By Robert Reiss
It’s no secret that many industries have experienced disruption from technological innovation, from Uber’s effects on the taxi industry to Amazon’s impact on the retail sector. Yet, the commercial real estate industry has been slower to embrace the shift. I decided to look at three companies that are revolutionizing the commercial real estate industry through technology. I asked each CEO about their experience as an innovator in the space and what they predict will be next.
The CEOs are:
• Zac Rosenberg, founder and CEO of TapCap – A digital-driven nationwide multifamily lending company.
• Rich Sarkis, CEO of Reonomy – A commercial real estate data company.
• Guy Zipori, co-founder and CEO of Skyline AI – An artificial intelligence asset manager for commercial real estate.
Robert Reiss: What was the flaw in the industry that your company is working toward correcting?
Zac Rosenberg: Too many assumptions. Historically real estate investors and lenders had limited amounts of information to work with, so the industry designed “rules of thumb” to offset this. These models were “good enough,” most of the time. Today, information is plentiful. The flaw in the industry is that it still hasn’t figured out how to capitalize on the increased availability of data to replace assumption-based modeling with data-driven reasoning.
Rich Sarkis: Despite being one of the world’s largest asset classes, information and insights on commercial real estate have never been easily accessible. This is due to the disparate, fragmented nature of how data in this industry is recorded, and the inherent difficulty in connecting that information at scale.
Guy Zipori: The main flaw I’ve seen is that real estate investors have been depending on the limited reach of humans to find the best opportunities throughout the entire course of the real estate investing cycle. In 2017 at a real estate conference I asked a speaker from a major asset management firm what technology they were using. He answered, “a tremendous amount,” and when I pressed him, he explained that they had computers and Excel spreadsheets. This is the moment that I realized the commercial real estate industry needed a tech overhaul.