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5 Technologies Changing the Industrial Real Estate Landscape

Business Services & Best Practices Technology & Innovation

Without question, technology has been changing the industrial real estate landscape for years. At the same time, the CRE industry has been slow to adapt to it —but that is changing. Asked of some of the biggest names in commercial real estate, which technologies will have the biggest impact, Smart buildings got the most votes yet that only accounted for 35% who thought the impact would be significant.

How big the impact actually depends on the industry. Despite that, the industrial real estate landscape is being impacted by a variety of different technologies at the same time. Here are 5 technologies causing the most change in industrial:

#1: Smart Building Technology

According to the report from Altus, 35% of CRE pros surveyed said that they expect Smart building technology to have the most disruptive impact on industrial. That’s more than any of the other technologies identified by the survey.

Building technology will impact all sectors of CRE making connectivity a big selling point for industrial assets in multifamily, office, and warehousing. WiredScored has certified office spaces all over the world totaling 250 million square feet for their connectivity. Marketing industrial assets will have to include technical capabilities and internet connectivity.

#2: AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Warehousing and distribution centers are already leading the way, long having replaced many warehouse personnel with robots. Now artificial intelligence is believed to be the next technology impacting industrial. Of those surveyed by Altus, 28% ranked this technology highest.

Soon, distribution centers, warehouses, and other industrial spaces will have to have the infrastructure to support the use of more advanced AI. Automation combined with AI is predicted to soon impact new building construction, leading the way for faster, more sustainable buildings using robotics in place of humans.

#3: Predictive Analytics

CRE pros expect predictive analysis to have a bigger impact on industrial than simple big data aggregation. For years, the goal has been to gather macro-information by aggregating data. 

Now predictive analysis can take that same data and crunch it into more easily digestible, granular details about lifestyle patterns, work productivity, consumer behavior, and more.

In industrial, predictive analysis is going to be used to predict the true cost benefits of certain projects in real-time using live data. This will affect how buildings are marketed, how developments are planned and constructed, and how buildings are managed and maintained.

#4: AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality)

Less than 20% of CRE pros believe that AR and VR will have a big impact on the market.  Even fewer (15%) believe in blockchain technology’s ability to impact the industrial market. However, the smart money says that they are wrong.

Already some of the world’s top CRE firms are using AR and VR to market buildings in ways that allow clients to actually feel the scale and space of a property. That is leading to faster closes and more international deals for professionals using this advanced technology now.

#5: Administrative Automation

By far, the majority of CRE agents and brokers are already experiencing technology’s biggest impact in administrative automation. Streamlining the paperwork process for CRE transactions and property management is already allowing those in the industry to focus less industry on mundane daily tasks that can be automated.

Some are even predicting a future where agents and brokers become irrelevant. Where robots and programs can match buyers and sellers or tenants and landlords, process the paperwork, and manage a property with no human intervention but rest assured, that future (like autonomous trucks) at least today is a ways off.



The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR) represents the world’s elite in industrial and office brokerage. SIORs are held to the highest standard by completing thorough requirements and adhering to the SIOR Code of Ethics. SIOR is more than a designation, it’s a symbol of excellence. It’s a reflection of a global network of more than 3,400 industry leaders driven by camaraderie and innovation. SIORs value the power that comes with building relationships and sharing ideas that are on the leading edge of the industry. They are the most trusted resource in commercial real estate. For more information, visit