Using Technology to Enhance the Tenant Experience

Commercial real estate is being transformed by technology.

Tech has the ability to streamline industry workflows, expand a listing’s market reach, and even mitigate the legal risks associated with these big-ticket transactions. It seems like every aspect of CRE can be boosted with a little help from technology – and it’s not only the professionals in the business that are reaping the benefits.

According to the latest 2020 Commercial Real Estate Outlook from Deloitte, technology can also improve the experiences of CRE tenants. The report looked at how using digital tools and analytics can completely revolutionize the tenant experience.

The report goes as far as to state that the new mantra for CRE should be ‘location, experience, analytics.’ In this blog post, let’s look at some strategies that can elevate your tenant’s experiences by using tech.

AI and IoT

Technology’s applications in commercial real estate are getting more complex. The ‘it’ tools of last year are likely already outdated as contemporary development gets more diverse than ever before.

As a result of this amplification, industry standards have also gotten higher. Tenants are demanding better, newer, and faster tech integrations from commercial real estate properties.

Everyone has their eyes on AI and IoT. These are the two hottest trends in CRE technologies and they can enhance the tenant experience in a myriad of ways. But, both the Internet of Things and the IoT can do more than just keep tenants happy – they can also be powerhouses in boosting business.

The multilayered benefits of investing in AI and IoT are big reasons to consider applying them to your commercial property module.

Getting Serious About Security

One of the largest motivators to apply tech within a commercial property is to improve security. Using technology like Smart cameras and sensors can keep tenants feeling safe and secure. 55% of survey respondents noted that they’re looking to have access to tech-powered security, guidance, and constant online support.

Invest in Smart Building Features

The experts at Deloitte are predicting a 5-year countdown to a Smart CRE industry. Analysts state that Smart integrations will soon become the new norm.

The competition will be heating up around Smart amenities. Industry executives who took part in the survey said that they will be increasing their smart building portfolios over the next 18 months.

Don’t fall behind. CRE professionals should start getting serious about investing in Smart technologies to prevent their assets from becoming outdated.

Make the Switch to Mobile

Mobile access is a must for today’s tenants. Building users want to be able to download everything they need with the tap of a button. By 2023, the global market for mobile apps is expected to boom and reach $156 billion – and CRE will be a part of it, too.

Deloitte experts recommend using increased data to create an interactive, intuitive, and IoT powered app to open up a line of communication between building owners and tenants.

When asked to vote on which app features would best improve the tenant experience; app-based entry into relevant areas, more building information, property management contact information, and lists of amenities in the surrounding areas were all big demands.

Use these tips to improve tenant experiences with technology. 

How Will E-Commerce Continue to Impact CRE in 2020?

In today’s world, nearly every major industry is being impacted by e-commerce. One way or another, the online shopping revolution has instigated change for businesses.

When it comes to the commercial real estate arena, e-commerce plays a crucial role in shaping the rules of the game. Whether it’s by influencing tenant demands, sparking new trends, or restructuring the physical shape of properties; no one can deny that e-commerce is now apart of commercial real estate.

Resultantly, e-commerce’s influence on CRE is set to remain strong into 2020 and beyond.

Let’s take a look at two of the biggest commercial sectors that are feeling the e-commerce heat this new year:

Retail Takes On a Global Perspective

Brick-and-mortar retail isn’t what it used to be. Online shopping and e-commerce are restructuring the entire physical retail module – and this is undoubtedly impacting the commercial real estate biz.

After surviving the so-called ‘retail apocalypse’ of 2019, physical shopping has transformed into something innovative, creative, and high in demand. CRE’s retail space requirements are changing since brands are adapting to the new era of shopping.

Let’s face it: shopping can be done anywhere when the Internet is involved. The best way to outdo the convenience and speed of online shopping is by offering consumers something they truly can’t deny – experience.

Retail brands do not necessarily need to have thousands of locations around the country anymore. Contrarily, most retailers are choosing to create amazing spaces in hot cities around the world.

For contemporary consumers, quality beats quantity. As shopping becomes more experiential and less about necessity; brands are cultivating exclusivity, legacy, and uniqueness.

Having a few fantastic and diverse retail spaces in popular markets is boosting business in big metros all over the world. Retail brands are striving to expand globally rather than on a town-by-town basis. It’s more strategic to set up grounds in bustling affluent global cities are brands strive to stay afloat in today’s globalized world.

Industrial

As e-commerce continues to expand its reach, there is an increasing demand being placed on warehouses and distribution centers. As shipping deadlines get shorter and available products continue to diversify, who do you think carries the direct load? It’s certainly not the Amazon’s of the world.

Instead, it’s CRE that takes on the responsibility and makes all of the e-commerce promises possible.

2020’s warehouse demand is expected to be through the roof as last-mile logistics become increasingly more intense. There need to be more distribution centers spread out around the globe to streamline the delivery process.

The shapes of warehouses are also changing. Pick-up and delivery demands are increasing and industrial spaces need more parking lots and loading zones. These already-massive centers need to get bigger, better, and more organized.

Technology and AI will play a big role in optimizing the contemporary warehouse scene.

CRE Pros: Prepare For What’s To Come

All in all, it’s obvious that CRE is being impacted by the ever-growing popularity of e-commerce. This digital marketplace is making waves in the commercial business, so make sure that you and your business are prepared to ride it out.

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.