We were so pleased to participate in last week’s DisrupCRE Conference in San Francisco. Our CEO, Diane Vkric was a guest in the “Meet the Disruptors” session. Between conversations with existing clients and fielding questions from people learning about the Waypoint solution, it was great to see such a strong amount of interest in our platform for CRE performance analytics. Attending conferences like this are a great benefit for Waypoint because of the interaction we can have with our potential customers.
The DisruptCRE conference happens in three cities in the US each year – New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Hosted by JLL, the conference brings together a wide swath of professionals from the commercial real estate industry to talk how technology is shaping the future of the industry. Speakers included brokers, tech CEOs, and the heads of portfolio and asset management for some of the biggest CRE companies. CRE “disruptors” showcased ranged the gamut from entirely digital technologies to physical products.
The themes talked about at the conference were many of the same points we are primarily focused on with the Waypoint platform: facilitating greater collaboration, automating manual workflows, making the most of your data, and ultimately optimizing performance returns. As Diane pointed out in her intro session, there is huge money to be made from adopting more efficient business practices. A 1% savings across the entire CRE industry could mean an annual savings of $6.5 billion in operating expenditures. Given current average cap rates across asset classes, this translates into an increase in net asset values of almost $105 billion.
Listening to the executive voices panel discussion brings up an important fact about the direction the CRE industry is going in the future. Technology is here to make life easier for asset and property managers, but the vanguard leading the charge is going to be populated with tech companies, not the IT departments of the CRE industry itself. As Sara S. Shank, Managing Director and Head of Portfolio Management for Beacon Capital Partners said in her panel discussion, her company only has two IT people for the whole company, so they are not likely to build things internally. This shows the importance of the growing ecosystem of CREtech companies who are stepping up to help the industry make the most of what technology can do for them.
If you are interested, here is a link to the recording of the conference’s live stream. This is a big video, so feel free to skip ahead to 2:46:50 hear Diane’s interview with Ryan Mathews, Marketing Manager for JLL.