Transforming Commercial Real Estate Communication Through Technology: Jim Whalen, CIO, Boston Properties
As business cycles increase in velocity, one of the biggest challenges faced by the commercial real estate industry has been its ability to match pace. This is largely due to the time and manual effort historically required by leasing brokers, owners and landlords to access and analyze the information they need on a daily basis.
In response, a new era of commercial real estate technologies has emerged, streamlining and enhancing the way CRE professionals communicate and exchange critical information.
In a recent Realcomm article, Jim Whalen, CIO of Boston Properties, elaborates on how technology has transformed the way the company operates. Prior to investing in a platform to manage their leasing and asset management business, Boston Properties utilized a more traditional platform to capture data and forecast revenue. While their process was disciplined, the resulting information wasn’t aligned with the pace of deal flow and activities on the ground. As such, the team wasn’t necessarily privy to the full story regarding interactions that were occurring on a daily basis.
According to Whalen, the new era of commercial real estate technology platforms, including VTS (which the team adopted in 2011), has provided the company with “the ability to have an awareness of everything that’s going on so that we can probe deeper into the things that matter most.”
In the article, Whalen identifies two specific ways in which his team benefits from using a technology platform like VTS:
Transparency of activity: instead of the senior management team making calls every day to understand deal specifics, they get insight from the minute they get up in the morning when the first update comes in.
Real-time data: the team has all the information they need at their fingertips to build forecast and revenue models, as opposed to spending up to four weeks going through the details as was done previously.