Eric Thomas, Principal at Cresa

The Innovation Conversation is a series of Q&A sessions between the real estate technology industry's top leaders and MetaProp Co-Founder and Managing Director Aaron Block.  Topics include thoughts on the future of property and technology, corporate innovation activities and executive development in the real estate technology space.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities in your organization?

Advising Cresa clients on all stages of transaction management process.

As a Principal of Cresa New York, I am also involved in day-to-day operations and the long-term vision and direction of the office.

Describe how you became interested in PropTech and innovation.

I have been interested in the technology around the CRE business since I started in 2000 and saw the first wave of technology disruption.

I have been lucky enough to build relationships with companies and individuals personally invested in the innovation of the industry through technology.

In the next 10 years, what area of the real estate industry do you think will change the most dramatically?

Commercial Real Estate Leasing. There is opportunity for the innovation of better processes for the client around technology workflow and data analytics. The real estate broker model will continue to shift from the “space expert” to an advisory role for businesses as related to real estate strategy and leasing. The ability to build business cases for stakeholders and decision makers in the real estate process will continue to be paramount. These decisions will continue to involve financial, workplace, labor, infrastructure, technology, and demographic considerations. But, how that information is collected, analyzed, and presented through technology is ever changing and is extremely interesting to me.

What is the most important innovation and technology-driven initiative in your organization today?

Adoption of Salesforce on a global level at Cresa as a front-end business development and client relationship management tool and back-end budgeting and revenue projection resource.

What role have mentors played in your success? How would you advise others to develop strong relationships with mentors?

I have a small group of mentors and advisors from various stages of my professional career and personal life.

I recommend to everyone to develop your own “personal board of directors” and to rely on them for advice when making strategic decisions for your clients, your own business, and yourself.

What is one interesting thing about you that most people don’t already know?

Aaron Block introduced me to my wife and was the best man in our wedding in Romania!.