If we all have anything in common, it’s that we don’t have enough time. Time is the most limited resource and technology has successfully changed how other industries work via powerful time management and collaborative platforms. You would think this would mean that technology has changed the way commercial real estate is bought, sold, and leased; after all, those in CRE are busier than others as they only eat what they kill. With so many time-consuming and potentially zero return tasks like prospecting or marketing, brokers may feel like no matter how much they work, they’re not doing enough. The only way to do enough is to streamline efforts.
Nevertheless, the CRE industry seems to still operate a few, or a dozen steps, behind and the leasing documentation process is no exception. There isn’t one reason to point blame to, though. A lack of trust, incredibly complicated processes, adherence to the status quo, and frustration with technology are all reasons why the transaction process hasn’t changed much since the advent of a collaborative shared doc. “A broker’s lack of desire to embrace technology mirrors the way we respond to just about everything when there isn’t an existential threat,” explained Dave Cairns, Senior Vice President CBRE. “In our day to day lives, we tend to like to maintain the status quo, but when the pandemic hit we were forced to respond swiftly, changing many of our behaviors overnight.”
The opportunity for the CRE leasing process to evolve and catch up via technology is here. The world will keep evolving and we have to be willing and able to change with it. Without change, opinions and expertise will become out of date and fail.