Resource preview: a brief history of CRE technology

May 17, 2017

It’s commonly believed that commercial real estate is an industry against change, especially when it comes to tech adoption. But that’s not true. New technology developed for CRE has changed the game over the years. Let’s take a look back.


The first major CRE technology breakthrough was CoStar.

Before CoStar introduced data compilation technology, brokers were measuring and collecting data on their own niche market by themselves. It was very time consuming and caused a great deal of waste. A broker’s time is best spent closing deals, not collecting data. Fortunately, CoStar recognized this problem and endeavored to solve it.

In 1987, CoStar began compiling and selling CRE data, and they remain a staple at most brokerages. To this day, when you want to know who the owner of a building is or when a lease is ending, you look to CoStar.

The web

The next major development in CRE tech was the advent and widespread adoption of the internet.

The internet created a digital marketplace where brokers could share their listings with buyers and investors faster than ever before through websites and emails, and it completely revolutionized the way CRE deals get done.

Since then, building on the utility of the web, other technological developments like the cloud and Web 2.0 have opened up possibilities for integration and on-the-go application access for CRE professionals. This has also allowed a wide variety of useful CRE tech tools to emerge.

CRE tech

Now, CRE technology development is happening faster than ever. New tools are being developed to help brokerages grow and make money. Buildout, which saves brokerages 35+ hours a week in their marketing departments, is a perfect example.

And as new applications are developed for CRE, they’re being created with true integration in mind. Now, CRE data can be shared seamlessly across platforms, opening doors to new technological possibilities.

The CRE industry is poised for a tech transformation in a way it has never been before. To learn more about what the future has in store for CRE technology, check out our resource: “The past, present and future of CRE technology.

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