Exclusive Q&A with Jake Edens, SVP, Technology and Innovation at Colliers
Jake Edens is Senior Vice President of Technology & Innovation, USA at Colliers International. In this role, Edens manages the technology and innovation strategy for the U.S. business, working directly with our business leaders and IT teams to build cutting-edge applications for our advisors and support staff to help Colliers foster an organized and connected data ecosystem
Edens brings a robust and unique set of experiences to Colliers, having worked within the industry at Trammell Crow Company, served as COO of Apphelper, a social gaming company based in Atlanta and founded REscour, a data platform that utilizes proprietary market analysis based on data aggregation to help commercial real estate professionals make better decisions.
Our team at CREtech recently caught up with Edens to learn more.
CREtech: How do you see technology impacting commercial real estate in the coming years?
Jake Edens: A couple of my favorite examples for technologies that are still probably 5-10 years out is how autonomous vehicles will change the importance of “location, location, location” and how blockchain will provide efficiency and liquidity by allowing investors to trade small ownership shares of individual assets.
CREtech: What is Colliers doing to stay ahead of the curve?
JE: We are extremely focused on capturing and organizing more data (property, lease comp, sales, debt, relationship, geo-spatial, financial, demographic, tenant, etc.) automatically through our workflow and collaboration tools so we can provide specific insights from the deal and ultimately help our clients make better decisions. We want to not only know what is happening but why it is happening and have data to back it up.
In addition, the Colliers Proptech Accelerator powered by Techstars will connect startups with experts around the globe to develop productivity-enhancing, disrupting and innovative technologies in the property and real estate industry. Startups may receive seed funding as part of their acceptance and will be hosted in Colliers’ home city, Toronto, for an intensive 13-week program focused on the development and acceleration of their business plans and transformational ideas. The accelerator will run in Q4 2018 with applications opening in February 2018. The 3-month intensive program will conclude with a Demo Day, where the Proptech startups will pitch their businesses to hundreds of global investors.
CREtech: How can technology companies best position themselves to partner with large commercial real estate services firms?
JE: For startups and companies looking to make a difference, it’s all about showing value to individual professionals. If a technology can accomplish that, it will eventually trickle up to the larger corporate entity. Ultimately, if it helps the advisors on the ground deliver better service to clients, the technology will be embraced. It’s also important to understand how technology fits into the larger vision of large commercial real estate services firms. Colliers, as an example, is looking for technologies and solutions that will integrate into existing datasets and workflows. We want connectivity and collaboration, not siloed information.