CBRE launches iPhone app, with Cushman waiting in the wings

By Amy Tennery | March 12, 2010 12:00PM

Commercial real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis announced today the launch of its new iPhone application. While it appears to be the first corporate iPhone application launched by a commercial real estate firm, Cushman & Wakefield is currently in development of a research-related iPhone app, according to a company spokesperson.

“Creating a true iPhone application requires serious planning and development, which we are in the process of doing,” the spokesperson said. “Our application will be truly client-facing, and we look forward to its launch.”

CBRE’s app, introduced today, allows users to search the company’s office space worldwide and access contact information for CBRE staff. The application had been in development since last summer, a CBRE spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the company’s global grasp makes the application particularly important.

“Just the bread and butter of being able to quickly and effectively access [CBRE personnel],” can be a crucial advancement, the spokesperson said, “for a client who’s on a business trip… in Moscow, Beijing or Perth.”

The spokesperson declined to comment on the cost of launching the app, which was developed in-house at CBRE. The iPhone application is a free download.

Looking forward, CBRE plans to make updates based on client response to the program, according to the spokesperson.
“Not that things are done in a vacuum, but… our development is really about what our clients are doing,” the spokesperson said.

As for Cushman’s app, although its launch date is not yet clear, the Cushman spokesperson said the app has been in development for some time.

But while CBRE may be the first commercial firm to go the way of the Mac, it’s hardly the first real estate company to jump on the social media bandwagon. On the residential side, in August 2008, home listing Web site released its own iPhone app that allowed users to locate nearby listings and open houses, and residential real estate firms the Corcoran Group and Warburg Realty both launched apps late last year. The trend appears to be gaining ground with clients, as well: real estate listing company told The Real Deal a year ago that it had over 100,000 users for its app.