Earlier this summer, a number of Waypoint staff attended CRE // Tech’s fourth annual Intersect Symposium Conference. CRE // Tech is a grassroots community-driven effort that develops and hosts events at the intersection of commercial real estate (CRE) and technology across the country. Each event and report is developed by a small group of passionate individuals, and the productions are supported by industry leading firms. This event in particular, The Intersection, is the CRE industry's leading symposium on emerging and innovative technologies – which, for a market lagging on IT spend, is a very forward-thinking and pioneering area to cover.
Since the economic crash in 2008, we have all seen the dramatic increase in CRE market growth both in size and value. As of 2013, real estate comprised 8.8% of all institutional investments, up 3.2% from 5.6% from 2010, taking its place as the 4th largest asset class. Further, REIT industry growth increased from $150 billion after 2008 crash to around $800 billion in 2014. It’s a strong force to be reckoned with: real estate and leasing comprised 13.6% of US GDP in 2015 ($2.36 trillion) with 1.1% ($0.20 trillion) coming from rental and leasing.
Despite that growth, when comparing various industries IT spend as a percent of revenue, an Atlus Group report found that CRE is at 3.0%, far behind the Public Sector at 6.2%, Financial Services at 5.7%, Infrastructure at 5.2%, and Manufacturing and Resources at 4.3%. The same report found that globally, the CRE market spends $59.3 billion on Automation Systems, $6.3 billion on Smart Building Technology, and only $1.2 billion on IT Software Systems.
By aggregating many of the industry’s leading and most innovative CRE tech companies and thought leaders together at a single venue, the CRE // Tech’s Intersect Symposium Conference aimed to further the dialogue of how the tech industry can and will drive a significant impact on the CRE market. Leading tech companies such as VTS, Hightower, Real Capital Markets, and Waypoint Building Group were in attendance for the panel hosted by Anish Metha the vice president (VP) of corporate development at CBRE, Mike Hart the VP of research data management & technology operations at JLL, and Eric Levy the senior VP of strategy and M&W at DMGI.
As the CRE market begins to catch up to the various other industries in regards to technology investments, Waypoint expects a revolutionary improvement in financial decision making and market reporting within the industry. In witnessing how the tech companies have influenced various other markets, Waypoint is leading the charge for the CRE industry with an innovative financial benchmarking platform for CRE asset managers.