Over the past decade, rapid advances in technology have led to
numerous changes in the commercial real estate industry. From
Internet-based technologies to wireless networking to personal
computing and cell phone devices, technology has created a more
global, efficient and competitive marketplace.
Peter Pike, president of Greenbrae, California-based PikeNet, a
commercial real estate consulting firm, believes technology has
impacted the industry in three specific ways - all related to
information. The first simply being technology has allowed for
greater access to information. Secondly, he said technology has
allowed for dramatically increased speed of transmitting
information, and finally it has also allowed for wider-spread use of
In terms of the growing assortment of technology tools available
like Trio cell phones, wireless Internet and the various online
software packages available to the industry, Pike said these tools
have not changed the basic elements of commercial real estate, but
are rather a natural progression of earlier tools.
"I do not think the fundamental process of commercial real estate
has changed due to technology," Pike said. "Things like property
management software or contact management software are really just
an evolution of what we had before."
Oklahoma commercial brokers echoed Pike's comments, noting nearly
all of the new technological devices and software they currently use
is primarily related solely to obtaining and sending information at
Marc Weinmeister, president of CommercialOKC, is well-known in
the Oklahoma City market for his usage and knowledge of cutting-
edge technologies. Not only does Weinmeister utilize numerous online
Web sites and tools, he also has the capability to maintain a mobile
office with his wireless computer and global positioning system
technology. Since he focuses his brokerage on the retail market,
Weinmeister said GPS and mapping software allows him to keep live
electronic maps that showcase his clients' retail locations.
Furthermore, Weinmeister said technology has also been
instrumental in allowing him as a small, independent firm to have
nearly the same presence and competitive advantage many larger firms
have on the Internet.
"Technology allows me from using sites like the CCIM site to do
business the ability to market nationwide and internationally," he
added, "and I can do it efficiently.
Larger firms like Grubb & Ellis-Levy Beffort are using technology
to an even wider degree. Douglas Opp II, director of marketing and
technology for the firm, said one of the key pieces of technology
being used in its Oklahoma City office is wireless networking, which
allows for greater mobility of the company's brokers within the
"We have layers of wireless coverage," explained Opp. "We have an
open network containing wireless hotspots where if a client comes to
the office they can get online without compromising network
security. We have other wireless access points that are secured,
allowing for the brokers to have greater mobility in the office with
Additionally, Opp noted that many of the firm's brokers are using
mobile devices and software such as Windows Mobile 5.0, which allows
them to connect to their desktop and office network remotely from
their house or out in the field.
"You can have all of your information on the fly and this has
been instrumental in freeing up the brokers to spend more time on-
site with their clients," Opp said. …