Transit-Oriented Developments are the Golden Child: Here’s Why

You’ve likely heard the term ‘transit-oriented developments’ being thrown around lately. Whether it’s in business conversations, in article headlines, or on an expert interview; it seems like everyone in the commercial real estate business is interested in transit-oriented developments.

But why the sudden burst in popularity?

Well, it’s really because transit-oriented development projects are the new ‘golden child’ of the commercial real estate industry. It seems like every commercial real estate pro has their eyes on transit-based developments. Tenants, developers, or investors all love these properties – and it’s not hard to see why.

Let’s take a deeper look at transit-oriented developments in commercial real estate and why they’re causing such a buzz:

Transit-Oriented Developments Defined

First, we need to define the term.

A transit-oriented development is referring to a commercial real estate property that is located nearby local public transportation networks. This provides the building occupants greater access, convenience, and opportunity while also placing the building within a popular and bustling area.

Tenants Prefer Them

There’s no debate that transit-oriented developments make life easier for tenants. Whether it’s multifamily, office, retail, or even restaurant property; being located nearby local transit options makes it convenient for residents and employees to get where they need to go.

This is especially true in big metro areas where driving may not be the most convenient option. In today’s busy world, more and more professionals are choosing public transportation as their daily mode of getting to and from their destinations.

Tenants are more likely to rent out a space that’s located near public transit. Clients and consumers prefer the ease and accessibility of public transit options when visiting a business or brand. Team members are attracted and retained by these prime locations.

No matter how you look at it, it’s a winning property type.

Great Marketability for Property Owners

Property owners and investors always have their eyes on transit-oriented commercial buildings. Being close to the local area’s network of public transportation is amazing marketing leverage within the commercial market.

On top of this, transit-oriented developments are more likely to produce high returns since commercial properties close to transit opportunities are a hot commodity. It gives investors a great competitive advantage, increases the property’s market value, and are profitable additions to any commercial portfolio.

Developers Love That They Attract Prospective Buyers

Developers are always looking to build a commercial project that has access to public transportation. Planning a new development along the city’s public transit network is a surefire way to attract interested buyers.

Transit-focused projects quickly catch the eyes of serious buyers who are willing to pay for the convenient location. It’s a great strategy to ensure the long-term success and profitability of a commercial property.

These are all reasons why transit-oriented developments are so popular in today’s commercial real estate industry. Make sure you’re adding this diverse and convenient property type to your commercial strategy in 2020 and beyond.

PropTech 101: What CRE Professionals Should Know

Everyone in the CRE biz has doubtlessly heard the term proptech getting thrown around.

Whether it’s been in article headlines, on the web, or during business conversations; ‘proptech’ has officially integrated into the commercial real estate vocabulary.

Unfortunately, there isn’t always an on-hand dictionary available to help novices decode the latest and greatest CRE lingo. While proptech popularity has surely skyrocketed during 2019, some of us still may be confused as to what exactly proptech is.

We’re happy to clear up the confusion; covering what proptech actually is and why CRE professionals should care.

PropTech Explained

The moment you’ve been waiting for is here… when you finally get a concise definition of the term PropTech.

According to real estate technology experts at Forbes, proptech is ‘the acronym used to describe any technology for the real estate space.’


If that’s not clear enough, here’s another universally-accepted explanation developed by major players in the fields of CRE technology:

“Property technology, in short called Proptech, sometimes also called Real estate technology, is a term that encompasses the application of information technology and platform economics to real estate markets.”

This basically means that the term ‘proptech’ is a fancy way of saying ‘property technology’, which really refers to tech employed by the real estate industry to help make navigating the business easier, quicker, and more efficient.

That said, proptech can be understood as the way that cutting-edge technologies are influencing the world of commercial real estate. As more and more tech-savvy advancements seep into our day-to-day workflows, the industry is using the umbrella term ‘proptech’ to explain what’s happening.

How PropTech is Transforming CRE

Truth be told, every commercial real estate professional should be aware of the proptech revolution. While proptech does refer to real estate as a whole, it yields a particularly strong influence over the commercial side of things.

Not only do property technologies help CRE professionals achieve greater organization, but they also help to streamline workflows.

As with any tech tool, proptech software expands the capacity of its user on a quantum scale. The volume of available tech services enables today’s CRE workforce to achieve never before imagined possibilities.

Thanks to proptech, CRE is extending its reach and streamlining workflows.

Why PropTech Matters: 6 Key Advantages

Now that you know what the term proptech is referring to, you may still find yourself wondering: “why does it matter?’

In reality, proptech offers CRE players massive competitive advantages in the field. Here are 6 key applications where utilizing proptech can make all the difference:

  • Helping your company/practice stay up to speed with the contemporary business module.
  • Appeal to clients from younger generations.
  • Keeping in contact with your client pool.
  • Record massive stores of information and perform data analysis that helps to perfect the lead-to-deal funneling system. 
  • Attract winning team members.
  • Boost your services’ selling point with tech-fueled strategies.

Congratulations! You’re now versed in all things proptech. Don’t forget to check out our blog for more.

4 Coworking Trends Catering to the Mobile Workforce in 2020

The global professional infrastructure is not what it used to be. The once rigid, stuck-in-the-old ways workplace scene has undergone immense changes in the past few years, transforming into something completely new.

The contemporary office scene is more flexible than ever as it’s adapting to meet the needs of the evolving workforce. Thanks to advances in communication and transportation, business professionals are spending more time outside of the office and taking their work elsewhere.

The mobile workforce is bigger than ever, and 2020’s numbers are going to expand even further. In the United States alone, the mobile workforce population is expected to reach 105.4 million members. This marks a massive growth spurt when compared to 2015’s 96.2 million. Analysts state that mobile workers will comprise nearly 75% of the country’s working population.

When so many of today’s workers are embracing mobility, the physical office space needs to change up its game in order to support this new system. Catering to the mobile workforce is a must as we approach the new year, and CRE is preparing with these 4 popular coworking trends:

Greater Digital Compatibility

As remote workers continue dominating the workspace, coworking offices need to make sure they’re offering greater digital compatibility. Mobile-friendly software and systems that can be used both in and outside of the office are fueling the newest wave of workspace tech.

This is specifically important when it comes to coworking as it gives team members the agility they need to succeed. Whether they’re on the go or at their desk, mobile workers need to be able to seamlessly transition between locations without missing a beat. We’re seeing a massive shift towards flexible tech systems in coworking.

Flexible Office Spaces are in Hot Demand

Just because remote workers can get their jobs done from nearly anywhere doesn’t mean they’re ready to give up the office. As more tasks become mobile-friendly, the baseline workload for remote professionals is getting larger. In many cases, non-professional environments such as cafes and at-home offices aren’t supporting their diverse needs. This is driving more people to coworking spaces – specifically ones that are flexible enough to support their unique needs.

Boosting Workplace Security

With so many people going in and out of coworking spaces, security is becoming a top priority. On-site surveillance and hired security guards are the new norm for the workplace – and specifically those with a large population of mobile workers.

This means team members can rest easy knowing that their belongings are safe when they run out for a meeting or to grab lunch. Since traveling light is a key aspect of the remote working module, team members need to know that their belongings are being taken care of.

Comfortable and Sleek Office Designs

Today’s mobile workforce is looking for coworking spaces with a pleasant office environment. Establishing a healthy workplace culture has been at the forefront of CRE’s office sector’s mind, and it’s even more important for attracting remote workers.

When they have the option to work anywhere, office design needs to step up their game and make remote workers want to do business there. This is being achieved by comfortable ambiances, sleek designs, and strong positive workplace cultures.

As remote working becomes the new norm, keep an eye on these coworking trends in 2020 and beyond. Stay tuned for our upcoming CRE news!

Trends to Watch: The Marriage of Shared Office and Hotel Space

There’s a new marriage that’s taking the CRE business by storm ⁠— and it’s between two unlikely sectors.

As the world around us continues to change at never before seen rates, industries need to adapt to stay current. Offices and hotel spaces are coming together to create one united solution for the challenges that both industries are facing today.

Let’s take a deeper look at how the office and hotel scenes are melding, why it works, and emerging trends to keep an eye on.

The Evolving Era of Business

Offices and hotels are coming together in response to concurrent shifts happening in both industries.

Business isn’t what it used to be. In today’s highly globalized and tech-centric world, professionalism has taken on a completely new face. The contemporary workforce is spending more and more time outside of the office; be it at restaurants, building lounges, or cafes for meetings.

These small excursions are also met with business trips, where professionals and associates are traveling for business conventions, international meetings, and company events. The spectrum of where business happens is getting broader than ever before, going beyond the borders of cities, states, and even continents.

Why It Works

Thanks to advances in communication and transportation technologies, today’s highly mobilized workforce has paved the way for a merger between CRE’s office and hotel sectors.

Cutting-edge hotels across the globe are boosting their curb appeal by offering business-related amenities to their guests. Free high-speed wifi, innovative work lounges, quiet spaces for catching up on emails — the list goes on.

These updates to the hotel scene are facilitating a strong balance between work, life, and play. As the distinguishing line between vacation and workdays continues to blur, hotels aren’t merely a space for getting away from it all.

To the same end, offices aren’t only a place to get work done.

The office scene is adopting new and creative ways to boost workplace morale, increase efficiency, and improve productivity. Innovative layouts filled with state of the art hotel-worthy amenities for entertainment, wellness, and rejuvenation are the newest wave of workspace design.

When both sectors are facing the same pressures to optimize their assets to deliver an evolving user experience, hotels and offices are sharing some of their secrets – creating something new and exciting.

Here’s What to Watch

Looking into the future, make sure to keep an eye out for business projects between hotel giants and big names in office real estate.

Deals fueled by professionals on both sides of the spectrum will be all the rage in 2020 and beyond, as the race to create a collaborative office/hotel space is on.

While the main contributors to the movement are players from hotels and offices, don’t think it will stop there. Retail spaces, restaurants, and wellness-based services are set to have a place in this revolutionary blend between business and pleasure.

In a highly competitive industry like commercial real estate, collaboration is a key to success. For more news on what’s happening in CRE, explore our blog.

4 CRE Trends We Can Attribute to Millennials in 2020

Everyone wants to know about the latest millennial-driven trends ⁠— especially those of us involved in commercial real estate.

Over the past few years, the Millennial generation has been a major force in shaping all areas of CRE. This generation, born between 1981 and 1996, stands at the forefront of commercial real estate’s inspiration ⁠— and the relationship is set to continue into 2020.

Let’s look at how Millennials are impacting the commercial real estate biz and why it’s so important.

Office

As Millennials continue to dominate the contemporary workforce, they’re making some big changes to the global office structure. Office design schemes that we’re seeing today are almost completely inspired by what Millennials want, and demand, from the workplace.

One of the greatest developments expected to continue into 2020 is the open office concept. Millennials have already shared their disdain for cubicles and closed-off spaces, but their criticism on the open-office plan has helped the trend mature.

In 2020, experts are expecting the flexible office space to dominate the scene. The flexible office space takes the open-office concept and optimizes it. Common complaints about the open office are that it’s too distracting, too loud, and too difficult to navigate. The professional world needs to be able to adapt according to each unique moment’s needs, not stay stagnant in one setup.

Flex space is all about using moveable and modular elements to give team members endless options and diversity. Sound-proof pods, mobile walls, partitions, and mobile desks are perfecting the open office concept, helping to boost efficiency and productivity ⁠— and it’s all thanks to Millennials.

Retail

CRE’s retail sector is desperate to appeal to contemporary consumers ⁠— many of which happen to be Millennials. The wave of experiential retail is gearing up to be 2020’s hottest trend. To compete with the convenience offered by e-commerce, brick-and-mortar is becoming more interactive and social than ever before.

The New Year is expected to see tons of retail pop-ups, AI adoption, entertainment-based events, and even in-store restaurants. Millennials made it clear that they’re looking to get more out of their shopping experiences, and CRE’s retail spaces are ready to deliver.

Multifamily

Millennials aren’t buying houses like their predecessors, the Baby Boomers, did. Instead, they’re choosing to live in multifamily communities. Not only is this boosting business for CRE, but it also means that multifamily is evolving to meet its new tenants’ needs.

The most notable development is the adoption of the co-living module. This multifamily setup features top-of-the-line communal areas where residents come together and share common areas such as gyms, entertainment rooms, party areas, office spaces, and sitting areas.

By going beyond the traditional home-scheme, these communal features are helping the multifamily arena stay current and offer contemporary tenants something new and exciting. Developers and investors should keep this trend in mind as we enter into the new year.

Industrial

Warehouses have been under a lot of pressure lately. As Millennials love the speed and convenience of online shopping, retail giants like Amazon, Target, and Walmart have been battling over who can offer the fastest deliveries. When the new norm is same-day deliveries, the industrial sector has had to take on the responsibility.

2020 is expecting to see tech-powered warehouses that can handle the increased volume of packages. Sorting and shipping workflows are being optimized as industrial floorplans are streamlining their systems. On top of this, parking lots are getting larger to enable a seamless pick-up and drop-off schedule.

As always, the NAI Global Newslink is your go-to resource for all things CRE.

Should CRE Transactions Be Easier?

Technology has the potential to streamline our entire lives. Today’s tech can lend a hand in solving our problems, handling everything from day-to-day tasks or complex issues.

When such vast possibilities are available to us, society must decide when to draw the line. When does employing automation become too much? When does something become too easy?

This crossroads is where commercial real estate currently stands. Should the commercial real estate transaction process be made easier? As with any business, there are pros and cons to changing up the flow. This establishes a delicate balance for deciding where and how CRE employs technology in the transaction process.

Following the Convenience-Based Model

Our world is obsessed with all things easy and fast. Contemporary businesses are reconfiguring themselves to fit the newly established standards, and everything is about customization and immediacy.

We see it in healthcare as facilities adopt more comforting designs and move closer to their patients. Retail is adapting to the e-commerce module and rethinking the place of physical storefronts. Entertainment is becoming increasingly mobile and accessible. The list goes on and on.

Tech Replacing the Middle Man

Can you spot a common theme in contemporary optimization?

All of these strategies employ technology or software to get the goods straight to the consumer. Automation becomes the primary vehicle that companies use to make their services easier – and thus, more appealing.

How This Applies to Commercial Real Estate

So what would happen if commercial real estate followed this same path?

For starters, the entire process would likely become digital. From browsing the market to contacting your agent, the transaction would be conducted on the web. Although today’s CRE is extremely tech-heavy, this fully computerized system would be an entirely new ballgame.

There’s also the possibility of a CRE website platform that functioned like a mass retailer – just one with price points in the multimillion-dollar range.

This kind of one-stop-shop environment would nullify the roles of agents and brokers by simplifying the entire process. Everything would be automated and individualized through data analysis and algorithms. Employing AI servers can even act as ‘professional resources’ for answering questions in a real-time chatbox.

Benefits and Drawbacks

On one hand, making CRE easier would surely streamline the transaction process. Lengthy, complex, and hard-to-navigate are some common pain points associated with this business.

However, an easier commercial module takes away many valuable aspects of the industry. The business loses the element of expertise which provides a basis for competitive advantage. The perks of having professional connections would become a thing of the past. Specially-accessed deals and unlisted properties would no longer be available.

While these features do make the business complex, they’re also inherently human elements that may be the way you land your next best deal. While automation is always appreciated, it’s a fine line to walk.

What’s your take on this issue? For more CRE news, visit our blog.