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First-Of-Its-Kind Hackathon Bridges Gap Between Tech, Commercial Real Estate

Chicago Technology

Transwestern held its first-ever CREForge hackathon Aug. 26-28. The event introduced four companies in the commercial real estate sector—Heitman Architects, Leopardo Cos, ConneXion and Transwestern—to numerous designers, coders and software developers, who developed innovative solutions to the challenges posed by each business.

Some of the solutions explored:

  • Using augmented reality to project 3D building renderings onto everything from tabletops to land sites, allowing clients to see a 360-degree view of a project before it’s actually built.
  • Capturing emotional data (like customer experience reports) to inform the design of an office interior through a platform in which clients select images of various finishes and design features that are instantly converted into a preliminary space plan and budget, providing a better starting point.
  • Creating artificial intelligence bots to pull data from multiple servers and quickly extract specific inventory, order and delivery information for clients, a function that used to take a half-dozen employees hours to complete.
  • Filling vacancies by using dating-site algorithms to “match” commercial tenants with landlords through a bidding process, automating an otherwise manual process and saving considerable time while driving more competitive pricing.

Mike Watts, Transwestern's Midwest president, says it's no secret that commercial real estate is a late adopter of technology and ripe for innovation. Mike says Chicago, one of America's fastest-growing tech epicenters, is the best place to push that innovation forward.

Mike says CREForge is a way to show real estate professionals how to use technology to overcome obstacles and change the way they do business.