A New Tech EraFOR TOO MANY YEARS COMMERCIAL REAL
estate was burdened by the trope that it did notembrace technology. There was some truth atone point albeit several years ago, but unfortunately CRE’s ant-tech reputation hung around alot longer than was warranted. For years now theindustry has not only been adopting and using technology in its operations butwe have also seen a healthy appetite on the part of venture capitalists to fundstartups aimed at commercial real estate.
All of this gives me hope that the industry is not in danger of falling victim to
another round of stereotyping. I can hear the critics asking, ‘sure, the industry
has embraced tech such as crowdfunding and CRM and mobile apps, but will it
stay there or move on to the next level?’
This issue, I would argue, offers a resounding ‘yes’ to that question. In many
ways CRE is nudging the envelope with advanced tech and while these efforts
might not be mainstream—yet—they are positive signals that the industry’s tech
revolution is still underway.
Consider artificial intelligence, the most advanced of cutting-edge technology.
It has made its way into CRE as we discuss in the article, CRE Meets ArtificialIntelligence, which you can find on page 12
Another article on page 16, From Disruption to Silver Linings, takes a lookat the rapid advancement certain tech tools have made in order to answer thedemands of COVID- 19. We can expect this acceleration to continue. “Prop Techcompanies are in a unique position to help shape the new normal of our post-COVID world,” Allison Xu, investor at Bain Capital Ventures, told us.
Our third article in this section, A New Push for Warehouse Automation, takesa look at how COVID- 19 is reshaping warehouse operations. The industrialindustry has remained a robust performer for CRE but there have undoubtedlybeen operational challenges poised by the virus. More investment in automation,many experts say, is the answer. You can find this article on page 20.
This issue also takes a look at our annual picks for industrial influencers. As isthe case with this series, we choose people based on their influence and inputin the industry exhibited in the past year.
We hope you enjoy the issue. Also, as the pandemic continues to rage on, wefervently hope all of our readers are taking precautions to stay safe.
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