How technology is disrupting CRE, in a good way

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Last week, JLL spent five hours live broadcasting from DisruptCRE in NYC. If you missed the broadcast, you can check it out here. The biggest takeaway? Technology is disrupting commercial real estate, in a good way, and it cannot be ignored.

JLL's Pushpa Gowda, EVP Global Technology Presence, and Ben Breslau, Americas Research Director, during the live DisruptCRE broadcast.

JLL’s Pushpa Gowda, EVP Global Technology Presence, and Ben Breslau, Americas Research Director, during the live DisruptCRE broadcast.

From virtual reality, to drones, and everything in between, technology is making it better, easier, and just cooler to view existing, under construction, and even yet-to-be-built commercial spaces.

Imagine being able to stand on the site of your future office space and visualize what your office would look like and what your views would be. Or, imagine being able to go on an office tour for your company’s next office in Los Angeles from the comfort of your current desk in Boston. Guess what? With today’s technologies, that is all now possible.

Matterport calls itself “immersive 3D for the real world.” Their 360 degree camera allows you to see all angles of an office without having to be in the physical space. Check out a few examples of this at JLL-leased properties including 10 Post Office Square and One Beacon in Downtown Boston.

Dronebase is one-stop-shop for drone video. They shoot it, handle permitting, and understand various FAA and other regulations. That said, it can still be challenging to use drones in Downtown Boston given proximity to Logan Airport, abundance of high office towers, and overall density. In more open areas of the city, and especially in the suburbs, however, these same challenges don’t exist. Working in partnership with other companies like Studio 216 and Tangram 3DS, these drone videos can be overlaid with nearby amenities and more to provide a full overhead perspective on a property and its surrounding area. Check out a few examples at JLL-leased properties including 4 Burlington Woods in Burlington and Xchange at Bedford.

Example of Dronebase video of 4 Burlington Woods.

Example of Dronebase video of 4 Burlington Woods.

Virtual Reality renderings are another technology changing the game in the CRE industry. Using Google Cardboard, VR renderings afford you the ability to look around a virtual space, which is great for any type of office remodel or redesign, and best for cases when the building isn’t yet built. Check out an example of this for iSQ, a yet-to-be-built cutting edge R&D development in the Seaport.

Example of VR rendering of iSQ.

Example of VR rendering of iSQ.

Obviously, with technology comes associated costs, and sometimes these options, while well worth the spend, aren’t cheap. Matterport is among the lower cost of the aforementioned options, though some of the others can range up $20,000. Weighing the benefits of these costs is important, as oftentimes, especially in the case of buildings that haven’t yet been built, these technologies provide an invaluable experience for potential tenants.

The reason the word “disruption,” which has a negative connotation, is used when talking about real estate technologies is because to many it does seem like a disturbance of what they’ve been used to for so many years. However, if you can conquer any potential skepticism or resistance about these technologies, you would quickly realize how significantly and positively they are changing the game in CRE.

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