What I Learned in Vegas – Technology

In a recent blog entry on NeuerSpace, I mentioned how I recently attended the CBRE North American Conference and the CoreNet Global Summit, both in Las Vegas.  There were great sessions at both conferences, teaching me a lot about the industry. While those conferences were insightful for the industry at large, I was extremely attracted to two recent technology conferences in NYC: The Corporate Real Estate/Technology Intersect Conference, as well as the Business Insider Ignition, The Future of Digital Event.

First, some general observations on technology:

• If you aren’t embracing new technology, you are going to get left behind.  There are countless new apps and web sites that can help us learn, be more efficient and improve our work performance and lives.  Especially for service providers, it's so important as this is the direction all of our clients are headed.

• It’s all getting easier to use and it’s all going mobile.  While I am told the ObamaCare web site is a bit of a disaster to navigate, that’s the exception – not the rule.  Sites are being built to be user friendly, using the most modern features and technology.  Also, with the expanded use of smart phones and tablets, most companies are providing a mobile solution realizing that technology is being consumed and used on the go, rather than through desktop, or even lap top computers.

• Major investments are being made in technology companies that focus on corporate real estate.  Some of these sites will fall by the wayside, but not due to a lack of funding or creative ideas.

As I mentioned above, there are great sites and tools geared towards corporate real estate.  Here are some of my favorites:

• The News Funnel – I’ve mentioned The News Funnel (www.thenewsfunnel.com) before, but the site has recently made some major improvements.  Primarily, it has become a source of great, original content through their FunnelCast blog, which offers daily real estate related posts.  However, at its core, it still provides a customized news aggregation service that is unique in the industry.

• View The Space – After meeting the team again at the CRE/Tech Intersect, we recommended to one of our clients that we hire View The Space (www.viewthespace.com) to help us market our available space.  It’s not only about presenting the building in new way, but the analytics they can provide.

• CBRE Global Labor View – Our Labor Analytics team has won the CoreNet Global Innovation Award twice.  Jim Trobaugh and his team have come up with a tool that allows corporations to analyze labor data from their own computers on a subscription basis through Global Labor View.  It’s a game changer.

• Liquid Space – Geared towards the mobile workforce, Liquid Space offers users the ability to find an office, a conference room, or a quiet place to work, on a short-term (hourly) basis.  It also allows companies to monetize spaces that aren’t being used and it all happens through their app.  They also have the capability to allow clients to manage their internal use of space, through the same app.

• RealConnex – Still in beta testing, RealConnex is set to launch in early 2014.  It’s goal is to connect people within corporate real estate who are looking for each other, but may not know it.  It’s a bit similar to LinkedIn, but gives users the ability to search for service providers or users, that they may need for a project.  Seems to be an ultimate referral tool .

At one of the conferences, there was a session on new apps.  Some highlights:

• Umano – This app reads articles to you.  You can customize your interests and then it gives you suggested articles.  Simply click on the article and it’s read to you.  Great when I am driving in to work.

• Waze – A more interactive traffic app.

• Evernote – Great for taking and organizing notes, which is especially helpful if you are attending conferences.

• Postagram – This site allows you to turn a picture from your mobile device in to a postcard.  They even mail it for you.

• CallPlease – Great for organizing calls…exponentially better than Outlook.

• CardMunch – My brother, Zak Levy, told me about this one which is owned by LinkedIn.  Simply take a picture of a business card and it’s transmitted to their team.  They upload the contact information to your Outlook and automatically invite that person to connect to you via LinkedIn.

And finally, as I type this while sitting on a plane to Los Angeles, I have learned that while it’s a little frustrating to be on a plane for several hours without internet connectivity, it’s also a little relaxing.

The next entry will be on my visit to the new CBRE offices in Downtown LA, and the one following that will cover the topic, “Winning Tenants” from a landlord perspective.