Comprehensive Online Commercial RE Resource Debuts Today, a social-networking website designed to accommodate the varied needs of cross-industry real estate professionals, is now up and running. The launching of the social media website is indicative of the increasingly important role technology will play in the commercial real estate industry.–established by former real estate data site CEO Ryan Slack, along with Mark Schacknies and Nima Negahban–brings together professionals in areas ranging from construction and brokerage to appraisal and finance for the purpose of networking, collaborating and expanding business opportunities. Slack said that the new website is the natural extension of, which supplies members with detailed parcel-level property data. “ builds upon PropertyShark’s paradigm of leveling the playing field to areas beyond property data such as: who are the players in the industry, what deals are being or have been done, what organizations and associations are available to me, what career opportunities exist, and what events and training opportunities are available.” Slack told CPN. And the site digs even deeper to provide a wide-ranging pool of information. “It addresses the issues of professional contacts and access to capital by providing a marketplace for members to meet new contacts online or in-person, as well as to solicit investment capital in a legal manner,” Slack said.The commercial real estate world, however, is not going all-virtual just yet, Slack said. “Real estate remains a business that is initiated and carried out in-person and by phone,” he noted. “Email and web-based tools come in third place and will remain there for the foreseeable future. Therefore, any successful networking technology must seek to enhance, not to replace existing ways of doing business.” He cites as an example of the utility of new technology the age-old issue of collecting pockets full of business cards at networking event–and then having to deal with them. “For the most part, these new contacts are not actionable but many may be clearly valuable and should be saved for the future,” he explained. “I could laboriously type or scan all of these cards into Outlook, but then when the time comes to contact any one of these people, the connection will be dead. However, by simply inviting them to join my network on MyDealBook, I create an active connection with minimal effort. Reaching out to this person in six months no longer comes out of the blue, as I will have a constant connection to that person, as well as insight into their professional activities. I can simply click on their profile and see who they are, what they’ve been working on, as well as their background of jobs and education.” While may mark a turning point in how commercial real estate activities are managed, the tool is more of a bridge from the past to the future of how business will be conducted, not a replacement for existing methods, said Slack. “New technology services like MyDealBook cannot substitute for quality work and quality results,” he noted. “Those who keep their eyes focused upon the core needs of their markets will prosper. MyDealBook, PropertyShark and other sites are tools to enhance this prosperity.”