JLL goes high tech to track shopping habits

Brokerage wants to provide buyers, sellers and tenants with more info on consumer habits

JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich
JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich

JLL signed a deal with a firm that analyzes pings sent from mobile devices to track consumer shopping habits, the latest indication that the notoriously low-tech commercial real estate industry moving to catch up with the times.

The world’s second-largest CRE services firm cut the two-year deal with Atlanta-based Alexander Babbage, which JLL said will provide valuable information to landlords and retailers about buying, selling and leasing shopping centers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The “geofencing” analysis shows “where you’re going, how much time you spend there and where you go after,” JLL chief executive of retail Greg Maloney told the newspaper. “We can develop patterns to figure out what we need to bring to our shopping centers in order to keep you there longer.”

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The technology, which JLL calls Pinpoint, is a far cry from the traditional way of predicting consumer habits by looking at shoppers who live within a certain radius of a center.

JLL will make an upfront payment and a monthly payment akin to a licensing fee, Maloney said.

Other real estate-service firms have increased their technology investments in recent years to get an edge on the competition.

CBRE is a founding partner in the real estate tech-focused venture capital firm Fifth Wall Ventures, and Cushman & Wakefield earlier this year announced a partnership with the real estate tech-incubator MetaProp NYC. [WSJ]Rich Bockmann