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"Jim Young Interview 2001"


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12/7/01 Interview with Jim Young

Realcomm
3951 Park Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Biography

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The Realcomm Conferences

  1. Planning goes on year-round; company investigators attend all the major generaltechnology conferences to gather leading-edge information that won't get to thereal estate industry for another 12-18 months.
  2. What they find sets the themes and tempo of the next conference; last year's major themes of wireless technology and the mobile transaction should still be playing into next year.
  3. Several thousand people attend the Realcomm Conference in June (the next one, in Las Vegas, will be extended to 2.5 days; although aimed at Commercial Realtors), there is a lot at the conference for all professionals.
  4. Attendees can see the latest and greatest tools and hear the top real estate technology leaders; the focus is on how technology changes the practice of real estate business.
The Technology Backlash

  1. The "dot-bomb" debacle last year's (failure of businessmen, not a failure of technology) slowed the adoption of technology by the commercial sector, but only temporarily.
  2. The accelerated innovation that took place during the technology boom was a good thing; even the subsequent crash had a positive effect of weeding out the weaker companies and improving the stronger ones.
  3. Especially in light of September 11, 2001, technology is certain to change fundamentally the way we live and work; warnings by government and businesses to use email instead of postal delivery and to maintain records on backed-up systemsgive impetus to a digital real estate transaction.
Impending Tech Trends for the Commercial Sector

  1. All the pieces of technology required for a digital real estate transaction fell into place in 2000; broadband, wireless, a standardized wide area network, multiple Internet appliances and integrated information platforms.
  2. Over the next few years, they will be perfected; the task now is to educate and motivate professionals to apply the capability to their commerce.
  3. Some innovative technologies not based on broadband, such as automatic photo-speech animation for web sites, may still have a several-year lead on broadband.
  4. However, video is the 'killer application' on the Internet, and demand for it will drive a renewed interest in broadband; don't ignore alternative technologies, but avoid spending too much time or money on them.
Commercial Real Estate vs. Other Industries

  1. Real estate has lagged other major sectors such as law, financial services and insurance in the use of technology; though making progress, commercial real estate is still significantly behind.
  2. Realcomm is getting a major university to complete a study for next June's conference that will quantify relative expenditures per employee for technology among the major business sectors; Young expects that real estate will fall way below the others.
  3. Another aspect of the study will compare specialties within the real estate industry and show who is leading in real estate technology investment.
  4. Digital competency depends on necessary investment; what may be required to motivate some practitioners is a loss of business to real estate entities that are better organized technologically.
New Business Model

  1. Old business models are coming under increasing pressure for their inefficiencies, but exciting new models are in testing stages and within 12-18 months will give traditional brokerage operations alternatives.
  2. New parameters include: much smaller physical operations; sharing of data among brokers instead of functioning as independent contractors; automated, digital processes instead of paper dependency; new compensation structure; Internet-based training and certification.
  3. The 2002 Realcomm Conference will have an entire track of sessions dealing with the new times since September 11; technology is central to solutions for the questions raised by the terrorist attacks. 4. Commercial real estate will continue to be needed, but the way it is used will shift; organizations will have fewer file cabinets, less space for making copies and fewer meetings.
  4. Factors that will increase in importance include security systems with video cameras and backed-up data in multiple locations.
How to Become More Digital

  1. Changing from an analog, paper-based company to a digital one depends on company leadership that sees and embraces the new vision.
  2. The most important action any size CRE firm can take toward becoming more digital is to attend the Realcomm Conference; Society members are offered a special discount.
Recommended Spots on the Web

  1. For real estate news: GlobeSt.com; for technology news: InteractiveWeek.com; for general news: CNN.com.
  2. For interactive financial coverage with live video: Yahoo! FinanceVision.
Revising the Outlook from 1999

  1. Two and a half years ago, Young envisioned that by now companies would be judged on their ability to do business in a digital manner and that real estate companies would be training their people to utilize intranets and extranets to transfer content online.
  2. Today he is disappointed in progress towards those ends; the tech backlash gave skeptics in the real estate industry an excuse to delay, but the terrorist attacks will accelerate future movement.
  3. Positively, interest in applying technology for real estate transactions is growing as evidenced by attendance at Realcomm Conferences and feedback from industry executives.
  4. The latest watchword for advancement across all businesses is mobility; the organization of tomorrow will need to get to information any place, 7/24, without going back to a set location; the solution is digital
Contact Information for Jim Young:

(v) 760.729.4312
(f) 760.729.0796
(e) jyoung@realcomm.com
(w)www.reapplications.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

The Jamesan Group
Globest.com
Interactiveweek.com
CNN.com
Interactive financial coverage