It’s such an exciting time to be in CRE tech. So many amazing products and services on the market. So many really smart and dynamic founders and entrepreneurs.
As someone who spends all of their time thinking, strategizing, and working in CRE tech, I am fortunate to have a front-row seat to all of the exciting transformations that are happening to the commercial real estate industry as a result of this wave of innovation. A great deal of the impact that tech is having in the CRE space is aimed at creating efficiencies and greater transparency. Nothing too disruptive at this early stage of the sector, however, think evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
But what will the long-term impact of tech be? Say, in five years? And how will the huge changes taking place in the overall tech sector impact real estate in general?
Here are some of my predictions….
- Driverless cars will render parking lots and garages obsolete. Driverless cars are actually already here. They work. Once they clear all of the regulatory hurdles, they will be the norm. Our commutes will not be in our own cars and most of us might not even own a car. So what happens to all of the parking facilities that have been built to house all of our vehicles?
- Virtual Reality will totally transform property tours. The days of touring prospective tenants through spaces will be a thing of the past. As VR becomes so effective and part of everyday life, a great many companies will begin leasing space without ever having seen it.
- Tenants will lease space entirely online. The leasing market is absolutely going to be transformed by the Millennials! This generation will be much more comfortable leasing space using a completely electronic process. So who will win in this environment? Which service providers will emerge to service them?
- The We-Work model will be a thriving business for tenants. While I don’t think it will actually be only We-Work, the growth of short-term, temporary space without the frills and fancy build outs will become the norm. The explosive growth of the freelance economy will profoundly impact the demand for space.
- Shopping Malls will go the way of the dinosaurs. E-commerce is thriving and profoundly impacting the retail sector creating enormous pressures on the traditional bricks-and-mortar model. So what will happen to these massive mall structures when there just aren’t any tenants to occupy them. They will obviously have to be transformed into a completely alternative experience.
These are just five of the most obvious ways technology will impact the real estate sector over the next five years. I would love to hear others’ thoughts on how they think the next five years of tech will transform the industry…