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DALLAS-The pent-up synergy of the high-tech business is in full swing with the kickoff of Realcomm 2001, a three-day event being staged at the Adam’s Mark in Dallas. Today, SIOR releases the findings of the third phase of a study focusing on technology and commercial real estate.

The SIOR Educational Foundation study represents “the first time that the industry has been defined in an academically rigorous way and overlaid is the implementation of new technology,” Stephen Blau, SIOR president, tells GlobeSt.com. Joseph Gyourko and Asuka Nakahara of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business have teamed for the landmark undertaking, looking into the future for the 63,000 commercial real estate professionals in the US.

What lies ahead is a move toward salaried positions instead of fee-based livelihoods, Blau says, giving GlobeSt.com an advance glimpse of the findings. Upcoming tech changes–supporting Octane Ventures’ call to develop a standardized transaction services platform–are predicted to make the smaller brokerage firms capable of competing with the industry giants and forge inroads for specialized brokerage services. The industry’s changing face is due in part, he says, to a trend toward corporate outsourcing.

“Virtually all of the changes we envision would affect the tenant rep and project leasing sectors first so we would expect the most pressure on commissions to occur there,” conclude Gyourko and Nakahara, who will be on hand today to release their findings. The team expects deals will spike, but commissions in tenant rep and project leasing areas will decline by $300 million over the next five years, basing the calculation on a 4% annual growth in the nation’s overall economy. “This need not be an unmitigated loss for brokers,” they say. “New labor force arrangements and new technology usage almost certainly will lead to fewer individual tenant rep and project leasing brokers doing more deals.” Some brokers, though, could end up with higher incomes on the average.

A walk through Realcomm’s 180 exhibits and its innovation showcase is all that’s needed to see what is coming for the mating of clicks and bricks. It’s not all about gadgets and gizmos, says Jim Young, Realcomm’s co-producer. It’s about bringing the commercial real estate industry up to speed to cut deals faster and streamline time. And, most of what is being displayed centers on real-time and wireless technologies that are bridging gaps in Star Trek fashion. Speaker phones and videoconferencing are obsolete business tools next to the teleportation development of Teleportec Ltd., based in Richardson, TX and Manchester, England. Teleportec, a Digie Award winner, enables all dealmakers to be in the same room and use that “eye to eye” contact that so many in the industry say is key to a closing.

REApplications and AirPhotoUSA are taking the tact that collaboration is the key to capturing market share in a rapidly changing workplace. The two are sponsoring the conference’s only “pavilion,” which is an alliance of 11 high-tech developments that can make brokering deals easier and more time efficient.

“Eighty percent of the marketplace is simply unaware of what the techie guys are going to throw at us,” Young tells GlobeSt.com. Realcomm is co-produced by the Carlsbad, CA-based Jamesan Group and SIOR, headquartered in Washington, DC.

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