The Commercial Real Estate industry is currently undergoing rapid technological growth. Although the availability of apps, drones, and software solutions lends itself very well to the CRE industry, it can also lead to confusion.
If you’re struggling to keep up with the latest tech jargon and how they relate to CRE, you’re definitely not alone. But, better understanding the most common CRE tech language will help you stay ahead of the competition.
So, we put together a list of the nine tech buzzwords that matter the most for CRE:
- Application Programming Interface (API)
API makes it super easy for developers to use certain technologies in building applications. It sounds complicated, but it’s basically a set of commands that allow software programs to communicate with one another.
APIs can be used in multiple ways, though. It’s easier to understand APIs when you think about this example: when you send a calendar invite to a client and Google automatically pulls up the address on Google Maps, Google is using an API.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
When you think about AI, think about Siri or self-driving cars. AI is creating computers to perform actions in a human-like way. So, these computers will have characteristics, like visual perception, decision-making, and human speech recognition.
For CRE-specific AI, the biggest shifts will come through data analysis. Software that can pore over giant data sets quickly and pull out the relevant information will free up a significant amount of time in your day and give you information that is updated within the last few minutes, not last few weeks.
- Augmented Reality (AR)
AR allows the user to experience and interact with an enhanced real-world environment through their smartphone or wearable technologies. It’s an offshoot of Virtual Reality and has been considered ‘what’s next’ in tech for years.
AR is used in CRE as a way to allow owner’s Reps to help potential tenants visualize what the space could look like. There are a lot of members of the construction industry as well that are excited for the ability to overlay plans (such as electrical and plumbing) and make it easier for workers to build to the exact specifications in the plan.
Automation is extremely common, and you probably see automation at work all the time. For example, if you subscribe to receive a company’s emails and you automatically get an email welcoming you, that’s a simple form of automation. The company programmed their email service to send the email as soon as it was triggered by a new sign up.
Automation, in CRE, allows professionals to make a greater impact on their goals with less work and less time. Setting up an automated system to promote your listings in multiple places online (that would otherwise have to be done manually) allows CRE professionals to provide better service to their clients.
- Big Data
The amount of data that’s available today can be completely overwhelming. Big Data is simply the accumulation of all of that data.
In CRE, there are myriad uses for big data. We can look at traffic patterns and where your employees live to determine the best location for your next office. Or we can compare all the listings and see what amenities are really driving up the price per square foot. Today’s searchable platforms allow those in the CRE industry to break off manageable chunks of data to analyze and use.
- Business Intelligence
There’s so much information out there about business trends, but how do these professionals gather this information? Business intelligence refers to the tools, data, and processes that allow these professionals to find that information. Instead of guessing, business intelligence allows professionals to make a data-based conclusion.
- Interactive Dashboard
An interactive dashboard is similar to a static dashboard in that it allows you to visualize and analyze the relevant information you provide it. But, an interactive dashboard also allows you to manipulate and modify this information so that it only shows you the data you deem relevant at any given time.
- Machine Learning
Machine learning is a branch of AI, referring to when computers are programmed to teach themselves through data analysis without having to be programmed by a human. An easy to understand example of machine learning is when your phone learns your habits and starts to correctly fix a word that you often misspell.
- Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics creates the opportunity to make an informed estimation of the data for the future. Predictive analytics takes current and past datasets and makes decisions based on the trends and patterns. Brokerages and landlords need to understand how to leverage predictive analytics to edge out their competition.
Although the CRE is constantly evolving and new buzzwords pop up, it can sometimes be hard to keep up with all of the tech jargon. Hopefully, we’ve added some clarity about these terms as well as the sophisticated future of the industry.