Cushman & Wakefield has joined forces with MetaProp NYC, a New York-based real estate technology accelerator, to foster its innovation and technology strategy. The partnership is part of a larger effort at the brokerage giant to be on the leading edge as the commercial real estate industry increases its use of technology.
“For us, it’s a complete no-brainer,” said Adam Stanley, global cio and chief digital officer at Cushman & Wakefield in Chicago. “In commercial real estate, one big firm tends to be pitted against another. The true threat is likely someone outside of the ecosphere who is working on tech that will eventually disrupt the industry. We don’t want to be Blockbuster Video – we’d rather participate in the disruption than be disrupted.”
The partnership is a first for commercial real estate, according to Aaron Block, co-founder of Metaprop. “This is common in other industries like fintech, but this partnership is unique because it hasn’t really happened in the commercial real estate world,” he added. “Most organizations are not set up to do this at this scale – Cushman’s identification with us provides access to human capital and a point of contact with thousands of prop tech companies in the world so that they can pilot and test new tech innovations.”
Cushman and MetaProp have had a longstanding partnership. “[Cushman was] among a number of key figures that were early champions of Metaprop, and have engaged with us throughout jaunts around the world,” said Block. “Look at Disney, Kaplan, Anheuser-Busch, Google – everybody does this stuff. Real estate is now waking up to it, with Cushman being the first big CRE firm to go all-in with next-generation tech engagement.”
Cushman also recently joined forces with Lucid‘s BuildingOS building intelligence software to enhance its platform for energy intelligence. The practice provides strategic facilities management engineering solutions to select clients throughout the United States, providing flexible and scalable value-added services to clients, including general repairs and HVAC, electrical, plumbing, lighting, and energy support. The firm’s acquisition of EnSite Solutions in late 2016 combined comprehensive technologies and established partnerships with mission-critical specialists focused on the datacenter, telecommunications and broadband, and healthcare industries.