—it's enhancing them.

The future of commercial real estate will be shaped by those who can effectively leverage these technologies while maintaining a firm grasp on market fundamentals. By integrating these technologies into your strategy, you can overcome the complexities of the modern real estate investing landscape and position yourself for success in the years to come.