Over the last two decades, technology has mainstreamed the process of previewing on-market deals for commercial real estate. Before this transformation, finding your next acquisition was limited to building relationships with associate brokers or calling companies that were marketing properties for sale.
Then, in 1987, a revolutionary new software for commercial real estate hit the market. Andrew Florence from Princeton University created Costar. This software became the number one resource for successful real estate brokers, firms, and investors nationwide. In later years, competitors identified opportunities within the market and created Loopnet, a similar service providing a more affordable option to the everyday individual interested in real estate investing.
Over the years more and more commercial property platforms have been introduced, targeting different audiences and creating competition within the real estate market. By 2010, using these online platforms became the norm, hosting information related to commercial real estate properties for sale and lease worldwide – and today, their many useful applications for the industry have become a game-changer for any commercial real estate company that’s ready to profit.
Benefits of Commercial Real Estate Technology
Like many other industries, technology has created a high level of transparency in the world of real estate. For brokers, agents, and investors, this technological revolution has created a multitude of benefits for all parties involved.
- Easy Access to Inventory: First and foremost, these online platforms have created a simple way for parties to preview current commercial property inventory. Through various sites, each specializing in their own sector, investment properties are marketed and potential buyers are provided details related to the deal. No longer are brokers or investors wasting time on deals that don’t match their criteria – now, they can spend their time negotiating for the perfect deal.
- Increased Number of Potential Buyers: Just as these platforms provide easy access to inventory, they also attract more buyers into the deals. Before the introduction of CRE tech, buyers were limited to those who found the deal by contacting brokers or physically driving by a deal – today, individuals worldwide can access properties in any market of their choice from the palm of their hand.
- Sets Expectations for Investors Budget: The transparency of these online platforms has provided an opportunity for real estate investors to understand what quality assets they can accrue with their budget. They can identify using the filters on these sites whether their criteria is accessible, or whether they have to negotiate their benchmarks. This benefits brokers as well – they can now provide investors with hard data that outlines where they can set their expectations.
- Access to Transaction History: Some investment properties have a long history of transactions, sometimes due to the challenges that property hosts. It could be an apartment building that has poor tenants or a retail property with high rates of vandalism – whatever the issue, many of these problems are not directly reported during the time of a sale. Therefore, if a potential buyer identifies multiple transactions over the years, they may be inclined to complete more detailed due diligence. However, this type of history is not available on any free service and is limited to those that must be purchased.
- Provides Leverage for Negotiation: All of these benefits combined provide leverage for any buyer when they are acquiring a new asset. They can use on-market properties or an asset’s history as a way to reduce the asking price. On the contrary, the property owner of a strong asset can use these tools to create competition for their property. However, both scenarios introduce a transparent process.
Where to Start Looking?
If you are interested in pursuing available deals, here is an extensive list of sites to start your search:
How to Get Help…
For anyone new to the industry or for those who do not have an excess of time, this list can appear overwhelming. Each source provides an array of services, filter options and more. No platform is the same and some platforms even require the user to purchase the data. As an investor, this can be a frustrating factor in finding your next real estate asset, which is why using a CRE professional to sift through potential deals that fit your investment strategy can be beneficial. WindWater Real Estate can help you with just that – we can investigate potential deals and get you into the one that is right for you.