Historically, commercial real estate has been a field that’s a little slower to change. It’s a field that requires industry professionals to build connections and hold negotiations. But in today’s market, smart technology has become more than helpful – it’s become an asset. Even Baby Boomers who’ve stuck to their briefcases and Rolodexes are making the switch over to cloud technology and smart devices to help them improve their work performance.

If you’re an agent, broker, or investor working in CRE and you’ve not embraced the digital revolution yet, you’re running the risk of getting left behind. Here’s why:

1. Smart buildings are a thing.

You read that right – buildings have gone high tech. The introduction of smart building technology is going to revolutionize the way that retail, office, and industrial properties are run. Instead of being managed by an onsite control room, smart buildings can be monitored and controlled over the internet thanks to cloud technology. This means that managers and building owners can control everything from electricity, HVAC, and security with the help of the internet.

As for the main benefit of smart buildings, they help property owners utilize their energy usage more efficiently by detecting when people are in the room. And considering that buildings account for roughly 30% of the world’s energy usage, cutting back on utilities is a great step towards going green and being cost effective.

2. Blockchain is being integrated into real estate.

Just a short year ago, blockchain and cryptocurrency were terms that meant very little to people outside of technology or investing. These days, the crypto disruption has begun to infiltrate all areas of society, including real estate. Thanks to built-in smart contracts associated with blockchain technology, money doesn’t change hands until both parties first fulfill their end of the agreement. This, combined with the increased transparency, reduces the likelihood of fraud when buying, selling, and investing in property.

3. The industry is diving into the cloud.

From mobile devices to software as a service (SaaS) platforms for marketing, customer relationship management, and market research, cloud technology has become a ubiquitous part of commercial real estate. Gone are the days when professionals had to travel around with a heavy briefcase filled with all their important documents.

These days, contracts, client information, and other important info are all stored remotely and accessed through cloud servers by smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Not only does cloud storage and Internet of Things (IoT) devices make life easier by syncing data across platforms, it also means that you never have to show up to a meeting unprepared again – even if you’re notified last minute. And as you can imagine, a few years into having life transformed by cloud services and people have already forgotten what life was like before it existed.

Now’s an interesting and exciting time to be working in CRE. With technology becoming more entrenched in the industry, we can expect to see a number of innovative gadgets and SaaS platforms emerge over the next couple of years.