A few years ago, the home tech market was very fragmented. There were a few sites like Nest and some big companies like GE focused on the space. Eventually there was a lot of press around the IoT and how there was a huge opportunity coming in digitally connecting the home.
The point is, five years ago, these tech giants were focused elsewhere, mostly on consumer apps, building hardware products and creating their own platforms. And today, they are all focused on owning the home. Alexa, Echo, Google Home… so many products that as a result, innovation is happening at a frenetic pace and it's hard to keep up.
As examples of how these massive tech companies can enter and disrupt a market at anytime, just check out these recent stories...
Now back to my focus on commercial real estate tech… Will we see the same type of trend occur? Will the B2B giants like Salesforce, Microsoft and Google wake up and see the huge opportunities in real estate tech? Will there be a smart office revolution that will integrate all of the products and services around occupancy, leasing, buying and selling commercial real estate?
Those of us in the tech sector, or that follow it as a hobby at this point, spend a lot of time in the short-term. VTS, CoStar, Loopnet, Xceligent, Ten-X, RealConnex, RealNex, AMP Technologies, FUEL, etc… Those are the names that dominate the landscape today.
But what about tomorrow?
Is there someone else coming into the market that we can't yet see? Will the companies that are the most active now be acquired like Nest was by Google to become the catalyst for their entry into the space?
As someone who has studied and lived through numerous market cycles and the evolution of the real estate tech sector, I would make a big bet that the companies we talk about today won't be the only ones we talk about tomorrow.