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CRE Tech Terms: The Ones You Need To Know


The commercial real estate landscape has been forever changed with the emergence of tech and the sometimes daunting vocabulary that goes along with it.

Bisnow’s content partner, Real Data Management, has put together a list of buzzwords that may trip up even experienced landlords, brokers and property managers.


Application program interface (API) is code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other. 

If applications are written in different programming languages, or have been developed on different platforms, the API allows them to integrate with each other.

For CRE professionals, this is important. Getting a one-screen experience allows you to save time, reduce keystrokes and eliminate double-entry errors. 

Many new CRE startups are talking about ways to work together—to deliver the best experience to a mutual customer. RDM's platform of floor plans and stacks integrates with accounting systems such as MRI and Yardi. 

Tech Stack:

A tech stack is a combination of software products and programming languages used to create a web or mobile application. An application may have a front-end tech stack (user/client side) and a back-end tech stack.

The commercial real estate world was reluctant to adopt tech into its everyday operations, but now that the gates have opened, the digital waves can’t be stopped.

With the advent of apps and other programs—such as RDM’s portfolio management suite RealAccess—digital aids are now key to keeping up with the rest of the CRE realm.

You may never need to know much about the inner workings of your website’s back end or how a user interacts with your firm’s new app, but you should absolutely know enough to hire someone to manage your tech stack for you.

Internet of Things (IoT):

The Internet of Things is a network of physical objects with internet connectivity that communicate with each other and internet-enabled computers and systems.

As a property manager or a building owner, the parcels under your watch are filled with equipment that provide essential or amenity-type services.

The IoT’s development means not only will soda machines alert vendors when they’re running low on a popular drink, but crucial machinery such as boilers can be controlled from a smart device anywhere on the planet.


A secure record of digital events distributed amongst computers as data flows from one node to another, creating a virtual paper trail. Best known for its connection to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Your accountant may not love this technological advancement, but real estate dealmakers will likely be singing its praises.

Due to blockchain technology, we may soon live in a world where real estate deals and other transactions are signed by both parties without the need for an impartial third party witnessing the proceedings.

This could significantly lessen the role of professionals involved with the paperwork and red tape that accompanies a deal, such as inspectors and title insurance providers.

Quicker, more efficient signings mean more time can be spent on securing the next deal.

The Cloud:

The cloud is a group of servers connected via a network, where each individual server has an assigned function. Some servers may be dedicated to offering a service while others are earmarked for storage.

You've likely heard this term quite often outside of your real estate career, but there is more to it than sharing photos on social media. 

The cloud allows users to access data via hardware such as a laptop or cellphone without actually storing that data on the physical device.

Being able to access documents, such as leases, offering manuals, floor plans and neighborhood demographics, on the go without filling storage allows real estate professionals to be only a click away from their desk at all times.

Moving information storage to the cloud allows companies to trim their long-term expenses. Instead of purchasing physical servers that will lose value over time, users can outsource their storage and essentially rent space on someone else's servers. RDM offers a robust document storage cloud-based solution, which many customers use for archiving those cumbersome jumbo rolls of architectural and construction drawings. This not only protects information from fire and flood damage, but makes it so documents can be viewed easily and searched.

To learn more about how RDM can help your CRE firm utilize tech in an effective way, click here.

Related Topics: tech sector, Real estate tech, rdm