MBA Chart of the Week March 3 2023–Tech Systems Employed by Commercial Real Estate Finance Firms

Lenders closed $800 billion in mortgages backed by income-producing commercial and multifamily properties in 2022–adding to what is now almost $4.4 trillion in outstanding loans. 

But despite its size, one often hears that commercial real estate finance is “behind” or “lagging” when it comes to adopting technology.

For nearly a decade, as a part of its CREF Peer Business Roundtable program, MBA has been bringing together Technology Officers from leading CREF firms to hear from outside speakers, share knowledge about challenges and opportunities in the CREF space, and network with other industry professionals.  The picture that has evolved from those discussions is of a market that faces a very different tech landscape than many other industries. Companies are actively applying technology to improve their processes and to better capture and report data.  The industry may have traditionally been lagging but it is working hard to catch up – adopting and adapting technology to the unique nature of the CREF market.

This week’s Chart of the Week presents findings from MBA’s CREF Technology Catalog, showing the areas in which firms are applying specific tech solutions.  What is clear in looking at the industry is that CREF has always relied heavily on technology and does so more and more each year.  Given the environment in which it operates, CREFtech takes a form and emphasis that is often different from what may be seen in other industries.

At the beginning of April, MBA’s Technology Solutions Conference will bring together technology and business leaders from both the single-family and commercial/multifamily mortgage markets to hear from speakers, network, and discuss how best to match the rapid changes in technology with the rapidly changing mortgage markets.  This conference will be a great opportunity to join the important conversation surrounding mortgage technology. The discussions will likely see-saw from the strategic to the tactical, and from how tech is helping firms on offense to its role in defense. 

One thing that will be clear is that – as the chart above shows – technology is baked into nearly every element of today’s business.