By Alec Pacella, CCIM
Managing Partner at NAI Daus
A few months ago while attending a conference in Austin, Texas, I had my first experience with Uber. Although I certainly knew about this service, I never had the occasion to give it a try. But on this particular evening, several of my conference colleagues had consumed enough rubber chicken dinners and decided we should head out on the town – a perfect opportunity to give Uber a try.
For any of those who have never used this service, I would highly recommend it. The driver was there within minutes, the car was new and clean and the entire process was painless. Oh – and it cost a whopping $3.75.
Uber is a great example of how technology has turned the personal transportation industry upside down. Traditional competitors such as taxi and limousine companies are scrambling to figure out how to deal with the disruption that Uber has created.
But the personal transportation industry isn’t alone in facing major disruptions thanks to technology. Virtually any industry you can think of has been forced to adapt. Banking, retail, newspapers and music/entertainment all look drastically different today as compared to just five or 10 years ago. Certain segments of the real estate industry have also been impacted. Companies such as Zillow and Trulia have opened the door for consumers to search for homes and research prices, while Quicken Loans has become a dominant online home lender. The commercial real estate segment has not been under as much siege as the residential segment. But I think that could change in the near feature. To find out some of the potential catalysts for disruption, read on.
Information is a pivotal component in the world of commercial real estate. Tenants and buyers alike need to know what properties are available, commonly known as listings. And they need to understand the sale price or lease rate for similar properties, commonly known as comparables. Traditionally, real estate brokers have possessed much of this information but this is ripe for change. Several states have well-developed commercial multiple listing systems (MLS), including nearby Michigan. These are free for the public to access and search listings. (Michigan’s MLS contains nearly 14,000 commercial listings, for instance.) But there is no free system on a nationwide basis and if you are in Ohio, there is also no statewide MLS that focuses on commercial real estate. There are a few national data vendors that are active here, including Co-Star and Xceligent. And while their listing data is very good, both companies only offer certain information to the public for free, instead focusing on paid subscriptions. Several tech companies have attempted to fill this void, including 42Floors and Hubble. However, to date, all have met with limited success, especially when focusing on commercial space that is available only for lease. Click here to read entire article.