The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been so widespread that they have also shifted many things in the commercial real estate sector. Based on an interview done by Institutional Real Estate, Inc. with Juniper Square’s CEO and co-founder Alex Robinson, it was noted that one of these changes in the industry’s high technology adoption.

According to Robinson, the pandemic had been quite significant in increasing technology adoption across almost every industry. This is because most, if not all, knowledge workers have adapted to doing business transactions virtually and working from home. This shift to remote work has affected the entire economy and has also shown a great impact on the commercial real estate industry.

Forecasts from Real Estate Professionals

Several Forbes Real Estate Council members also revealed their forecast last June of how things in the industry will progress due to the pandemic. Jorge Abreu of Elevate Commercial Investment Group pointed out that the current situation has driven property owners to turn towards online solutions a lot of its operations, including touring units and properties, submitting work orders or applications, and paying rent, among others. 

Paul Worcester from Simplify, for his part, underscored the rise of virtual leasing and self-touring systems as a normal progression in the industry. Meanwhile, Nathaniel Kunes of AppFolio, Inc. stated that communications would be improved between tenants and property management through technological use. 

Roofstock’s Gary Beasley said that we could expect to see many more technologies that will identify people who are possibly sick when they enter buildings. This, as Kristin Geenty of The Geenty Group, stressed how more and more landlords and developers would adopt property or building technology that will provide touchless elevators and HVAC systems that produce fresh air.

Even commercial real estate lending will jump on the bandwagon of implementing technological innovation, stated Noah Grayson of the South End Capital Corporation, as lenders will need to decrease overhead expenses, implement more fluid software for sales, and leave physical offices.

The Impact Brought on by the Use of Technology

In a different article released by the Forbes Tech Council, it was pointed out how the use of technology in commercial real estate is here to stay even after the pandemic is over. According to the council, one of the positive effects of the crisis is that many tech adopters who were late in the game were forced to be more proactive in using technology in their day-to-day operations.

Below are some of the other effects on the commercial real estate industry that are happening due to the use of technology:

Businesses Are Done More Effectively

Commercial real estate businesses have found out that they can increase the efficiency of their operations by using technology. A great example of this is the use of chatbots powered by artificial intelligence, which lessens human contact and the chance of spreading the coronavirus. This technology also ensures efficient operations and increases customer satisfaction.

Landlords have also been aided by the Internet of Things (IoT) through more effective data collection on how spaces are used. This technology, which controls lighting, air conditioning, heating, and ventilation, allows business owners to make more informed decisions that increase tenant experience and satisfaction. This, in turn, will ensure that their bottom line is protected despite the crisis.

Managing Businesses Remotely Are Done through Technological Solutions

The pandemic has caused many business operations to be done remotely, and commercial real estate is one of these. Such platforms as Slack and Zoom have become invaluable to business owners to connect with tenants and employees even from a distance.

Landlords have also adapted to showcasing properties differently since social or physical distancing became a necessity. They are doing this remotely through 3D technology, virtual reality, and video chat. Through making use of these tools, businesses are set up for development even during these uncertain times.

Cybersecurity Protection and Wi-Fi Capabilities Have Been Increased

The investment priorities of landlords have also changed because of the coronavirus. They are now investing in faster internet as people rely more on Wi-Fi to continue their schooling, do their jobs, or connect with loved ones. As the need for Wi-Fi increases, though, so do the cybersecurity concerns. This means that landlords would have to invest in cybersecurity if they want their tenants to be protected and stick around. Solutions in line with this move include restricted access to sensitive data, password improvements, and the use of WPA2 networks that are password protected.

PropTech Adoption Has Been Sped Up

The adoption and implementation of property technology or proptech have also been greatly affected by the pandemic. Although many businesses considered proptech a bonus to their operations in the past, it has become a necessity nowadays. Proptech can provide a lot of improvements in commercial real estate spaces. It can keep rooms healthier and cleaner, thus increasing people’s safety even in crowded settings. It is also able to determine which areas require cleaning and monitors hygiene ratings. This has become especially important as people try to go back to their offices. 

Although the adoption of proptech requires a huge chunk of investment, it is one of the moves that landlords are now implementing or thinking of doing to survive and endure the pandemic. The good thing about this is it guarantees a good return on investment. This is because commercial real estate properties using this technology attract more business owners or tenants.

A Future Governed by Technology

Even with the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, companies can stay and thrive in the commercial real estate industry if they adapt to the changes that are happening. Implementing the use of technology will ensure that benefits will not just be reaped as of the moment, but even after the coronavirus is long gone. Businesses will run efficiently, but they will also be able to provide better satisfaction among more tenants, thus scaling much more effectively.

For More Information, Contact:

John (Adam) Watson, CEO, CanCap Mortgage Group Inc. 

Email:   Tel: 416-452-5281