This year, we've done our fair share of traveling around the country to various conferences and events, telling attendees all about the importance of tenant experience software in commercial real estate. One constant conference for us was CREtech – we followed Michael Beckerman and his team around, from Boston, to Chicago, to LA, to San Francisco, and just last week, to New York City. We enjoyed a years worth of content and panels, shook a bunch of hands, and witnessed the increase of tech momentum in commercial real estate with each event.
In addition to all that, we also received special recognition at CREtech's Venture Conference in NYC this past week. We're appreciative, proud, and humbled to win first place in CREtech's Real Estate Technology Awards (RETAs) in the CRE operations category. Thank you to the judges and congratulations to all of the other winners!
As I mentioned, we learned a lot, too – some of these takeaways are consistent with the content from other CREtech conferences this year, and some are completely new.
As always, the excitement is tangible at CREtech – in fact, there is a buzz and energy at any gathering of professionals involved in the intersection of CRE and technology. This is in part because everything is still so new so there is excitement about the possibility for success on both sides of the table – emerging tech startups that are eager to apply their solutions to real world challenges, and CRE professionals who are eager to make an impact on their real estate business with technology.
There is also still a good amount of uncertainty as we are in such early innings and have quite a bit of maturing to do. Kurt Ramirez of Nine Four Ventures did a great job of capturing that feeling in his recap of last week's event.
We've written takeaways from other CREtech events and industry conferences that summarize a lot of the similar content from NYC last week. So much was covered, from landlords opting to partner with tech companies instead of wasting time or money buying or building their own tech, to tenant-facing technology front and center, and VC money pouring into the space.
The one new takeaway from the event that caught my attention was in response to an impending economic downturn, of which a few moderators asked their panelists for reactions, predictions, etc. Most importantly, everyone wants to know how will it affect future tech investments and implementation?
Short answer from most panelists: it shouldn't. If CRE technology provides time and cost savings to make CRE more operationally efficient but also helps landlords create new revenue streams, it becomes invaluable especially during a downturn. We recently covered how tenant experience (TeX) software is a revenue enhancement platform (and how to create a new line item for it) in our latest eBook: How to Budget for Tenant Experience in Commercial Real Estate.
Betsy Kim of GlobeSt. wrote about this particular takeaway, but a specific point made by Ryan Salvas of EQ Office stood out to me: "Due to the unique role of real estate and investments in the economy, tech investments could provide marketplace data, such as where people are going, where they are buying houses, which markets will be the next millennial magnet. These tech investments could be what helps drive companies through an economic downturn." We couldn't agree more.
2018, it's been a wild ride and being in the front row for these conferences has been a great way to capture the excitement, understand the state of tech in CRE, and prepare for all that's to come in this industry. We can't wait to see what 2019 has in store. More on that later...
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