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Five Big Tech Takeaways from TransACT 360

Technology & Innovation
From the art and science of leasing to strategic growth strategies, we saw the future of commercial real estate.

In partnership with NAR REACH, the SIOR Tech Vision Series will unlock the driving forces and emerging trends impacting our industry. We will look into emerging technology trends and shifting industry dynamics to help our industry navigate the future of commercial real estate.

Technology is a phenomenon that has profound implications on the commercial real estate industry. Today's commercial real estate leaders need to prepare themselves for a new normal that will impact their business, their clients, and their organization.

Today’s leaders in commercial real estate have a very different toolkit than those of a few years ago. The impact of the pandemic has created a path towards digital transformation across office, industrial, and the greater commercial real estate industry. As a result, today’s commercial real estate professionals have access to solutions that can greatly improve their business and drive better returns.

At this year’s SIOR TransACT 360, digital transformation was front and center. Here are the top five big technology takeaways from the conference.

1. Reshaping the Office Deal with Technology

The impact of the pandemic on the office market continues to be felt around the world. Despite the challenges faced by many, technology and digital transformation continue to be areas of opportunity for leaders in the industry. The office of the future is being shaped and reshaped by technology. Today's leaders are using innovation to rethink density and prioritize physical distancing. Flex spaces are being reconfigured as break-out spaces converted to dedicated seating areas in order to increase the headcount of staff in the office while maintaining physical distancing.

2. The Rise Secondary & Tertiary Industrial Markets with Technology

Industrial and logistics have been one of the most resilient real estate sectors amid the pandemic. Bolstered by the rise of e-commerce, demand for industrial space has been driven by e-commerce and direct-to-consumer brands.

Inventory control has been a top-of-mind strategy for occupiers, resulting in an increase in space. That’s good news for industrial owners and brokers. To meet the rise in population and logistics demand, secondary and tertiary markets have become “markets to watch,” as e-commerce and direct-to-consumer brands continue to expand.

3. Build-to-Suits: A Blending of Art & Science with Technology

The transformation of commercial real estate requires an innovative mindset. Build-to-suit has been an opportunity to create experiences that matter for occupiers, rather than just space and minimal aesthetics. The blending of the art and science of built-to-suit projects, from planning, designing, leasing, and management, presents an opportunity to deliver meaningful solutions for complex real estate opportunities and human challenges.

At the convergence of new digital and physical behaviors of occupiers, built-to-suit projects have challenged both brokers and owners to think strategically and require not just advanced technology to attract the best tenants, but an entirely new digital mindset.

4. Growth Strategies with Technology

Many commercial real estate professionals understand the importance of digital transformation. But only a few understand how to cultivate technology and digital transformation as a growth strategy. Today, leading companies, boutique to institutional, are taking strides to redefine their company’s strategy, embarking on a new digital-first transformation without disrupting their current workflow and processes in a rapidly shifting real estate landscape.

5. 5G & Commercial Real Estate

Today’s commercial real estate landscape is ultra-competitive and digitally connected. The digital transformation of buildings has supported tenant acquisition strategies through better tenant experiences. The underlying technology enabling these strategies is 5G and wifi connectivity. The enhancement of digital infrastructure can be a tool to attract the best tenants and occupiers.

Ashkán Zandieh

Ashkán Zandieh

Ashkán Zandieh is the Chair at the Center for Real Estate Technology & Innovation (, a global real estate tech research center and think tank, and strategic advisor at NAR REACH. He is the leading expert in commercial real estate tech and venture capital. His research and strategic insights have been sourced by the WSJ, NY Times, Bisnow, Commercial Observer, The Real Deal, and applied by institutional real estate organizations and brokerages, globally.