How Is Technology Changing Commercial Real Estate?

Posted by Kris Lindahl on Friday, May 10th, 2019 at 11:26am.

How Technology is Impacting Commercial real Estate in Minneapolis and St. PaulCommercial real estate in Minneapolis/St. Paul has long been rooted in tradition. Even as technology popped up all over the country, the industry didn't rush toward it en masse. This is understandable, given that office workers and builders have a very different relationship with technology. The Twin Cities are starting to see more adaption of technology in the industry though, even if not everyone is moving at the same pace.

A variety of new tools are converging to smooth out the many wrinkles that pop up along the way of a project. From builders to developers to agents, investors may want to learn more about how new tools are changing the mindsets of those in the industry, and how these changes will affect future pricing and sales.

The Resistance

From construction companies to real estate agents, there's been a broad resistance to technology in the past across all commercial real estate. Construction company owners may not have wanted to test new devices for fear of endangering the safety of their buildings or the welfare of their workers. Real estate agents have built their business on relationships and resisted a disruption to a system that has served them so well for so long.

But the influence of technology across all sectors is undeniably beneficial for those who understand how it can be applied to their specialty. Despite the uneven adoption in the industry, we are starting to see a shift toward modern tools to manage commercial real estate. Like most technology, the new devices on the market promise to speed sales up, cut costs down, and make data easier to track.

The Future of Real Estate Agents

There's no end of communication tools in the digital age that promise to help professionals keep their clients and data straight. Real estate apps are designed to separate information, so agents can identify key information:

  • Owners of properties
  • Available listings
  • Client conversation history
  • Client preferences
  • Financial data

If a commercial real estate investor is only interested in investing in resort properties, apps allow real estate agents to quickly identify a shortlist of candidates. They can use the app to make it easier to communicate with clients at the right time, so no one's left in the dark.

These apps can also be integrated with Real Capital Markets, a nationwide platform that Minneapolis real estate agents can use to see a full list of aggregated properties (and their corresponding sales and marketing details). It all translates to fewer miscommunications between real estate agents and investors. New technology can help investors and real estate form stronger bonds, so sales can be finalized without the hassle.

The Future of Location Scouting

When it comes to scouting new locations for commercial real estate, developers are starting to use drones and 3D scanners to help them determine where to build. For example, the Twin Cities are seeing a spike right now in commercial real estate on properties close to the new light-rail project near the university. If a developer wanted to take advantage of this trend, they could use a drone to pinpoint a location that meets their needs.

A 3D scanner can give developers further data, such as the size of any impediments (e.g., brush, debris, etc.) on the land that could get in the way of their project. Developers spend a good deal of time on a project trying to find the best possible location for a new property. Whether it's a renovation or a brand-new building, pushback from investors can end up adding weeks onto the original construction deadline. New technology gives developers the chances to thoroughly evaluate multiple properties without having to visit and hand-measure the sites.

The Future of Green Technology

Green technology hasn't been seen in all commercial buildings, but it's certainly been popping up in more and more properties. One notable example is the Science Museum of Minnesota. This heat recovery system works by capturing any extra warmth produced by any of the museum's systems. From mechanical to electrical, the extra heat is captured and then used to heat the building during colder months. These systems can lower heating costs down about 65%, making a commercial property far more valuable to a buyer.

This green technology inclusion seems to be a part of a larger trend across the state. More developers are looking for ways to turn a movement into an economic gain. The more renewable resources there are, the more money everyone can save. In nearby St. Cloud, renewable energy is now responsible for 65% of public facility buildings. Commercial real estate owners

The growth of technology in commercial real estate is important to the Twin Cities and Dakota County in a much more concrete way too, in that technology companies still need commercial properties to house their workers. When a technology bubble bursts, a real estate market burst is not far behind. If Minneapolis continues to adopt more real estate technology, leaders may see more tech companies who want to set up shop in the Twin Cities.

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