Technology has the potential to streamline our entire lives. Today’s tech can lend a hand in solving our problems, handling everything from day-to-day tasks or complex issues.
When such vast possibilities are available to us, society must decide when to draw the line. When does employing automation become too much? When does something become too easy?
This crossroads is where commercial real estate currently stands. Should the commercial real estate transaction process be made easier? As with any business, there are pros and cons to changing up the flow. This establishes a delicate balance for deciding where and how CRE employs technology in the transaction process.
Following the Convenience-Based Model
Our world is obsessed with all things easy and fast. Contemporary businesses are reconfiguring themselves to fit the newly established standards, and everything is about customization and immediacy.
We see it in healthcare as facilities adopt more comforting designs and move closer to their patients. Retail is adapting to the e-commerce module and rethinking the place of physical storefronts. Entertainment is becoming increasingly mobile and accessible. The list goes on and on.
Tech Replacing the Middle Man
Can you spot a common theme in contemporary optimization?
All of these strategies employ technology or software to get the goods straight to the consumer. Automation becomes the primary vehicle that companies use to make their services easier – and thus, more appealing.
How This Applies to Commercial Real Estate
So what would happen if commercial real estate followed this same path?
For starters, the entire process would likely become digital. From browsing the market to contacting your agent, the transaction would be conducted on the web. Although today’s CRE is extremely tech-heavy, this fully computerized system would be an entirely new ballgame.
There’s also the possibility of a CRE website platform that functioned like a mass retailer – just one with price points in the multimillion-dollar range.
This kind of one-stop-shop environment would nullify the roles of agents and brokers by simplifying the entire process. Everything would be automated and individualized through data analysis and algorithms. Employing AI servers can even act as ‘professional resources’ for answering questions in a real-time chatbox.
Benefits and Drawbacks
On one hand, making CRE easier would surely streamline the transaction process. Lengthy, complex, and hard-to-navigate are some common pain points associated with this business.
However, an easier commercial module takes away many valuable aspects of the industry. The business loses the element of expertise which provides a basis for competitive advantage. The perks of having professional connections would become a thing of the past. Specially-accessed deals and unlisted properties would no longer be available.
While these features do make the business complex, they’re also inherently human elements that may be the way you land your next best deal. While automation is always appreciated, it’s a fine line to walk.
What’s your take on this issue? For more CRE news, visit our blog.