Thursday, September 24, 2015
Commercial Real Estate: On the Brink of Disruption

When it comes to adopting technology, commercial real estate has lagged behind, but tech innovators like FUNDRISE and UBER are proving that there are huge opportunities to disrupt and transform the market.

The panelists noted that commercial real estate is considered is 5-10 years behind the technology curve of other industries. CRE is one of the oldest and largest businesses, and therefore, it is difficult to alter this business at scale. But with AIRBNB fundamentally disrupting the hospitality industry, it is only a matter of time before commercial real estate sector changes the way deals get done.

UBER is evolving the way the world moves by connecting riders and drivers through a mobile app. As this phenomenon grows, UBER expects its success to change the built environment by altering how we park cars and how traffic flows. There are over 1 billion cars in the world and most are only used 5% of the time. Most cities dedicate 15% of their real estate to parking. There is a future opportunity to re-purpose and re-use this real estate as more people use UBER.

FUNDRISE is a real estate crowdfunding and investment platform that specializes in quickly finding capital for small commercial real estate deals, particularly those in the $1-5 million range. This efficiency is one factor is solving the gap with institutional players. The group has closed 30 deals in 2015, averaging around $3 million a deal.

The panelist asserted that future CRE tech opportunities involve big data analysis. Both companies collect mountains of data that is somewhat untapped. FUNDRISE is looking to create a platform to share data with its development partners. UBER currently uses its data to improve service and quality standards. UBER started a pilot program with Hyatt Hotels. UBER provides information on the most popular restaurant drop offs near certain Hyatt hotels. This example is only the beginning on how data analysis can be used.

For more information on these companies, go to and

CREW DC president, select members of the program committee, event moderator and panelists...and the Pope!