The technology industry is one that is constantly growing and changing. From year to year, it evolves. Unlike other industries, the technology industry often has clearly defined trends which can influence and impact a variety of other industries — and the commercial real estate industry is no different.
So let’s take a look at a few trends impacting the tech landscape currently and how they will, or won’t impact commercial real estate.
5G is a hot topic when it comes to tech. The capabilities that 5g are promising include broadband speeds like never before. Mobile conglomerates like Verizon and Sprint already plan to have 5G running by the end of 2019. It has been met with some criticism due to the fact small cell towers will have to be set up in extremely close proximity to each other. Some are concerned these clustered radio waves could cause health issues. Putting that aside, 5G development has already begun and (as is typical with technology advancements these days) it is on the fast track to becoming part of our everyday lives.
It is poised to impact CRE in many ways. Of course, agents will be able to work at faster speeds, and buildings and its tenants can remain connected better than ever before. But in a physical sense, the need for 5G cell towers to be placed on what could be millions of buildings creates fiscal opportunities for investors and landlords alike.
Electric cars are not only reserved for Tesla anymore. in 2019, a variety of automotive companies such as Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Volkswagen, and Volvo are all planning to roll out electric cars. This speaks to the importance consumers are putting on reducing carbon emissions and lessening their dependence on fossil fuels. This will affect CRE in more ways than one; such as the development of parking garages now and in the future. As electric vehicles continue to grow in market share, we will most certainly see an increase in demand for electric charging and new types of fueling stations. We could, in theory, arrive at a point when the demand for traditional gas stations starts to decline rapidly. Scenarios like these could present a unique challenge and opportunity for those in commercial real estate.
AI is expected to boom and transform many spaces including CRE. It is currently helping to create better tenant experiences by enabling smart homes and offices to provide a unique selling point for investors. AI is also capable of expanding the property management space of CRE by allowing management teams to be more efficient than ever. According to tech expert Michael Hoyt of Life Cycle Engineering Inc. AI will help improve cybersecurity as well, allowing it to learn and predict attacks so it can help protect our valuable data. Though this may not seem to be a direct link to CRE, all brokers, investors, and clients have valuable digital data and it is pivotal that it is protected at all time.
AR & VR
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are both popular on the market, mainly in the entertainment and recreational markets. There are VR centers that offer unique experiences and many new video games featuring VR have emerged. However, it seems promising that as AR and VR are developed further, they will be increasingly utilized in business settings. They could be used in CRE to show clients properties without stepping foot into a unit. It could be deployed on development levels for planning, and could be used to facilitate repairs to properties as well. This could be one of the most exciting advancements in tech as we know it.
Technology is boundless and as long as creative minds continue to come up with new ways to use it we will see progress. So, let’s continue to track these tech trends and how they impact the CRE market.