NEW YORK CITY—The “institutionalization” of commercial real estate as an asset class has multiple implications, says Brandon Weber, cofounder and CEO of Hightower, a leasing automation provider headquartered here. Among these is consolidation among services firms, in part to support the farther-reaching demands of their biggest clients. Within the past several weeks, has reported on the pending merger between DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield, and Sun Life Financial‘s purchase of Bentall Kennedy.

“A NAIOP report says that in 2015, we’re expecting to crest 10% for real estate as a percentage of any institutional investment portfolio,” says Weber, formerly a first VP at CBRE who left in 2013 to co-found a company that now counts both institutional owners and major services firms among its clients. “Fifteen years ago, it was 2.1%. This means we have much, much greater pools of capital chasing commercial real estate, much larger aggregations of real estate on the ownership side and much larger funds being raised. This is having a whipsaw effect on the services side.”

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